How to use a whole chicken for 4 meals

A big part of food shopping is remembering to live within your means. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it! It’s tempting to get sucked into supermarket offers for things you don’t need just because it’s cheap. My advice is to write your shopping list with everything you need leading up to your weekly shop, also eat before you go. There is nothing worse than food shopping on an empty stomach!

I have some thing to admit, I’m not even ashamed. I don’t buy free range chicken.
The truth is, I do feel awful about how the meat we eat gets treated before it is butchered. I’m a recovering vegetarian as I like to call it, I still don’t eat red meat because it just doesn’t taste nice to me. If I could buy organic and free range then trust me I would. It’s just that £4 compared to over £10 for a whole chicken is quite a lot when you are eating on a budget. For me £10 buys a weeks worth of baby milk formula and his food or a months worth of nappies so I just can’t spend that money elsewhere. You can taste the difference between barn vs free range but hopefully with the up and coming chicken recipes you will still have fantastic tasting dishes.
I mentioned in one of my first posts about using a whole chicken for 4 or 5 different meals. When I first found this out I thought it was amazing but when it came round to it I realised I didn’t actually know how to separate the different parts of the chicken so I’m going to show you how.
You can either do it with a raw or cooked chicken. Often I have done a Sunday roast dinner, taken the meat I need for the three of us and then separated the different bits and use them for your weeks meals. I have also separated a raw chicken, it’s not my favourite thing to do, it actually makes me feel a bit sick! It is good for if you want to freeze different parts instead of eating chicken for a week.

Cut off any string holding the chicken together. 


Start with the thighs by cutting the skin around the joint until you are able to pull it back. You have to pull it back until the joint dislocates (you will hear a pop). Cut the ligaments and meat around the joint until it come free. Repeat with the other.  


It’s easier to take the skin off to do the breast meat. If you want to keep it then put it to one side. 


Using the back bone as a guild. Cut either side all the way down until the meat comes away. You may need to trim away any fat or ligaments. Repeat on the other side. 


The wings are very similar to the thighs. Bend them back until they pop out of socket and cut around any ligaments or leftover meat. 


I roasted the carcass in a over at 200C for 20-25 minutes and it will be used for stock for tomorrow lunchtime’s soup.

The breasts are being used in a red Thai curry.

The thigh meat will be used for tomorrow’s dinner of chicken taco ramen.

I am putting the wings in the freezer until I have 6 or 8 of them and then they can be used for a chicken wing recipe.

0 thoughts on “How to use a whole chicken for 4 meals”

  1. I’ve only ever bought free range chicken and eggs. We decided we’d eat them less often than buy anything else but now you can get really good value free range chickens at Lidls, (about £5 depending on weight), if you are lucky enough to have one nearby. It’s a tough choice when you’re on a budget but we use it all and like you freeze everything left over to use at another meal.

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