Sunday, August 16, 2015

Frugally Fine Food with a Chicken

I was asked for a frugal recipe, so I immediately thought of the following.  It is not a "recipe" per se, just a way to cook nourishing food frugally.  It may appear that it lacks sufficient meat, but I assure you, Americans eat much too much meat.  You will find that cooking a chicken in this manner provides flavor and nourishment.

This is not a specific recipe, but it is a frugal way to use chicken and make one chicken go for 2 or 3 meals.
  • Purchase 1 chicken about 4 lbs.
  • A bag of white rice (or whatever rice you prefer, but white is what is traditional in our house for this dish)
  • A stalk of celery if you have it on hand
  • A small onion quartered, or part of a larger one
  • Salt & pepper
Boil whole chicken in a large pot covered in water along with the salt, pepper, celery, and onion until tender. Please leave the skin and fat on as this enhances the flavor.

After it is done, cool in the liquid. Then lift cooled chicken from liquid onto a plate and begin the process of removing the meat from the bones. Be sure you get all the tiny slivers attached to the tiny bones.

Now you need to decide how much rice you need for your family. I would cook 1 1/2 cups rice for a family of 6 or 1 cup for a family of 4. Measure out the amount of liquid (including fat unless you are on a diet that prohibits it) that is needed to cook the quantity of rice you need for your family. Cook rice in chicken liquid until about half done. Then put about 1/3 of the chicken meat into pot, stir slightly, and finish cooking. I favor using the tiny pieces and the dark meat for this dish.

Serve this rice & chicken dish along with green peas and a salad or green peas and carrots.

This is a particularly tasteful meal on a cold winter night or when you have had sickness in the home.

Cost: Very low.

The remaining 2/3 of the chicken meat. Plan to make a small batch of chicken salad with 1/3. You can even use elbow macaroni to extend it.

Last 1/3 of the chicken: Plan to make a small casserole with broccoli spears, soup, mayonnaise, chopped onion, and stuffing mix for topping. Lots of casserole veggies and stuffing make the meat go further. Plus, you will have the chicken liquid to mix with the soup/s and the stuffing mix. Great flavor.

Last but not least, you may have some of the chicken liquid left over.  Be sure you save it to cook veggies in or to use as a soup base.


  1. Very informative, keep posting such good articles, it really helps to know about things.

  2. I do this a LOT with my chicken a good size whole one, cook and shred the meat for various recipes and dishes. I save the "broth" I cook it in for soups or to flavor brown rice (our preference) while cooking it. Saves a lot of money :-)


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