Tomorrow night’s dinner is my favorite money-saving meal. Yes….I know what I’m having for dinner tomorrow night. Every Saturday I sit down and create a menu for the upcoming week. I use that prepared menu to make my grocery shopping list for my weekly Sunday trip to the store. Shopping from that list keeps me on point and helps me avoid a lot of impulse purchases and random buying of things I think I might need but it turns out I don’t. But that’s not what this week’s tip is about. This week’s tip is about tomorrow night’s dinner. Rotisserie chicken!
My local warehouse club sells a three pound rotisserie chicken for $4.99. This chicken is the best rotisserie bird I’ve ever found anywhere. For the same price as I would pay for an unprepared chicken of the same size at my local supermarket. And it’s already cooked! Add some potatoes, gravy, and a vegetable, and we’ve got a feast for next to nothing. But the true magic of the rotisserie chicken comes in the days that follow the original feast.
After rotisserie chicken dinner, I tear the carcass apart. All of the meat goes in one zip top bag. All of the skin and bones and wing tips and such go into a different zip top bag. The meat becomes another meal for a later time. Maybe a chicken tetrazzini casserole. Maybe chicken divan. Maybe chicken tacos or chicken enchiladas. Perhaps chicken salad for my lunches. The possibilities are endless. No matter how you slice it (or carve it, as the case may be) a three pound chicken is enough meat for two people to eat at least two meals. All for $5!
The bag of bones and skin is a whole different project. This is future chicken stock. Chicken stock and/or broth are staples in a lot of recipes. And while containers of stock are readily available on the grocery store shelves, why not make it yourself? All it takes is to throw some things in a pot of water and walk away while it simmers. You can find a simple recipe here. When the stock is complete, we like to freeze it in ice cube trays. This gives us perfect one ounce measures of the homemade stock which will last for months in the freezer (though we always seem to use it MUCH faster than that).
So…tomorrow I go to the warehouse club and buy a chicken. From that I get a wonderful roast chicken dinner, a future dinner made from the leftover chicken meat, and lots of homemade chicken stock for cooking. In my opinion, that’s $5 very well spent!