Let's Talk Chicken-A-Week Of Meals In Minutes
Here’s a week’s worth of delicious meals that are easy to make.

By: Body - Performance Nutrition - 11/15/2018

Here's a week's worth of delicious meals that are easy to make. Your crockpot can be your new kitchen robot, as it takes little effort and you gain cooked chicken to use in easy meals. If you don't have access to a crockpot you can cook the meat in a 4 qt stockpot instead.  Either way you'll have the basics to create meals with minimal work on your part. And if you find the chicken on sale, the cost per serving can average $1 or less. Be sure to freeze whatever cooked chicken you won't use within 3–4 days so it doesn't spoil. The soup also can be frozen if you don't plan to eat it within 3–4 days. The plan described below provides approximately 6 meals for a family of 4.


Cooking The Chicken, Method 1: Crockpot

  1. Rinse chicken breasts and place in a large crockpot. Add one chopped onion. Cover chicken with water (about 2 quarts), and tightly cover with crockpot lid.

  2. Turn on High and cook for 6–8 hours, until the meat falls off the bones.

  3. Allow the chicken to cool; then remove the skin and debone. Shred half the breasts, chop ¼ of them, and leave ¼ of them whole to slice for sandwiches.

  4. Retain the cooking liquid (now "chicken broth"), strain it, and save for recipe #1.

  5. Prepare one box (14 oz) of instant brown rice following instructions on package for recipes #1 and #3. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.


Cooking The Chicken, Method 2: Stovetop

If you don't have a large crockpot, put the chicken, chopped onion, and water into a large pot instead. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cover the pot. Cook until chicken is tender, which should take about an hour. Then follow steps 3–6 above.

Recipe #1: Chicken rice soup

Ingredients:1- 2 quarts chicken broth, 2 carrots (grated), 1 cup each corn and green beans, 1 cup shredded chicken, 1 cup brown rice (cooked), chicken broth, and salt and pepper to taste

Directions. Heat the broth in a 4 qt pot over medium heat. (You should have about 2 quarts of broth from cooking the chicken; see above. If not, add low-sodium chicken bouillon and water to increase the amount. Use 1 to 2 quarts broth (for the consistency you prefer).  Add grated carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Meanwhile cook one cup each frozen corn and green beans in the microwave, following instructions on the packages. Add to the broth: shredded chicken, pre-cooked brown rice, plus the cooked vegetables. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes enough for 2 meals.

Recipe #2: Chicken "Fried" Rice

Ingredients: 2 eggs, canola oil, 1 bunch green onions (cleaned and chopped), mixed vegetables (8 oz), 4 cups brown rice (cooked), 1 chicken breast (chopped), soy sauce (low-sodium), 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, chopped

Directions. Heat 1 tsp canola oil in a large frying pan or wok. Beat eggs and pour into the pan. Allow the eggs to cook like a pancake for a minute on each side. Flip onto a cutting board and cut into matchstick-size pieces. Add 1 tsp oil to pan and cook chopped green onions and ginger until limp. Meanwhile cook mixed vegetables in the microwave according to package instructions. Add to the pan on medium heat and gently stir: pre-cooked brown rice, chopped chicken breast, egg strips, green onions, and mixed vegetables, plus low-sodium soy sauce to taste. Heat thoroughly.

Recipe #3: Mexican Chicken Filling

Ingredients: 1 onion (chopped), 1 tsp canola oil, 1½ cup shredded cooked chicken, diced chilies (4 oz can), ⅓ cup raisins, ⅓ cup chopped black olives, enchilada sauce (10 oz can), corn tortillas, shredded cheese, lettuce, and salsa

Directions. In a large skillet, cook chopped onion in 1 tsp canola oil until limp or translucent. Stir in shredded chicken, drained chilies, raisins, chopped black olives, and enchilada sauce. Heat through for 10 minutes to blend flavors. Put filling mix in the center of a tortilla. Add shredded cheese, lettuce, and salsa as desired. Roll the tortilla. For a complete meal serve with black beans and brown rice.

 

Recipe #4: Chicken Salad

Ingredients: 1½ cup chicken (shredded), ¼ cup mayo, ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt, ½ cup raisins, ½ cup celery (chopped), 1 green onion (thinly sliced), lettuce, and whole-wheat rolls (optional).

Directions. Mix together shredded chicken, mayo, yogurt, raisins, chopped celery, and sliced green onion. Enjoy on a bed of lettuce or with lettuce on a toasted whole-wheat roll.


Recipe #5: Chicken Sandwiches

Ingredients: One chicken breast, whole-wheat bread, romaine lettuce, and cranberry sauce or honey mustard.

Directions. Slice chicken for sandwiches. Serve hot or cold on whole-wheat bread, open-faced or closed. Add romaine lettuce for crunch. Spread cranberry sauce or honey mustard for extra flavor.


Recipe #6: Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches

Ingredients: Shredded chicken, BBQ sauce, whole-wheat buns.

Directions. Add BBQ sauce to shredded chicken and serve (hot or cold) on whole-wheat buns.

Shopping List

The list below is for the meal plan above. Purchase the following items in amounts to suit your family's needs, and adjust the recipes as needed. Some of the following might be staples in your home; if not, consider having them on hand in order to make easy family meals in minutes.

Dairy

  • 1 container low-fat Greek yogurt, plain

Grain

  • 1 package corn or whole-wheat corn tortillas

  • 1 package whole-wheat burger buns or rolls

Protein

  • 5–6 lb large bone-in chicken breasts, with skin

  • 1 dozen eggs

Vegetables

  • 1-lb package corn, frozen

  • 1-lb package green beans (any style), frozen

  • 1-lb package mixed vegetables, frozen

  • 2 carrots

  • 2 onions, medium

  • 1 bunch celery

  • 1 bunch green onions

  • 1 head romaine lettuce

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce

  • 1 piece fresh ginger

 

Miscellaneous

  • 1 can chilies, diced 4 oz

  • 1 can black olives, chopped or sliced 4 oz

  • 1 can enchilada sauce, 10 oz


Items to  keep in your pantry or refrigerator

  • Soy sauce, low-sodium

  • Mayonnaise, low-fat

  • Salt and pepper

  • Canola oil

  • Raisins

  • BBQ sauce

  • Honey mustard

  • Whole-berry cranberry sauce, canned

  • Chicken bouillon, low-sodium

  • Black beans, canned or dry

  • Brown rice, instant

  • Salsa


Measuring hint: Use measuring spoons and measuring cups, not tableware, for more accurate results.

Abbreviations for terms:

  • Tbsp = tablespoon

  • tsp = teaspoon

  • qt = quart

  • lb = pound


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