Meat is the most expensive food we buy. But I want you to use every last bit of it when you buy it.
The best way to maximize your money is to buy a big piece of meat, cook it and have a big meal one day, and then properly use the leftovers to your advantage for a number of days remaining. Although you might spend more initially, the price per meal will drastically be reduced over time.
Probably the best example of this is a roast chicken. Last week I provided you with a no-nonsense recipe for a whole roast chicken. You will see in that recipe that I encourage you to buy the biggest possible chicken you can afford. I still recommend doing that even if you are 2 people as the leftovers will be fantastic. If you have WAY too much meat or if you want to save some for later, I also encourage you to portion it up into large cuts and freeze it for further meals.
It is VERY important that we keep food safety in mind while using leftovers. Because it is cooked, the meat will last significantly longer in the fridge in comparison to raw meat. I still encourage anyone to re-cook their meat after a couple days in the fridge by reheating it to make sure it is safe.
Now I want to go through and provide you with some great ideas to use those leftovers for lunches and dinners for 4 days.
Day 1: Roast the whole chicken. (Recipe here)
Make sure you save some meat off the bird for meals. This is a great excuse for portion control.
Strip all the meat off the bone and put in the fridge. Try to keep pieces as big as possible as this will help it keep.
Make stock with the bones. *Coming soon.*
Day 2: Chicken Salad (lunch option)
Slice some meat and serve on salad.
Check out the Golden Salad Dressing ratio here.
Day 3: Chicken Tinga Tacos
In a tablespoon of olive oil, fry 1 white onion until translucent. Add 2 cups shredded cooked chicken and lightly brown. Add 2 chopped tomatoes and ½ a jar of salsa. Cook until thickened. Season to taste.
Serve on warm corn tortillas. Top with avocados, shredded queso añejo (or sharp cheddar), a squeeze of lime, and cilantro.
Day 4: Chicken a La King
Make bechamel. In a saucepan add 2 tbsp of butter. When melted add equal parts of flour and stir until incorporated (this is called a roux). Cook until flour smell is gone and roux smells nutty. Gradually add 2 cups of milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Continue to stir until mixture reaches a boil and thickens. Add a pinch of nutmeg. Season to taste.
Add chicken. Add frozen peas.
Serve over egg noodles.
Day 5: Chicken Noodle Soup
Heat up stock. Season to taste.
Add chopped carrots, onions, and celery. Cook until tender.
Add broken up spaghetti noodles.
Add remaining chicken. Reheat.
Add chopped parsley. Serve.
Have any other ideas for cooked chicken? Please comment below, I would love to hear your ideas!