Thursday, December 13, 2012

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

We love chicken in our house because it is yummy, very versatile and somewhat affordable. It is also Shane's meat of choice for his "tone and sculpt" plan. (ok so I just love how special he is and really I am not making fun of him) I generally try to find boneless, skinless chicken for less than $2 a pound. These days it is getting increasingly difficult, even looking into Zycon or Costco so when I found some for $2.30/lb I got all the had... two packages. I frozen one because Shane will BBQ that for lunches on the weekend. With the other package, which I think was about 3.5 pounds or 5/6 breasts, I was able to look on the monthly menu plan and figure out what chicken type dinners I had coming up and chop from there. Since the breasts are usually very thick I slice them in half, like a top and bottom part. Then I either chopped up into bite sized pieces or froze whole. For less than $9 in chicken I made four meals that will serve at least two adults and two children.

Parmesan Chicken (which actually served 5 adults and 2 kids, and enough for a leftover lunch too!)
I cut the halved breasts in half (except one that was a little smaller) and dipped in 1/2 cup flour, then egg, then 2/3 cup parmesan and italian breadcrumb mixture. I sauteed on both sides for a few minutes until golden brown then turned down to medium low and dumped a jar of spaghetti sauce and covered to simmer for about 20 minutes. Add shredded cheese or parmesan on top and serve over spaghetti noodles.

Chicken Stuffing in the Crock Pot 
Make packaged stuffing as directed on package (these are super cheap during the holidays) and spread into greased slow cooker. You can also add raisins or other fruit you have on hand at this point if desired. Lay out the four chicken breasts on top of the stuffing and slather on apricot jam or some other sweet glaze. Cook on high for three hours or until the chicken is cooked through.

Chicken and Dumplings
Sauté chicken with carrots, onion and celery in large pot until cooked through. Add at least two cups chicken broth (or two boullion cubes and two c. water), salt and pepper, rosemary, basil and garlic and simmer for 30 minutes. You can also add whatever frozen vegetables you want to use up or even potatoes for a heartier dish. To make dumplings I use about 1 c. four, 1/2 t. salt, 1 t. baking soda and 2/3 c. milk. Add more flour if it seems too runny. Plop the dough in the pot by the spoonful and cover for another 15 minutes. The dumpling dough will make the soup seem nice and creamy without adding any cream.

Chicken and Peanut Noodles
Sauté chicken on medium high heat with 1 T. oil. Add chopped onions, chopped carrots and maybe a zucchini or pepper or other harder vegetable. Once cooked through remove from pan. Add equal parts soy sauce, vinegar, and chicken broth (maybe 2 tablespoons each or more). Add 1/4 cup peanut butter. This is one of the few times I will actually use crunchy because the pieces of nuts add interest. Add salt and pepper to taste. Once a sauce forms add back in chicken and vegetables and simmer for 10 minutes. If you have sugar snap peas around, add them at this point too. Serve over spaghetti noodles.


  1. We do this too. I filet the breast after cutting in half too and with one breast I do stir fry and bits for tacos . The other I do chicken parm and I usually do chunks for another tyype of stir fry meal. we are only 2 adults and a hungry child but it helps to stretch it otherwise you waste so much. I do this with beef stew too. I stretch one package to two meals by adding thick potatoes and whole mushrooms.. still meaty and goes abit longer

    1. Filet, that's the word I was trying to think of!

  2. Chicken and Peanut noodles sounds awesome! I usually cook up most of my chicken as soon as I buy it, then freeze it in 1 cup portions. I can then pull a bag out of the freezer and use for a 'quick' dinner with an added bonus, we don't use as much meat this way. We use this for quesadillas, fried rice, soup, tacos, you name it.
    Thanks for posting, I'm going to have to try some of these recipes.

    1. Using precooked chicken makes getting dinner on the table so much faster and easier. With one cup portions in the freezer it's easy to make something last minute if your dinner plans change too.

  3. I would like to share that I have found that my local grocery store puts bone in chicken breasts on sale for a dollar a pound quite frequently. When they do that I buy enough to last for months. I cut the chicken breast off the bone, then remove the chicken tender. I then boil the bones to get the small pieces of chicken that are left to put in a casserole. I come out with at least three meals from each chicken breast plus a nice pan of fresh chicken broth to use for soups and etc. I find this to be much cheaper then 2.oo a pound for the boneless skinless even with the wasted ounces of skin and bone that I throw out.

    1. That is a great idea, thanks! I used to have an aversion to meat on the bones ( I still can't eat ribs :( ) but I am getting better about it. I love to throw whatever bones or skin or whatever is left with at least 4 cups of water in a crock pot on low over night and end up with really rich stock for nothing.

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