Stretch your dollar and turn one of our value-size packages of chicken cuts into three or four filling mains for a family of four. Whether you’re buying value-size chicken breasts, thighs, or drumsticks, we’ve got recipes, tips, and inspiration to help you use up every piece. Here are some of our favourites.
Did you know that Health Canada sets 125 g (¼ lb) raw or 100 g cooked as an amount of meat typically consumed in one sitting? By these numbers, chicken, a good lean-meat option, can go further than you may realize, especially given that Canada’s Food Guide puts the focus on vegetables when it divides up a plate of food, followed by proteins and grains in smaller quantities. Here are some of our tips on how to get the most out of a package of value-size chicken pieces, keeping the above in mind.
Value-size chicken breasts
Turn our value-size chicken breast packages (eight or nine pieces per tray) into three or four filling mains for a family of four. You can stretch the protein by shredding or cubing cooked chicken breasts and adding to pasta, soups, salads, and sandwiches. (Health Canada states that cooked chicken is safe to eat for two to three days when stored in the fridge at 4°C/40°F or lower.)
- Seasoned and browned in a pan, chicken breast chunks can add a hit of protein and flavour to your dishes. Try it in our easy Mediterranean Chicken Spaghetti recipe or done-in-30-min., saucy Chicken Tikka Masala.
- Shred cooked chicken breast and add it to this big-batch recipe for mac ’n’ cheese—always a family favourite. You can also use shredded chicken breast in fajitas, rice bowls, stews, or grilled cheese sandwiches.
- Whether you’re grilling indoors or out, a marinated or glazed piece of chicken breast is one of the fastest, easiest ways to put a meal together. Try our Honey Garlic Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Creamy Coleslaw for dinner in a flash.
Value-size chicken thighs
Take the 16 to 20 chicken thigh pieces in our value pack and turn them into three or four meals for a family of four. You can slice or shred cooked thighs and use them in enchiladas and burritos, use leftovers for fried rice or in a quiche or top a pizza.
- Simmering chicken thighs in sauce, especially if you add grains, lentils, pulses, or veggies to the mix, is a great way to stretch your protein. This Easy Butter Chicken or Moroccan Chicken & Spinach Toss are delicious ways to do that; just add chopped cauliflower, potatoes, and carrots, and serve with rice or couscous.
- Braise chicken thighs with white beans in this easy one-pot Chicken & Bean Cassoulet for a taste of France. If you’ve got a smaller family, save leftovers for lunch or another dinner another day. Serve with a crusty loaf of bread and a salad to round out your meal.
- Bake chicken thighs with a panko-breadcrumb, salsa and cheese mixture using our Chicken with Crunchy Salsa Topping recipe. Serve with your choice of vegetable, salad, and rice to complete the meal.
Value-size chicken drumsticks
Eight or nine drumsticks in our value packs can turn into four dinners for a family of four. Use cooked chicken drumsticks cubed or shredded on a platter of nachos, in pasta salad and wraps, stuffed in cheesy baked crescent rolls or in a sheet pan dinner.
- Stew drumsticks with peppers and button mushrooms to make this Rustic Chicken Mushroom Stew that feeds a family of eight. Serve with a side of hot noodles and salad to fill up the gang and have leftovers for another meal. Or take leftover stew, shred the chicken off the bone and create a quick and easy lasagna. Don’t forget the cheese!
- Grill ’em up using this Crusted Grilled Chicken Drumsticks recipe that uses toasted breadcrumbs as a tasty coating they’ll love. Have leftovers? These would be perfect shredded onto a tray of nachos or rolled into a wrap.
- Take this one-pan Sweet & Sour Chicken Drumsticks with Broccoli and up the ante by adding cauliflower florets, frozen peas, and chopped carrots to this recipe to bulk up the dish. Serve with a side of steamed rice or hot rice noodles and you’re done like dinner.
Storing value-size packages of chicken
Not using all the chicken in one go? No problem. Here are some tips on how to store chicken pieces and cooked chicken dishes so they’re ready when you are!
- Portion value-size packages when you get them home. Divide them based on one meal’s worth of chicken pieces for your family. Then, place items in airtight containers or resealable bags. If you’re using a bag, try to get as much air out of it as possible to preserve freshness and prevent freezer burn.
- Label your bags and containers so you know when you froze the item and when you need to use it by.
- Chicken pieces should be consumed within six months. Remember: Food that has been thawed can’t be frozen a second time.
- Any frozen dishes containing cooked poultry can be kept in the freezer for up to six months.
- To prevent bacterial growth, defrost foods in the microwave or thaw in the fridge instead of on your kitchen counter. For more food storage safety tips, visit Health Canada.