The Budget bon-vivant

These recipes make investing in a whole chicken worth it. Depending on the size of your chicken and how many side-dishes you eat, two people can eat roughly two dinners and two lunches using these recipes. Plus they’re delicious.

1. Lime-Butt Roast Chicken
Roasting is a delicious way to enjoy chicken and much cheaper than buying boneless chicken breasts. Make sure that you have a meat thermometer to check if the meat is done. You will also need a large spoon for basting, and a roasting pan large enough to cover your chicken.

One whole chicken (remember that a larger chicken will take longer to cook), three limes, a head of garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Take the chicken out of the package, hold it by the legs, and rinse it quickly under cold water. Pat the chicken all over with paper towel to dry. Take a few spoons of your olive oil and spread it over the entire chicken. Season all over with salt and pepper to taste. Next, peel your garlic cloves (I usually use about four) and cut your limes into quarters. Leaving your garlic cloves and lime quarters whole, stuff as many of them as possible into the chicken’s cavity. Stick your meat thermometer into the meatiest part of the breast. Place your chicken in the roasting pan and bake covered for about one and a half hours, basting every 20 minutes. Take the lid/foil off the pan for the last 20 minutes to make the chicken golden brown. Make sure to check your meat thermometer to see if the chicken is done. Slice and serve. Do NOT throw out the leftover bones and meat!

2. Leftover Chicken Soup
This is a delicious way to stretch your chicken purchase into two meals while reducing wasted food.

Your leftover chicken frame, two bay leaves, two large carrots, one large onion, four large potatoes, two to three cups of any small noodle (my favourite is dry chow mein noodles), salt and pepper to taste. Note: If you have them, using whole peppercorns adds an extra punch to this recipe.

Roughly chop your vegetables and set aside. Place chicken frame along with any leftover meat, giblets, et cetera in a large, thick-bottomed pot. Fill the pot with water until the chicken is covered, bring to a boil, and simmer on low heat with the lid on for at least 90 minutes. The longer you let the pot simmer, the better the soup will be. Next, remove all the bones from the soup using a slotted spoon or fork, leaving the small pieces of chicken in the pot. Add the spices and vegetables, and simmer until the vegetables are tender. If you’re using normal pasta, add it when the vegetables are almost done and turn up the heat slightly. If you’re using chow mein noodles, add them right before eating. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve. Tip: if you find your broth a bit bland, add a chicken bouillon cube and let it simmer for an additional 10 minutes.