One chicken: three dinners

I’ve been doing a lot of roast chicken lately, mostly because I can get three dinners from one chicken. The first night we eat it as-is, with a side veggie. Day two we either have chicken sandwiches or the pasta below. And on the third day I usually make chicken soup. It’s simple and good and pretty frugal, even when we buy the hormone-and-antibiotic-free ones.

One of the best parts is the second day pasta sauce. It’s very simple, and makes good use of the breast meat (we’re dark-meat folks for just plain eating).

Leftover Chicken-Cream Pasta

1 onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp olive oil

1 can of tomatoes

fresh or dried thyme

1 cup diced chicken meat

1/4 to 1/3 cup heavy cream

Heat oil in pan on medium-low heat. Add onion and saute until soft and fragrant. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds or so, being careful not to let it burn. If you have a lot of time, you can cook the onion and garlic very slowly so they get sweet and saucy, but you can do it more quickly if you are pressed for time.

Add can of tomatoes. Again you have two options. If you have a lot of time, drain the tomatoes, reserving the liquid. Add just the tomatoes to the pan and cook them over medium heat so they caramelize and sweeten. Once they are quite broken down, add the tomato juice and stir. If you don’t have extra time, just add the whole can at once and simmer.

Add the thyme and cook until it is thickened. Then take off heat and stir in the cream, adding more or less according to your taste. Heavy cream will not curdle in the acidity of the tomato sauce.

Serve over penne or rigatoni.

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2 thoughts on “One chicken: three dinners

  1. Love that recipe. I like to cook 3 chickens at once. Because I can fit three of my hormone free pastured chickens in the roaster at once. Same amount of time and energy for 1 bird, but I get three.

    We then eat 1 bird with sides, have enough left overs for another chicken dinner dish (tacos, nachos, chili, sandwiches, pasta, pizza, etc.) and I use the bones to make stock. THe girls love their chicken legs. So they enjoy those. Chicken wings I actually take off the fresh birds and save for a grilled chicken wing meal (when I have enough about 24 or so (so 12 birds). The other two birds I remove the breasts (as intact as I can) and Freeze them as split breasts. Half a breast is enough for lots of meals. Then I remove the drumsticks (and the skins and freeze those up for the girls for another meal, and lastly I remove all the bits of meat I can and freeze those for oven fajita omlets, pizzas and nachos (as they only really require a small amount). I am adding you chicken with cream sauce to my recipe list as I love the sounds of it.

    All three carcasses, skin and fats go into making a giant crock of stock in the same roaster I made the birds in.
    The bones then get baked to dry and broken up for the garden. The fats and skins get chopped up for the cats, and all I am left with is stock. 0 waste on my birds.

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