Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Chicken on the Cheap

Trying to eat delicious, healthy food on a budget? Planning affordable meals is easier than you think. First, cut back on going out and learn to prepare simple dishes at home. Second, pick meals that utilize low-cost, healthy ingredients. Remember, cooking from scratch is better for your body and your wallet than going out or buying frozen meals.

One of the greatest ingredients to start cooking with is chicken. Sure, you can get tired of eating the same thing every night, but with such a variety of cheap chicken recipes out there, you can enjoy this meat regularly without boredom.

Each of these three recipes (which make 2 servings each) is under $3 per serving:

Chile-Crusted Chicken
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs (make your own with some toasted wheat bread!)
  • 1/2 tsp. chile powder
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix together breadcrumbs and seasonings.
3. Coat chicken with sour cream.
4. Dip chicken in crumb mixture.
5. Bake chicken for 15 - 20 minutes or until cooked through.

White Chicken Chili
  • 1 bonless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (with chilies if you prefer)
  • 1 can white beans (like cannellini)
  • 1 cup chicken broth (or water)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp. flour or cornstarch
1. In a large pot, saute garlic and onion
2. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces and add to pot
3. Continue cooking until chicken is no longer pink
4. Add tomatoes, beans, and chicken broth and bring to a boil
5. Stir in seasonings and let simmer 25 minutes
6. Add flour / cornstarch while stirring until chili thickens

Lemon Garlic Chicken
  • 2 chicken breast halves or 4 chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
1. Mix together all ingredients except chicken.
2. Place chicken in glass baking dish.
3. Cover with mixture and let marinate at least 20 minutes.
4. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

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