Ever feel like you’re a walloping failure at adulthood, and every choice you make wastes time and money? Here’s an excellent tip to pull at least one area of your life together: Plan most meals you eat for a week around around one delicious slow-cooked chicken. Organizing your food intake around a single, protein-heavy ingredient is not innovative, but it’s definitely doable.
For approximately $11, depending on your location, you can buy a whole chicken that will last a week. Organic whole chickens are more expensive, and I’m not there yet on my chicken journey. //maybe add something here about checking grocery store circulars or something or link to something about getting good grocery store prices//
Once you buy it, wash the chicken off, and pat it dry with some paper towels.
For this step, you will need: The chicken, vegetables, paper towels, spices, a chopping knife, and a slow cooker.
You can set the chicken on paper towels while you chop up your vegetables: I do potatoes, onion, garlic, and sometimes carrots or mushrooms. Celery is a fairly standard choice, but I believe it’s merely a chute of garbage water masquerading as a vegetable. //maybe give an idea of how many vegetables?///
I put all the vegetables in the bottom of the slow cooker and then drop the chicken on top. Sometimes I stuff some garlic in the chicken butt, or squirt a lemon on the skin. Then spices: salt, pepper, a dash of rosemary, a few dashes of thyme, maybe some basil, do what you feel! The great thing about chicken is there is no spice that tastes bad on it.
Depending on the size and quality of your slow cooker and the size of the chicken, it’ll be done in 4-5 hours on high or 6-10 hours on low. It needs to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. ///this is awfully vague///
If you are on board with cooking a whole chicken but don’t want to consume it all in a week, you should salt it again before freezing it.
//add context here about why this step is important// For this step, you only need a strainer and water.
Once the chicken is cooked to your liking, let it cool, and then put it in some Tupperware //so there’s a shredding step you’ve missed????//, along with the vegetables. Leave a few vegetables and all of the bones in the slow cooker, along with whatever skin and meat is too much of a hassle to pick off the bones. This will make your broth better.
Pour around two to four quarts of water over the chicken detritus, throw some extra spices into the mix, and turn the crockpot back on. This time, leave it on low for at least 12 hours, preferable a whole day. One time I cooked it for two days and it tasted very potent. Stir it occasionally if you’re home, but don’t worry about it too much.
After your broth is cooked, use a strainer to separate the bones and gunk from the liquid, and store it //the gunk or the broth?// in your fridge or freezer. I usually do fridge, because I use it right away to cook grains.
You can use your homemade broth as a replacement for water when you cook rice, quinoa, or couscous. Since you’re planning a chicken-centric meal week, you can make a few cups of the grain of your choice with the broth right after you’re finished cooking it. Then use that grain throughout the week as a base for stir-frys, salads, and those healthy bowls. //I think a sentence like this belongs up top but burying it below seems stressful and weird!//
The first night I make the chicken, I eat a drumstick straight from the slow cooker with some of the veggies. But doing that for a whole week is boring. The good thing about your chicken is that you can use the meat for basically any dish with chicken in it. For lunches, you can use the chicken meat on a sandwich or in a salad. For dinners, I default to chicken tacos or some sort of stir-fry with either the grains I previously made or rice noodles. You can use the potatoes from the slow cooker to make homefries in the morning by throwing them in a pan with some oil and paprika. //I feel like some of this should go in a second graf under the lede so everyone knows why they should be making a ton of chicken//
These are a few of my favorites: //link recipes also these sound like they take more time / incredients so you’d need to clarify that it’s not much more money??//
- Chicken tacos
- Pad thai with chicken
- Chicken salad
- Buffalo chicken sandwich
- Chicken chili
- Fettucini with chicken and pesto
I could go on but I don’t want to be the chicken version of Bubba from Forrest Gump.
I get that you might be worried that eating only chicken-based lunches and dinners for a week will make you sick of chicken. That’s a legitimate concern. You probably will get sick of chicken. But adult life is repetitive, and often dull. Chicken is utilitarian. Chicken is vaguely healthy. Chicken is your secret weapon in the endless war against takeout.
//include overall costs??/// you’ve only talked about the chicken but then the meals seem more complicated with more ingredients so it’s hard to make the adult / saving money argument unless we have more details / comparisons?!//