Stretching Your Grocery Dollars With Mouthwatering Roasted Chicken

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Tony Maples Photography


Photos by DiAne Gates

Who doesn’t get tired of paying more each week to feed our families, or realizing the packages and cans are downsizing? Today I’m going to show you how to get two main meals and two lunches out of one roasted chicken.

I grew up in a time where prices weren’t high, but paychecks weren’t either. So Mama taught me how to stretch every dollar spent at the grocery store. I’d like to share some of her wisdom with you. Perhaps you already know, if so, be sure to pass it along to your kiddos. I’ve got a feeling we’re all going to need this info in the not too distant future.

Today we’re going to roast a chicken. And this info also applies to turkeys. The bone structure is the same. So buying a smaller bird means you purchase the same amount of bone, just less meat. Never buy a chicken to roast that is less than three to four pounds. The same with a turkey. A good sized turkey for a family of four is twelve to fourteen pounds. Never buy a turkey less than twelve pounds.

Mama’s Roasted Chicken

Roasted Chicken with Brown Rice and Veggies


1 – 3 to 4-pound chicken

1 large orange

1 lemon

4 cloves of garlic, halved

1 onion, sliced

Bundle of fresh thyme, rinsed and dried

¼ stick of butter melted and mixed with ¼ cup of olive oil


Rinse and remove any innards out of the chicken’s cavity.

Salt and pepper inside and outside of bird. Slice orange in half, then into slices. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with orange slices, onion slices, garlic halves (reserving 4 halves to slip under the skin of the chicken’s breasts. Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the entire bird. Place thyme bundle on top of other ingredients in the cavity of the bird. Drizzle the butter, olive oil mixture over the entire bird. Cover with loose foil and bake in 350-degree oven for one hour. Remove foil, spoon juices in pan over the bird. Return uncovered bird to oven for an additional 30 minutes to one hour to brown and crisp.

Recover with foil when removing cooked bird from oven and let stand 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

I cook the bird the day before I’m going to serve, so the juices have time to separate and I can make gravy from the drippings. A cold bird slices thinner and better.

Slice white meat from the breasts. Then dismember the legs, thighs, and wings and pull the meat from the bones. Return to the main bone cavity and pick the meat from the back and around all the other places you couldn’t slice with a knife.

I place the slices in a container reserved for a main meal and a couple of sandwiches. For this main meal, I serve brown rice with peppered gravy, roasted vegetables, and sliced chicken. Do not ever keep cooked chicken over two days without freezing. Chop meat from the other parts of the bird and place it in bag to freeze for another main meal the end of the week.

Tangy Chicken Salad

Tangy Chicken Salad


Thawed chopped chicken

1 ear roasted corn

2 or 3 shallots, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated

1/2 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 mango, peeled and chopped

1 chopped red pepper (you could use roasted peppers instead)

½ cup of olives of your choice, halved (I prefer black or Mediterranean)

1 lime, zested and juiced

1 tablespoon cilantro (or more if you like cilantro)

Salt and pepper to taste


Dressing Ingredients:

1 half pint sour cream

½ envelope Hidden Valley Fiesta Ranch Dip mix

¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar

Mix. Add drizzle of olive oil for a thinner mixture.


Combine above ingredients, then pour dressing over salad, mix, and serve immediately or refrigerate for use within two days. Garnish with sliced avocados and tomatoes and serve with toasted French bread and perhaps a vegetable of choice.

Another great main meal with enough left over for lunch the next day. And the cost of your chicken should not have been over $10.00, probably more like $8.00. Just think, two main meals and two lunches for the cost of one bird. If your husband’s an accountant, he’ll sing your praises, and your children will rise up and call you blessed ’cause you’ll have more money to spend on them!