Many nights we aren't eating dinner until 8:00 or 9:00 at night. Not really ideal, since you really don't want to sleep with a full stomach. You should have at least three hours active digestion so your body can focus on resetting itself while you sleep. That means we wouldn't be getting to bed until after midnight on weeknights... which is actually closer to average than we would like it.
I'm not a morning person (which that midnight bedtime probably doesn't help), so I go into work later than most and then leave later as well. Most of my recipes take about an hour from start to finish. That combination is the reason we are eating so late. So in an effort to get dinner on the table quicker, it means planning ahead even more than weekly meal plans... it means doing some of the prep on Sunday.
I've seen those pins on Pinterest about buying rotisserie chickens from the grocery store and using them throughout the week. It's a great idea, but who knows how long that chicken has been sitting there and what they used to roast it.
I'm fortunate that the Kroger down the street from me carries local, antibiotic free chicken. For $8-10 I can get a full chicken, roast it myself, and have about eight servings of chicken to use throughout the week. There is very little prep involved in roasting a chicken, you just need to be home to take it out of the oven, really. And then you can make chicken stock afterward to use as a base for a soup in your meal plan. Now that is using the while bird!
There are probably hundred of ways to use this chicken, but we made tacos and sandwiches. I a small mixing bowl, we mixed the chicken with some chipotle salsa and chipotle chili powder and heated it up for our tacos. Then we made some pulled chicken sandwiches by heating of up the chicken and mixing in some barbecue sauce (which allowed mine to be sweet BBQ and his to be spicy BBQ). And then some buffalo chicken wraps. Each meal took less than ten minutes to get to the table!
1 whole chicken
1 small onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, divided
3 tbsp butter
herbs (I used sage and green onions)
salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare the chicken by removing anything from inside the cavity (usually things like the neck, liver, etc are stored in a plastic bag inside the cavity) and discard. Cut away excess skin.
2. Roughly chop onion and smash three of the garlic cloves and place in the cavity.
3. Mince the remaining garlic clove and herbs. Combine the butter, minced garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper together. I prefer to use my hands because it helps soften the butter. Spread butter under the skin of the chicken. The skin is really just holding in the moisture and herbs, we'll remove it later.
4. Tie up the legs together to keep everything tight. Place it in oven for and hour and 30 minutes.
5. Let chicken sit for at least 10 minutes. Remove skin. Remove legs first, you may need to use a knife in the joint to get it lose. Cut off the breasts and then the remaining meat can be removed with a fork.
(If making chicken stock, place the chicken carcass, including the garlic and onions, in a large pot. Add additional vegetables if desired. Fill pot with warm water and simmer for at least one hour.)