Cook Once, Eat Twice Chicken

I am a huge fan of cook once eat twice, or three times. I want to cook dinner on Monday, have lunch on Tuesday from leftovers, and find another clever use for what might still be left over. This is how my mother cooked, this is how I am teaching my children to cook and eat. Not only is it cost-effective, time-saving, and sanity saving, but often food that is slow roasted tastes even better the next day.

I always remember my mother cooking enough food to feed an army. The same can be said about many of the adults I watched cook growing up. I always thought it was  Jewish and Italian mother thing. It makes so much sense to me now. I love to cook, I love being in the kitchen, I do sometimes want a break. I have found that by using my cook once, eat twice method I can still enjoy a delicious home-cooked, and healthy meal without slaving everyday in the kitchen.

I am primarily focusing on slow cooking and roasting food. Now that we are heading into the colder months of winter, this type of cooking is what makes sense. It is what our ancestors would have done, it is warm and comforting. I roast many chickens during the week for the end result of my home-made bone broth. Bone broth is a staple in our house. My children and husband all love it, we eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner, not to mention for cooking.

If you are friends with me on Facebook you know that I had an amazing Christmas. I was blessed with a variety of Le Cresuet cookware. This is a dream for a gal like me, some women like diamonds, I like Le Creseut. These are the first pieces I have owned and am looking forward to many, many years of use.  One of the very first things I wanted to do was to roast a chicken in my Dutch Oven. I knew I had hit the jackpot as the aromas filled my house, it was chicken perfection. I had outdone all other chickens in my life. The beauty of it was a second dish that came as a by-product of my chicken. I layered vegetables under the chicken with my bone broth. When the chicken was done I put the veggies in my blender and made the most delicious soup ever.

You can make this dish without a cast iron dutch oven, although I think this is what lends to the delicious and tender meat, and the perfect roasted veggies.

This is the most simple and healthy recipe. Anybody can make this, yes even you out there who say you can’t cook.

Here you go.

  • 1 whole chicken (all natural or organic)
  • 3 large yellow squash
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1/2 large yellow onion
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1/5 to 2 cups of good quality chicken stock or bone broth
  • salt
  • pepper
  • bay leaves
  • olive oil
  • fresh thyme, sage, and rosemary are optional but are in my opinion so needed

Pre-heat your oven to 350

Rough chop your veggies and place in the bottom of your dutch oven or large roasting pan

Place your chicken on top of your veggies

Drizzle your chicken lightly with olive oil

Salt and Pepper the chicken

toss in bay leaves around at the chicken on the veggies

toss in herbs with stems on all around chicken and veggies

Pour in the chicken stock or broth all over the veggies around the chicken

Place your lid on your dutch oven or roasting pan. Place in the oven and cook between 2-3 hours ( I find that a 3-5lb chicken will cook in about 2 hours and 10 min).

Once the chicken is cooked take it out of the pan. Place to the side. Take out all your herbs and discard. Take out all of your veggies and broth and place in a blender. Please be very careful when placing hot liquid into a blender, make sure you lid is on very tight and start it on the lowest speed. Place your chicken back in your pan, leave the lid off. Turn your oven on to broil and place the chicken back in the oven. Leave your chicken in the oven until your skin has browned.

Serve your chicken with your soup on the side. This soup is even better the next day.

Side note: When serving your soup you can add some fresh nutmeg and ground pepper on top. This adds just that extra kick.

Remember don’t throw away your chicken bones. Save them all to make your own homemade chicken broth the next day.

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