Homeschool lunch ideas: One chicken, three ways

As we enjoy the last couple weeks of summer, fall is nipping at our collective subconscious. Whether or not you're going to be homeschooling kids in the fall, being inventive with meals is a universal life goal.

Busy working parents and people on the go can turn leftovers into reinventions, all just as delicious as the first meal. I hope to make this the first post in a series, where every few weeks, I drop in a new idea on how to whip up quick meals with leftovers. And I'm going to keep it zesty!

Night one: Roast chicken (buy the biggest one you can find!)

  • Preheat the oven to 375
  • Slather a chicken (breast side down on the roasting pan, to keep it moist) with a generous amount of melted butter and Lawry's Seasoning Salt
  • Top it off with sliced lemons, both laid atop and stuffed inside the chicken
  • Roast and baste every half hour, for at least 1 3/4 hours, until the skin is golden and crispy

After you enjoy dinner, pull the remaining chicken off the bone, and refrigerate it. Make a broth with the bones. Toss into a stock pot with a lot of water and let it simmer on low overnight. If possible, add depth of flavor with twigs of thyme, sliced carrots, onions and celery. 

Night two: Taco Tuesday!

  • Warm half of the remaining chicken in a skillet on low, with butter
  • Dust the chicken with cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper
  • In a separate pan, melt bacon fat, lard or butter in a hot skillet
  • Throw on corn tortillas, making sure both sides are glistening and slightly toasty
  • Salt one side lightly and place into a tortilla warmer
  • Chop up cilantro, onions, and secure a good hot sauce or salsa
  • Build your tacos and enjoy

    Night three: Greek lemon chicken soup

    The first two recipes were mine, but I'll admit to outsourcing when it comes to Greek lemon chicken soup: Avgolemono. It's a delicious way to introduce your kids to Greek cuisine. A good recipe can be found here - and you already have the chicken broth prepared from the first night! Don't worry about the chicken prep, either. You can toss in the remaining shredded chicken in the end. You can even soak the chicken ahead of time in lemon juice and thyme for extra oomph. 

    These three recipes embrace Americana, Mexican and Greek cuisine. Variety is the spice of life, and expediency in the kitchen is the secret to a stress-free workweek. Whether or not you are a parent, we are all in uncharted territory. The only thing I am sure of, is that we got this. Bon appetit!

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