Every two weeks I buy a bag of individually frozen chicken breasts, usually from Aldi. At that store a 3 lb. bag costs me $5.49. That’s the best deal I’ve found by far. Compare that to Walmart’s 2.5 lb. bag at $6.99.
Normally there are 5-6 good/decent-sized chicken breasts in that bag. That means I can either get three 2-person one-breast-each meals or six one-breast-cut-up meals. Usually we have a mixture of each of those options, resulting in about 4-5 meals per bag. Not a bad deal all around!
Since chicken breasts are one of the main protein options on our new gluten-free, low fat, low cholesterol eating plan, we are frequent eaters of this ingredient. (We were even before those recent changes, though.) Of course, we’re still on a fairly tight grocery budget, so that always factors into things as well. (When will ever NOT be on a tight budget, I ask?!) I like to stretch that chicken as far as it will go.
Here are some of our preferred chicken dishes nowadays:
-Chicken & Rice: one cut-up chicken breast for every two people, rice (either 1 cup long-grain or 2 cups Minute depending on how much time I’ve got), can of low fat cream soup (if going gluten-free, there are recipes to make your own cream of mushroom soup - http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/05/homemade-cream-of-mushroom-soup.html - or even Walmart has a version you can substitute that’s only $1.50 for a box), 1 cup water (unless using the gluten-free box kind, which is not condensed).
-Chicken, Onion & Potato Bake: one chicken breast per person, potatoes cut into chunks, onion cut into wedges, onion soup mix (Lipton’s is gluten free!), 3 T water. Mix it all together & bake. Easy, low fat, gluten free & delish.
-Salsa Chicken: one cut-up chicken breast for every two people, jar of salsa, served over rice. (I used to add a dollop of sour cream but we forgo that with the new diet plan & we haven’t missed it!)
-Chicken Pasta: one cut-up chicken breast for every two people, jar of pasta sauce, gluten free pasta. (We’ve only tried Quinoa brand’s Veggie Curls pasta, but we’ve LOVED it!! Can’t tell a difference at all. We haven’t heard great things about Tinkyada Brown Rice pasta options, though.)
-Onion Chicken: one chicken breast per person, pkg onion soup mix, 1/3 cup Miracle Whip, breadcrumbs (yes, you can get gluten free ones, though we haven’t tried them yet.) Mix the soup mix & Miracle Whip, spread onto the chicken breasts, top with breadcrumbs & bake. Yum.
-Chicken Marsala: one cut-up chicken breast for every two people, 1 pkg fresh mushrooms, 2 cloves fresh pressed garlic, ½ cup Marsala wine, 1 T lemon juice, served over rice. We used to serve it over Uncle Ben’s Long Grain & Wild Rice mix, which is tasty, but since that’s not gluten free, we now do regular rice or a gluten-free rice mix. Trader Joe’s has a Basmati & Wild Rice mix that we’ve tried & it’d be great with it or you can use just plain rice too.
-Italian Chicken: one frozen chicken breast per person, 1 bottle of Italian dressing. Marinate in fridge for 2-3 days as chicken thaws. Grill, bake or broil.
-Poppyseed Chicken Stir-fry: one cut-up chicken breast for every two people, ¾ cup creamy poppyseed dressing (we like Kraft’s), 2 cloves fresh pressed garlic, ½ tsp ginger, ½ T dried basil, served over rice or in salad with baby spinach, diced cucumber, red peppers & broccoli slaw mix.