Roast chicken

Roast chicken is Sunday supper this week.  I like to take a cue from my paternal grandmother when it comes to meal planning.  Shop once, and then cook and have the whole week follow, so that there is less waste and less thinking required.  So if Sunday is Roast chicken (and brown rice, with broccoli and salad), then Monday lunch will mean Chicken and brown rice soup, with veggies (who knows, maybe that will be broccoli…), and Monday supper will be a yummy rice bowl, with left over chicken.

Your menu for the week doesn’t have to begin with chicken, or even meat.  If you have fish for supper (like we will next Sunday because there is one last Salmon in the freezer), then the next night could be fish tacos, or a chowder.  If you are vegetarian, then you could have Spinach or Kale with white beans or a Chickpea and Cauliflower curry, with rice or potato, and then a side of Roasted veggies.  And move on from there, making sure that when you do the roasted veggies, you have enough for two meals.  Always helps to cut vegetables one night for two meals.  Raw veggies or a veggie platter sets you up nicely for stir fry the next day.

Planning what to do with your leftovers ahead of time helps in so many ways:

1. It helps you create a healthy, budget minded meal plan.

2. It cuts down on waste.

3. It keeps you out of the drive thru or from ordering take out.

So how do you start?

Begin with your Sunday meal (or Saturday meal if you work Sundays, or Monday if that is your day off, whatever works for you and your family).  Then decide what you will make.  I like to see what is on sale or what is in the freezer.  For us, both this week’s meal and next Sunday’s meal, will come from the freezer.  So, Chicken.  A couple of months ago, our local butcher had non medicated, Roasting Chickens on sale.  So, we bought three of them.  This will be the last of the three tonight.

Roast chicken ( a large one) will provide us with supper for 6, plus left over chicken for soup and one supper meal (in this case, Rice bowl).  The carcass will be used to make chicken stock, which will be enough for soup plus one litre (or so) for the freezer to use for another meal.  I will also do enough brown rice tonight for tomorrow night’s rice bowl supper.  For vegetables, there will be steamed broccoli (leftovers will go into the soup), and then a large salad (leftovers of which will likely go into Taco salad for Tuesday night supper).

A little planning can go a long way to staying on track with both healthy eating and keeping to the budget.  We all have days when we say, “Oh Man!  I have no idea what we are going to eat…” But these days can become less with a little bit of planning.  Sometimes, I even plan the “I don’t want to cook” nights into our weekly family supper menus.  It used to be Fridays, but over the past few months, I have noticed that it really tends to be Thursdays.  On Fridays, I find I feel rejuvenated with the thought of the weekend coming up, and will get down to business and get cooking.  (altho I do like it if I plan something easy, that requires kid help, like making salad).

I hope you have found this helpful!

Happy Packing!

Roast Chicken for Sunday supper:

Preheat oven to 375F.  You will cook the chicken for about 15 minutes per pound.

One large roasting chicken 5-7 lbs.; 1 medium onion quartered; one lemon quartered, 2 tsp olive oil Your choice of seasoning for your bird: I use thyme, sage, parsley and smoked paprika (sweet or bittersweet)

Rinse bird and pat dry (remove the neck and any giblets if there are any inside the cavity).  Place in large roasting pan, elevated slightly on roasting rack or assorted quartered veggies (onion, carrot, potato, or leeks, cut in half lengthwise). Rub olive oil on bird and then season with your choice of seasonings (as little or as much as you choose, I typically use about a tsp of each and then 2 or 3 tsp of Paprika).  Place bird in your preheated oven.  Cook until chicken reaches temperature (taken in the thigh) of about 150F.  Remove from oven and let sit (under tented foil) for about 15 minutes.  Remove bird to to large cutting board, or if bird is stable in the roasting pan, you can carve it from there.  Remove skin from main part of the bird (not legs and wings) and begin carving (and I won’t even begin to tell you how to carve a chicken, since we usually end up massacring ours).  But Better Homes and Gardens website has great instructions for carving a chicken or a turkey.

If you are planning to use some of the chicken for other meals, my advice is to remove that chicken immediately before you begin serving.  I have been left stuck when I haven’t done this and my hubby has gone back for seconds.

Thanks for stopping by!