Rotisserie Chicken Budget Meal Prep
When meal planning on a budget, you can say goodbye to elaborate menu options such as salmon, filet mignon, and shrimp which can cost upwards of $10/lb. However, this does not mean that you can’t have delicious yet healthy meal options at your disposal. If you have a wholesale grocery store membership, one of the most cost effective protein sources is a fully cooked rotisserie chicken, where a 3-4lb whole roaster fully cooked can run as low as $5.99 in some stores. I typically do 90% of my grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s with the occasional stop to a local discount grocery store such as a Shop Rite. You can just as easily prepare your own rotisserie chicken with the use of a crock pot following these simple instructions.
Purchase a whole roaster chicken
The chicken featured here came out to $1.49/lb for over 5lbs of quality protein. This should last one person at least 5 days using this as the primary protein source outside of breakfast and post-workout meals assuming you are on a high protein diet. Trader Joe’s has great variety when it comes to groceries, however may not be the most economical option for purchasing a whole chicken. One can most likely find one under $1.00 per pound if you are on a tight budget at a local economy grocery store. Although you are paying for some pieces that won’t be used, this recipe does yield pounds of chicken at least 50% cheaper than deboned chicken breast.
Crock Pot Recipe Ingredients:
- 5lb Whole Roaster Chicken
- 3 lemons sliced
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp thyme
- 2 tbsp black pepper
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1.) Remove plastic wrapping , twine, and any internal pieces from the chicken’s internal cavity. Rinse entire chicken thoroughy. Place in a plastic grocery bag.
2.) Take 2 full lemons and slice into quarters.Place inside the cavity of the chicken along with 6 cloves of garlic.
3.) In a zip lock baggie, combine all spices (with the exception of the garlic, lemon, and bay leaves). Enclose contents and mix /shake well.
4.) Take the spices and liberally rub them all over the chicken (which is placed inside of a plastic bag to prevent thespices from getting all over the place. Once thoroughly “rubbed” place chicken, breast side up in a crock pot and cover.
5.) Set on “low” for 4-6 hours.
6.) Once cooked, line a baking sheet with foil and gently spray with olive oil.
7.) Set the over to broil and cook the whole roaster chicken under the broiler for 2-4 minutes (just long enough to crisp up the skin). Watch the chicken carefully to ensure you don’t burn it.
8.) Allow chicken to cool, then with a knife and fork remove all the meat from the chicken and place into a large tupperware, just leaving the bones behind. This should yield 4-5 lbs of meat. This is a great base for a meal plan for weight loss and makes a variety of amazing, yet affordable meal options.
Christine Hronec is the Owner and food scientist of Gauge Girl Training LLC, an online meal planning, training, and coaching service; and also the owner of Gauge Life LLC, a dietary supplement based out of Philadelphia.