A whole roasted chicken is a supermarket staple that a hungry family of four might wipe out in one dinner. But two people can stretch a 2- to 4-pound bird — into a second — or even a third meal.
Here's a three-step solution for three meals for two people:
Meal 1: Carve the chicken, removing legs and thighs and slicing the breast meat. Serve portions with a potato or pasta (or other grain) plus a half plate of vegetables.
Toss salad greens with mushrooms, tomatoes, onions. Cut carrots into thin sticks, steam slightly, then add sliced yellow onions, splash of olive oil, pinch of rosemary. Cook until vegetables begin to caramelize. Refrigerate remaining meat and carcass.
Meal 2: Remove remaining meat from carcass. Refrigerate (or freeze). Use it to make an Asian-inspired stir fry, or pair it with tomato-flavored rice. Fill out the meal with vegetables.
Meal 3: Put carcass in a pot with water to cover. Add a quartered onion, celery tops, carrot, peppercorns and pinch of salt; parsley and garlic if you like. Simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Strain broth; discard carcass and vegetables. Cool broth; refrigerate (or freeze).
Skim off fat. Heat broth with chunks of carrots and celery until tender. Add peas and a small pasta such as orzo; cook to al dente. Top with grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with a salad and chunks of hot garlic bread.
Stretch it! Three meals from one chicken
Autumn Cruz/Sacramento Bee/MCT