| 2 Birds are Better than 1

Author / John

Weave Sunday Supper into Leftover Magic. . .

Many people shy away from cooking a whole chicken and opt for boneless, skinless (often tasteless) chicken breasts.  Cooking a whole bird need not be a daunting task, will save you money and begets more than 1 meal.  Using the whole animal has many benefits beyond the protein found in the muscle meat.  Start with quality birds and we’ll keep it as simple as possible. . .

This basic Sunday meal will also create two quick and delicious weeknight dinners.  I attempt to slow it  down on the weekends and usually spend a little more time in the kitchen but once the rooster crows Monday morning it’s back at it.


2, 3 1/2-4# chickens (pastured or natural)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
fresh or dried thyme
1 lemon, halved
3 tsp grass fed butter or ghee

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Rinse your chickens under cool fresh water and pat dry.  Tie the legs together with some twine and tuck the wings under.  Place birds breast side up and facing in opposite directions in a large roaster with rack*.  Rub 1 1/2 tsp butter under the skin of each chicken.  Squeeze a little juice from each lemon halve over each bird; sprinkle about 1/2 tsp of salt into each cavity and place 1 lemon halve and a sprig of fresh thyme inside if using.  Sprinkle the outside of the birds with sea salt, freshly ground pepper and fresh or dried thyme to taste.

Bake at 375 for approximately 1 1/2 hours or until thermometer inserted in thigh registers 175.  Let stand 10 min before serving.
*A good stainless steel roaster is well worth the investment.  I’ve had mine since 1985 and it keeps on cooking.

I served with steamed Brussels sprouts in a Mustard Cream Sauce; depending on the season green beans are also nice


1 lb fresh organic Brussels sprouts
1/4 cup raw cream
2 tbs gf butter
1 tbs Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp sea salt
Couple of dashes of Crystal

Remove any discolored leaves from the sprouts.  Cut off the stem end and slash the bottom of each with a shallow X.  Place in a small amount of boiling water; cover, reduce heat and simmer 8 to 12 minutes or until tender.  Drain and set aside.  Melt the butter over low heat in a small saucepan, add the mustard, sea salt and Crystal and cook stirring until slightly thickened.  Turn off the heat and quickly stir in the cream.  Pour mixture over Brussels sprouts, toss and serve immediately.

NOW for the leftovers. . .

De bone any remaining chicken and set aside for 2 meals later this week.  Take the bones, skin, back, necks–everything left and place in a large Ziploc bag and put in the freezer.  Save any juices in the pan; place in a mason jar or other container and also freeze.  We will be making stock in a few weeks.  We will use all of this.  Divide the leftover meat into 2, 2 ish cup portions and refrigerate until use.

Leftover Meal #1:  Save yourself some chemicals and preservatives and make your own. . .

Chicken & Yellow Rice (training day)


2 cups leftover shredded chicken
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic finely diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup sliced green olives w/ pimientos
3/4 – 1 tsp ground tumeric (to taste)*
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup white organic rice (Basmati, Aborio or Jasmine)
2 cups water
1 tbs healthy fat (chicken, duck, lard, tallow or coconut oil)

Melt fat over medium heat and saute onions and peppers until tender.  Add garlic and saute 1 minute.  Turn heat down to medium low; add rice stirring until slightly opaque.  Pour in the water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, add reserved chicken, olives and spices.  Stir well.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until most of the water is absorbed and rice is tender.  Remove from heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes.  Enjoy!
*the turmeric is what will give the rice the “yellow” color; much better than the food dyes along with MSG that comes in most commercial brands.  Experiment with the amount to suit your taste.

Leftover Meal #2:  It’s hump day (Wednesday) and after 2 days of hard work and heavy training you need some active recovery both in and outside of the kitchen.

BLT Chicken Salad (rest day meal)

2 cups leftover shredded chicken
3+ cups assorted organic greens (romaine, leaf, bibb or butter lettuce)
1 ripe avocado, halved, seeded and peeled
2 ripe tomatoes, sliced
3 tbs homemade may (sub 2 tbs evoo)
1 1/2 tbs fresh squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup chopped green onion
4 slices bacon, crisp cookd and crumbled
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Build yourself a base on 4 plates with your selection of greens.   In a separate bowl coarsely mash the avocado with a fork, add the mayo or olive oil, lime juice, sea salt and pepper to taste.  Stir to combine.  Add the chicken, some chopped green onion and 1/4 cup fresh cilantro.  Stir gently.  Place on the bed of greens, add the sliced tomatoes and top with the crumbled bacon  Minimal prep and minimal clean up should leave you plenty of time for a good nights sleep cause tomorrow’s another balls to the wall training day!

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John Welbourn is CEO of Power Athlete and Fuse Move. He is also creator of the online training phenomena, Johnnie WOD. He is a 9 year veteran of the NFL. John was drafted with the 97th pick in 1999 NFL Draft and went on to be a starter for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-2003, appearing in 3 NFC Championship games, and for starter for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2004-2007. In 2008, he played with the New England Patriots until an injury ended his season early with him retiring in 2009. Over the course of his career, John has started over 100 games and has 10 play-off appearances. He was a four year lettermen while playing football at the University of California at Berkeley. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Rhetoric in 1998. John has worked with the MLB, NFL, NHL, Olympic athletes and Military. He travels the world lecturing on performance and nutrition for Power Athlete. You can catch up with John as his personal blog on training, food and life, Talk To Me Johnnie and at Power Athlete.


  1. Lewis Jones on April 1, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Nice one Paula, recipes look great. Better get me some birds!

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