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Mastering the Art of Stretching One Whole Chicken into Multiple Meals

written by

Stacie Edwards

posted on

May 6, 2024

Hey there, fellow foodies! Today, I’m here to share a kitchen secret that’ll not only save you time but also make your meals more deliciously versatile: cooking one whole chicken and turning it into multiple mouthwatering dishes. 

Yep, you heard it right! With a little bit of planning and creativity, one humble chicken can become the star of your weeknight dinner table in various forms. Let’s dive in!

First, we'll start with a simple whole chicken recipe and from there, we will create 3 more meals!

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Recipe 1: Perfectly Roasted Whole Chicken


  • 1 whole chicken (about 3-4 pounds)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Your favorite herbs or spices (optional)


  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
  2. Rinse the chicken inside and out, then pat it dry with paper towels.
  3. Season the chicken generously with salt, pepper, and any herbs or spices you like.
  4. Place the chicken breast-side up in a roasting pan or oven-safe skillet.
  5. Roast the chicken in the preheated oven for about 1 hour, or until the juices run clear and the internal temperature reaches 165°F (75°C) in the thickest part of the thigh.
  6. Let the chicken rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.

Recipe 2: Chicken Salad


  • Leftover cooked chicken, shredded or chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt (optional)
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lettuce leaves or bread, for serving


  1. In a bowl, mix together the shredded or chopped chicken, mayonnaise, Greek yogurt (if using), celery, red onion, and lemon juice.
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Serve the chicken salad on a bed of lettuce leaves or as a sandwich filling.

Recipe 3: Chicken Soup


  • Leftover chicken carcass
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh herbs (such as parsley, thyme, or rosemary), chopped (optional)


  1. Place the chicken carcass in a large pot and cover it with water.
  2. Add the chopped carrots, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaf, and any fresh herbs you like.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 1-2 hours, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface.
  4. Strain the broth, discarding the solids, and return it to the pot.
  5. Add any leftover shredded chicken to the pot and season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Simmer the soup for another 10-15 minutes until heated through.
  7. Serve hot, garnished with fresh herbs if desired.

Recipe 4: Chicken Stir-Fry


  • Leftover cooked chicken, sliced or shredded
  • 2 cups mixed vegetables (such as bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, and snap peas), sliced or chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • Cooked rice or noodles, for serving


  1. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the minced garlic and stir-fry for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
  3. Add the mixed vegetables to the skillet and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until crisp-tender.
  4. Add the leftover chicken to the skillet along with the soy sauce and oyster sauce (if using).
  5. Stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes until everything is heated through.
  6. Drizzle with sesame oil and toss to combine.
  7. Serve the chicken stir-fry over cooked rice or noodles.

And there you have it! With just one whole chicken, you can create a week’s worth of delicious meals that are sure to satisfy your taste buds and save you time in the kitchen. 

So go ahead, give these recipes a try, and let your culinary creativity soar! Happy cooking!

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