One whole chicken-two meals or more!

Yes, foodie friends it can be done! I was able to make a purchasing error into a wonderful meal two different nights. I know I am not the first to do this but I do believe I did it with minimal work involved.

First let me tell you about the contest I have going at Facebook. At this writing, I have 198 fans, or people who “like” my Italian Mama Chef profile. Well when I get to 200, I am going to draw a name for a $10 gift card to So be sure to click on the FB link on the sidebar and become a fan.

Let’s get on to the recipes!  A friend and fan gave me this recipe the other day for chicken. I accidently bought a whole fryer chicken instead of a roaster. I am sure I could have roasted that chicken but something didn’t seem right about that. I know, weird. Oh well….I realized I had all of the ingredients for the recipe and with a few tweaks I had this wonderful dish for dinner.

The recipe-with my substitutions in bold

Chicken Bake Roma

1 3.5 pound chicken, cut into pieces. You can also use chicken breasts, or chicken thighs, any type works. You also don’t need to use the full amount of chicken for the recipe to turn out great.

1/4 teas salt
1/4 teas black pepper
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch chunks –I peeled mine since the skin was bitter when I used some the night before
2 cups halved mushrooms (smaller slices work fine too) –I used baby bella
1 can (28 oz) whole peeled tomatoes, coarsely chopped – I used 2 – 14 ounce cans of cherry tomatoes with their juice
1 medium yellow or red onion, chopped (roughly a cup)- I used sweet white
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped (or three TB of jarred minced garlic)
2 TB fresh basil or 2 teas dried basil
1 bay leaf

1. Pre-heat oven to 425. Rub chicken with salt and pepper. Put chicken in 13×9 pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Take out of oven. Reduce oven temp to 350. See my note below about cooking temps and time.
2. While chicken is baking, in a large bowl, combine zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, and bay leaf. Toss to evenly coat.
3. Spoon vegetable mixture over chicken. Cover pan with foil, bake for 35 minutes. Uncover pan and bake until chicken is golden and no longer pink, about 40 minutes longer. Remove bay leaf. Serve immediately.

Short cut: Omit baking in step 1. Pre-heat oven to 425 and bake as directed in steps 2 and 3.

My added note: This dish works fabulously over rice! The chicken gets so nice and tender, and you can also do this whole thing in your crock pot!

My notes- I didn’t have the time this recipe calls for and my oven cooks hotter than the temp set so I left it on 425 when I did step one. After I added the veggie mix, I covered it and put it in for another 30 minutes. All the chicken was done!  I served this with orzo pasta.
When I cut up the chicken, I saved the back and neck bones and the ribs and breast bones as I de-boned the breasts. I took those bones and boiled them with carrots, onion and celery for a rich broth.
Second meal became a soup and I didn’t use my own broth but the leftovers from the first dish. With the amount of chicken fat in the skin and the juice from the tomatoes, there was a nice broth-like liquid.  Be sure to store the chicken and veggie leftovers in separate containers.
Chicken Roma Soup
Leftover veggies saved from chicken bake Roma
Cooked chicken – I picked it off the leftover legs and thighs
1 can of drained and rinsed garbanzo beans
2 cups chicken broth
Put all into a put and allow to simmer for about 25 minutes and serve with crackers or bread.
I do apologize for not blogging too much this week. I have been dry, in the writing sense.  I guess we all go through dry spells and just have nothing to write that is of substance.  It’s ok. We are still waiting for the twins to make their entrance into the world. They are 37 weeks today and ready for life on the outside. 

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