How to make one whole chicken stretch to five meals

Everyone loves a roast chicken, BUT too often it’s reserved just for Sunday. These five recipes show how, with a little ingenuity, you can make a single bird last the working week. There’s a traybake, salad, a burrito, pasties and a curry – all serve four people and all come from one chicken. If that’s not frugal cooking, we don’t know what is.

Plus, scroll down for the easiest chicken stock to ensure you get every inch of flavour.

How to make one whole chicken stretch to five meals

First things first: spatchcock the chicken

Put the chicken breast-side down on a large chopping board. Using sharp kitchen scissors/shears, cut closely along each side of the backbone (leaving the 2 meaty ‘oysters’ in place, near where the legs are attached) and remove it. You could freeze the spine for stock (see further down). Turn the chicken breast-side up, then press down firmly on the breastbone to flatten and open out the chicken.

Meal 1: Spatchcocked roast chicken with orzo and roast vegetables

Spatchocking a chicken cuts down the cooking time as the bird cooks faster and more evenly. All the buttery cooking juices are caught in the tray below with the vegetables, creating a fantastic self-made sauce to be mixed with the orzo.


Find the recipe here

Meal 2: Chicken, leek and ham pasties

Use the leftover leg meat from the roast chicken to fill these rich, nourishing pasties. They’re great straight from the oven or as a make-ahead lunch for when you’re on the move.


Find the recipe here

Meal 3 Freekeh, chicken and pomegranate salad

The beauty of this hearty, flavoursome salad is that all you have to cook is the freekeh – a nutty grain with a pleasingly chewy texture. It’s zingy, light and perfect for warmer evenings.


Find the recipe here

Meal 4: Chicken and mango coconut curry

Possibly the quickest, simplest curry you’ll ever make. Fresh mango gives this dish sweetness and offsets the heat of the chilli, while balancing brilliantly with the fragrant spices. Serve in bowls, scattered with sliced chilli and coriander leaves, with cooked rice.


Find the recipe here

Meal 5: Black bean and chicken burritos

Make sure you get every little bit of chicken left, including the two ‘oysters’ from near the thigh sockets, to make these burritos for a final lunch or supper. The beans helps to add protein and keep this dish filling. Plus who doesn’t love a burrito?


Find the recipe here

And finally…

Don’t neglect the carcass – gently simmer it in water for 1-2 hours with salt, some chunks of veg (onion, carrot, celery or any veg peelings) and aromatics (peppercorns, bay leaves, rosemary, garlic). Then strain into a jug for a chicken stock that beats any you could get at a shop. Freeze in portions.

More to discover

Subscribe to our magazine

Food stories, skills and tested recipes, straight to your door... Enjoy 5 issues for just £5 with our special introductory offer.


Unleash your inner chef

Looking for inspiration? Receive the latest recipes with our newsletter

We treat your data with care. See our privacy policy. By signing up, you are agreeing to delicious.’ terms and conditions. Unsubscribe at any time.