Making many meals out of a single chicken

The chicken before...

Buying a whole chicken has been the cornerstone of my meal planning for Live Below the Line.

Thanks to the inspiration from Koj, Ceri and Miss South, I reckoned one chicken could stretch over a whole load of meals.

I started off with the mega bargain chicken for £1.50 (cheers again to the reduced section in the Iceland chiller cabinet).

…and afterwards…

Next I carved all the meat off the chicken, which was fairly gruesome but produced a lot
of stuff to eat:

  • two drumsticks
  • a pile of fat and chicken skin
  • two wings
  • two breasts
  • some odd scraps of meat
  • two mini breast fillets
  • the carcass itself
  • a couple of thighs and the thigh bones


In fact, every lunch and dinner for five days, except for the cheese sandwich, will benefit from a single 1.1kg bird.

It will be the main component of four meals, whether grilled chicken drumsticks, chicken sandwiches, chicken risotto and chicken & sweetcorn pie.

I’ve also boiled up the chicken carcass and wings to make stock, which I’ll use to make two soups, one with Scotch Broth mix and one with carrots. Extra stock will add flavour to the chicken risotto and chicken & sweetcorn pie.

Rendered chicken fat. Gold dust, I tell you.

Finally, I also followed Ceri’s careful instructions here, and rendered chicken fat from chicken skin. This meant that even though I couldn’t afford to buy a bottle of oil or use much butter, I still had fat to cook with.

Plus my husband got to eat the crispy skin, which was pretty much the chicken equivalent of pork crackling.

The chicken fat will be an enormous help with softening onions and garlic for at least 6 meals:

  • chickpea & tomato curry
  • egg fried rice
  • cheese & tomato pizza
  • frittata with cheese and potatoes
  • chicken risotto
  • chicken & sweetcorn pie

I fear a £1.50 chicken did not live a long and happy life.

But it’s certainly increased our quality of life on a £10 budget.

Sponsor Josh and me on our Live Below the Line challenge by donating to UNICEF here:

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