Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Personal Chicken Challenge

I gave myself a personal challenge this week. Jon has a lot of invoices out right now that haven't been paid yet. So, my grocery budget is a bit shorter than normal. This isn't a sob story - we're not going to starve, I just have to be a little more creative than I might automatically usually be. So that's where my challenge comes into play.

Recently, I bought a whole chicken to make for dinner one night. The remaining meat from the chicken ended up being in most of our dinners for the rest of that week. So I wondered, could I do it again on purpose? Whole chickens are a lot cheaper than most other forms of meat, so that would definitely help stretch the budget!

Source (not my chicken - I forgot to take pictures for you)
After shopping my pantry, thinking through multiple ways I could use the same ingredients, and making several lists, I came up with a game plan.

$50, Six Dinners, 3 People, 1 Chicken

Think I can make it? I should note that's it's also a goal to put at least enough leftovers away each time for Jon to have lunch at work the next day. Thanks to Aldi, I hit my budget goal last night, including some lunchy-type things and some chocolate for Jonny. I don't think we can leave Aldi without chocolate for Jonny in some form.

Tonight's dinner was chicken and rice with veggies. I forgot to take a picture, but here's the gist of it:
1/2 onion
1/2 zucchini
1/2 yellow squash
1 medium carrot
1/3 green pepper
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
2 soup cans (from the cream of chicken) of chicken broth - I took mine from the crock pot where I had been cooking my whole chicken all day
1 soup can of rice (we always have jasmine around, but you could certainly use another kind)
salt to taste (I used seasoned salt)
1/2 chicken breast

I chopped all veggies and combined everything but the chicken in a large saucepan. Bring everything to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until rice is tender. I chopped the chicken and mixed it in at the end, because I had just cooked the whole thing in the crock pot today. Crock parts are fantastic things!

I should note that Gavrel didn't eat this with us tonight (other than a few bites from Jon's plate). He was getting really cranky while I was cooking it, so I went ahead and made him a quesadilla instead so he could eat quickly. Jon got home late and I waited for him to eat. I did, however, put away enough for a lunch for Jon on another day. So, I call meal #1 of 6 a success.

Stay tuned this week to see how the rest of my personal chicken challenge goes! And in the meant time, if you don't have a crock pot or a rice steamer (two of my most used kitchen appliances), check out mine on Amazon:

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