Meal prep for one person can sometimes be a little bit repetitive and if you’re anything like me, it’s easy to get tired of eating the same meal for lunch and dinner week after week.
So I decided to cook a whole chicken and use just a few other pantry items to try and mix things up in the kitchen while saving money, time and effort.
The most amount of time you’ll need is to roast the chicken (nobody would tell on you if you buy a yummy rotisserie one from your favourite store instead).
First, roasting the chicken.
One whole chicken (giblets removed)
50g salted butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp mother-in-law spice
1 tsp chicken masala
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Pat your chicken dry with a paper towel and put it in an oven dish that you’ve lined with a little bit of oil. Then melt the butter and mix it with the olive oil and your spices. Rub the butter and oil all over the chicken and make sure to get every centimetre. Don’t forget to get some underneath the skin as well.
Next up, cover the chicken in foil and put it in the oven for an hour and thirty minutes.
For the last 15 minutes, turn up the heat to 200 degrees Celsius and remove the foil to get that skin nice and crispy. Carve up the bird while it’s still warm, it’s easier.
How to make 5 lunches and dinners from 1 chicken:
1. Chicken drumsticks/wings, roast potatoes and broccoli with basmati rice
Dark meat on the bone is easier to eat at home when you can get a little bit messy. For this, you can even roast some parboiled potatoes and broccoli at the same time you do the chicken in the oven for the last thirty minutes.
2. A quick and easy chicken-and-rice bowl
Turning it into a quick and easy lunch is simple – it’s all about adding some crunch and acidity. While the chicken is still warm, remove the meat from the bone. Then throw some spicy peanuts into the rice, along with a splash of rice wine vinegar or some hot sauce for an added kick. Add the chicken and tear some herbs in there if you like. This is a quick bowl that you can eat easily in the middle of a busy day.
3. Chicken breast with pasta sauce
Boil some well-salted water. Cube a chicken breast and place into leftover or store-bought pasta sauce. After you throw the pasta in the water and let it cook according to instructions, use a slotted spoon to transfer the pasta to the sauce and remember to keep one cup of pasta water aside. Mix it all up. If the sauce is a bit too thick, add some pasta water to loosen it up.
4. Chicken mayo baguette
Turning the second chicken breast into an easy lunch involves one tablespoon of mayo, a teaspoon of hot English mustard and chilli flakes. Pull the chicken apart with two forks and mix it all up. Spread it all on a mini baguette and you’re sorted.
5. Black bean and corn chicken salad
Open a tin of black beans and a tin of whole corn kernels, drain the liquid and rinse the beans. Make a vinaigrette with olive oil, salt, white wine vinegar, black pepper and a generous amount of cumin. Toss with all the leftover chicken, and bon appétit!