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Five Dinners In One Day: Heat ‘N Eat

Written by Emily Buys

Five Dinners In One Day: Heat ‘N Eat


Back in July I told everyone that I was planning to make five dinners in one day so my family could heat ‘n eat them while I was at BlogHer. I am not always this organized of a wife and mother, but I thought it would be kind of fun. I got some of the recipe ideas from Rachael Ray, on an episode I saw YEARS ago! I always wanted to try the whole “creating a bunch of dinners on one day” thing, and going out of town by myself for 5 days was the perfect opportunity.

I would have posted these recipes sooner, but the pictures were nowhere to be found. I was so totally bummed because creating five dinners in one day is actually a lot of work, and I really wanted to share it with you all. The pictures were discovered today on my parent’s memory card, so you all are in luck! Be prepared that if you decide to do this, you will have a different take on chicken, every night for 5 nights. It is definitely a lot of work to do this, but think about it this way – all of the hard work is done in one day, and dinner won’t be a hassle for nearly a week!

Most of these meals do actually freeze well, if you want to space them out. I made these in advance, and freezed them all except for the Chicken Salad. I didn’t know how it would freeze, so I had my family eat it early on in the week. Just make sure you take the meals out of the freezer in plenty of time for them to thaw before cooking. The deeper dishes may take a couple of hours.
Are you ready for this? I hope you can keep up! I will post everything in the printable recipe version, to help with your shopping lists, but I will also post instructions with the pictures.

Your 5 meals will be: Chicken and Veggies, Roasted Chicken Shepherd’s Pie, Tomatillo Chicken Corn Enchiladas, Chicken and Veggie Pasta, and Chicken Salad

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Five Dinners In One Day: Heat 'N Eat
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 for 5 meals
 
Recipe for making 5 dinners in one day, to heat 'n eat throughout the week.
Ingredients
  • 3 3 to 4-pound whole chickens, remove and discard gizzard bag
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus additional for drizzling
  • 2 large onions, thickly sliced
  • 2 lbs peeled mini carrots
  • 1 head garlic, peeled
  • 3 pounds small Yukon gold or red skin potatoes, halved or quartered (little ones left whole)
  • 6 cups chicken stock, divided
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 4 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 stick butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 package frozen peas
  • 1 16-ounce jar store-bought tomatillo salsa or green salsa, divided
  • 1 package frozen corn, defrosted
  • 8 flour tortillas
  • 1 lb pepper jack cheese, grated, divided
  • 1 pound rigatoni or pasta of your choice
  • 5 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus additional for drizzling
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 2 medium-sized zucchini, cut in half lengthwise then sliced into half moons
  • 3 Tbs all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream (you can also use milk or half-and-half)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • ¼ of the cooked roasted chicken, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup grapes, sliced in half
  • ⅓ cup slivered almonds
  • 6 croissants (may need to freeze until ready to use)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Using two roasting pans or 9x13 pans if your chickens are small enough, place the onions, carrots and garlic in the first roasting pan and the Yukon Gold potatoes in the bottom of the second.
  3. Add 1 cup of chicken stock to each roasting pan and season everything with salt and pepper.
  4. Place two chickens on top of the veggies and the remaining one on top of the potatoes.
  5. Season the chickens with salt and pepper, and drizzle a little EVOO over each one.
  6. Place the roasting pan with the 2 chickens into the oven and roast for 1½ hours, basting with the pan juices every half hour or so. The second pan with the one chicken will also cook for 90 minutes, and you will do this just in time to eat for dinner on the first night.
  7. While the chickens roast, cook up the Idaho potatoes for the Roasted Chicken Shepherd's Pie, and the pasta and sauce for the Chicken & Veggie Pasta.
For the potatoes:
  1. Place the peeled and quartered Idaho potatoes in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Place over high heat, bring up to a bubble and boil for about 12 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Drain and return them to the pot to dry out a little.
  2. Add the 1 stick of butter and ½ cup milk to the pot, and mash potatoes with a fork or potato masher. Add more milk if you would like creamier potatoes. Season with salt and pepper, and reserve until you are ready to assemble the Roasted Chicken Shepherd's Pie.
For the Chicken & Veggie Pasta:
  1. Fill a large pot with water and place over high heat to bring to a boil, for cooking the rigatoni. Once boiling, add some salt and the pasta, and cook them halfway through to al dente, according to package directions. Cooking the pasta only halfway will prevent it from being too soggy the day you're ready to eat it.
  2. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Give the pasta a good size drizzle of EVOO, toss and reserve until ready to assemble the Roasted Chicken Primavera.
  3. Place a large skillet over medium heat with 3 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 3 tablespoons. Add the sliced zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring every now and then for 2 minutes. Remove the cooked zucchini from the pan and set aside. The zucchini can also be steamed instead of sauteed.
  4. To a new skillet, add 2 tablespoons of EVOO, the 2 Tbs butter and the 3 Tbs flour to make a roux.
  5. Cook the flour for a minute or so, then whisk in 2 cups of the chicken stock and 1 cup of cream. Bring up to a bubble and simmer for a couple of minutes to thicken.
  6. Season with salt, pepper and a small amount of nutmeg, remove from heat and reserve alongside the pasta and zucchini.
When the chickens have finished roasting:
  1. Remove them to a platter and loosely cover them with foil. Allow them to rest for 10-15 minutes. When they're cool enough to handle, remove all the skin and then the meat from the bird.
  2. Shred the chicken meat and divide it into four equal portions. Remove all but ⅓ of the veggies from the pan and chop them into bite-size pieces. Divide them into two portions and reserve.
  3. While the chickens rest, prepare the gravy: To a skillet over medium heat, melt 2 Tbs of butter and 2 Tbs of EVOO.
  4. Once the butter melts, add the ¼ cup of flour and cook for a minute or so.
  5. Whisk in the remaining quart (4 cups) of chicken stock, bring up to a bubble and simmer for a couple of minutes to thicken. Remove from heat and reserve.
Assemble the Roasted Chicken Shepherd's Pie:
  1. Combine one of the four reserved chicken portions and one of the two roasted veggie portions, 2 cups of gravy and the defrosted peas together in a large oven-safe casserole dish.
  2. Top with the mashed potatoes, spreading them out evenly across the surface of the dish.
  3. Wrap well in plastic wrap, let cool completely and store in the refrigerator.
Assemble the Chicken & Veggie Pasta:
  1. Combine the other reserved veggies portions, the zucchini, rigatoni and one of the reserved chicken portions in an oven-safe casserole dish.
  2. Pour cream sauce over everything and give it a little stir to get the sauce down in the dish.
  3. Sprinkle the top with the grated Parmigiano cheese, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
  4. Let cool completely and store in the refrigerator.
Assemble the Tomatillo Chicken Corn Enchiladas:
  1. Combine the third reserved chicken portion with ½ the jar of tomatillo salsa, the defrosted corn and half of the pepper jack cheese (1/2 lb).
  2. Place about 3 Tbs of the chicken mixture at one end of a tortilla. Tuck the edges around the filling and roll it up. Continue until you have used up all of the filling and tortillas.
  3. Place the tortillas seam side down in a casserole or any oven-safe dish, laying them side by side.
  4. In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of the gravy and the remaining salsa. Pour gravy-salsa mixture over the enchiladas and top with the remaining half of the cheese.
  5. Wrap it up well, let cool completely and refrigerate.
Assemble Chicken Salad: Combine the last of the chicken with the mayonnaise, grapes and slivered almonds.
  1. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Put remaining reserved veggie portion into a small container and refrigerate. This will be used for dinner on night one.
Serving Dinner for Day 1:
  1. When you are ready to serve tonight's dinner, cut the last chicken into 8 pieces: 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, and each breast cut in half.
  2. Divide the chicken pieces between dinner plates and serve with the roasted potatoes and the reserved veggies you left in large pieces.
  3. If the gravy has thickened up by the time you're ready to eat, thin it out with a little chicken stock and serve alongside.
Serving Dinner for Day Two: Roasted Chicken Shepherd's Pie
  1. Remove Shepherd's Pie from fridge 30 minutes prior to dinnertime. Heat in a 400°F oven until warmed through and the top begins to brown, about 30-40 minutes.
Serving Dinner for Day Three: Tomatillo Chicken Corn Enchiladas
  1. Remove enchiladas from fridge 30 minutes prior to dinnertime. Heat in a 400°F oven until warmed through and the cheese is browned, about 15-20 minutes.
Serving Dinner for Day Four: Chicken & Veggie Pasta
  1. Remove pasta from fridge 30 minutes prior to dinnertime. Heat in a 400°F until warmed through and the top is brown and crispy, about 30 minutes.
Serving Dinner for Day Five: Chicken Salad:
  1. Remove chicken salad from fridge and serve with sliced croissants.
 


Preheat oven to 375°F.
Using two roasting pans or 9×13 pans if your chickens are small enough, place the onions, carrots and garlic in the first roasting pan and the Yukon Gold potatoes in the bottom of the second.
Add 1 cup of chicken stock to each roasting pan and season everything with salt and pepper.

Place two chickens on top of the veggies and the remaining one on top of the potatoes.

Season the chickens with salt and pepper, and drizzle a little EVOO over each one.
Place the roasting pan with the 2 chickens into the oven and roast for 1 1/2 hours, basting with the pan juices every half hour or so.
While the chickens roast, cook up the Idaho potatoes for the Roasted Chicken Shepherd’s Pie, and the pasta and sauce for the Chicken & Veggie Pasta.
For the potatoes: Place the peeled and quartered Idaho potatoes in a large pot and cover them with an inch of water. Place over high heat, bring up to a bubble and boil for about 12 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Drain and return them to the pot to dry out a little.
Add the 1 stick of butter and 1/2 cup milk to the pot, and mash potatoes with a fork or potato masher. Add more milk if you would like creamier potatoes. Season with salt and pepper, and reserve until you are ready to assemble the Roasted Chicken Shepherd’s Pie.
For the Chicken & Veggie Pasta: Fill a large pot with water and place over high heat to bring to a boil, for cooking the rigatoni. Once boiling, add some salt and the pasta, and cook them halfway through to al dente, according to package directions. Cooking the pasta only halfway will prevent it from being too soggy the day you’re ready to eat it.
Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Give the pasta a good size drizzle of EVOO, toss and reserve until ready to assemble the Roasted Chicken Primavera.

Place a large skillet over medium heat with 3 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 3 tablespoons. Add the sliced zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring every now and then for 2 minutes. Remove the cooked zucchini from the pan and set aside. The zucchini can also be steamed instead of sauteed.

To a new skillet, add 2 tablespoons of EVOO, the 2 Tbs butter and the 3 Tbs flour to make a roux.
Cook the flour for a minute or so, then whisk in 2 cups of the chicken stock and 1 cup of cream. Bring up to a bubble and simmer for a couple of minutes to thicken.
Season with salt, pepper and a small amount of nutmeg, remove from heat and reserve alongside the pasta and zucchini.

When the chickens have finished roasting, remove them to a platter and loosely cover them with foil. Allow them to rest for 10-15 minutes. When they’re cool enough to handle, remove all the skin and then the meat from the bird.
Shred the chicken meat and divide it into four equal portions. Remove all but 1/3 of the veggies from the pan and chop them into bite-size pieces. Divide them into two portions and reserve.
While the chickens rest, prepare the gravy. To a skillet over medium heat, melt 2 Tbs of butter and 2 Tbs of EVOO.
Once the butter melts, add the 1/4 cup of flour and cook for a minute or so.
Whisk in the remaining quart (4 cups) of chicken stock, bring up to a bubble and simmer for a couple of minutes to thicken. Remove from heat and reserve.

Assemble the Roasted Chicken Shepherd’s Pie: Combine one of the four reserved chicken portions and one of the two roasted veggie portions, 2 cups of gravy and the defrosted peas together in a large oven-safe casserole dish.

Top with the mashed potatoes, spreading them out evenly across the surface of the dish.
Wrap well in plastic wrap, let cool completely and store in the refrigerator.

Assemble the Chicken & Veggie Pasta: Combine the other reserved veggies portions, the zucchini, rigatoni and one of the reserved chicken portions in an oven-safe casserole dish.
Pour cream sauce over everything and give it a little stir to get the sauce down in the dish.
Sprinkle the top with the grated Parmigiano cheese, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
Let cool completely and store in the refrigerator.

Assemble the Tomatillo Chicken Corn Enchiladas: Combine the third reserved chicken portion with 1/2 the jar of tomatillo salsa, the defrosted corn and half of the pepper jack cheese (1/2 lb).

Place about 3 Tbs of the chicken mixture at one end of a tortilla. Tuck the edges around the filling and roll it up. Continue until you have used up all of the filling and tortillas.
Place the tortillas seam side down in a casserole or any oven-safe dish, laying them side by side.
In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of the gravy and the remaining salsa. Pour gravy-salsa mixture over the enchiladas and top with the remaining half of the cheese.
Wrap it up well, let cool completely and refrigerate.

Assemble Chicken Salad: Combine the last of the chicken with the mayonnaise, grapes and slivered almonds.
Refrigerate until ready to use.
Put remaining reserved veggie portion into a small container and refrigerate. This will be used for dinner on night one.
Serving Dinner for Day 1: When you are ready to serve tonight’s dinner, cut the last chicken into 8 pieces: 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, and each breast cut in half.
Divide the chicken pieces between dinner plates and serve with the roasted potatoes and the reserved veggies you left in large pieces.
If the gravy has thickened up by the time you’re ready to eat, thin it out with a little chicken stock and serve alongside.
Serving Dinner for Day Two: Roasted Chicken Shepherd’s Pie
Remove Shepherd’s Pie from fridge 30 minutes prior to dinnertime. Heat in a 400°F oven until warmed through and the top begins to brown, about 30-40 minutes.
Serving Dinner for Day Three: Tomatillo Chicken Corn Enchiladas
Remove enchiladas from fridge 30 minutes prior to dinnertime. Heat in a 400°F oven until warmed through and the cheese is browned, about 15-20 minutes.
Serving Dinner for Day Four: Chicken & Veggie Pasta
Remove pasta from fridge 30 minutes prior to dinnertime. Heat in a 400°F until warmed through and the top is brown and crispy, about 30 minutes.
Serving Dinner for Day Five: Chicken Salad
Remove chicken salad from fridge and serve with sliced croissants.

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Emily Buys

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