Cheap chicken recipes: 7 money-saving ways to cook chicken

Jen Klein

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When the weekly market circulars arrive on Thursday, I start considering meals for the coming week. Sometimes, if a particular item is on sale, I will be able to stock up and do some meal planning for subsequent weeks, too.

Save money by stocking up on chicken sales

This week, chicken drumsticks and thighs are on super sale. That means stocking up. That means chicken meals in the menu plans for the next several weeks. That can also mean boring unless I mix up the dinner recipes. Thankfully, it's easy to do just that with something as simple and versatile as chicken legs and thighs.

Chicken dishes can be simple and cheap

For the most part, making a meal with chicken legs and thighs - or split breasts - is simple and straight-forward. The oven is preheated, the chicken is browned on the stovetop before getting some sauce treatment, then baked. Beyond that, the hardest part of the process is deciding whether to serve the chicken over rice or noodles.

Chicken recipes

Here are seven chicken recipes - consider them a jumping off point for your own chicken creations. Six follow the basic procedure, while one is different and only slightly more effort, but worth it. All of them make the most of an inexpensive package of protein.

Basic procedure for cooking chicken

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In an oven-proof skillet, heat a small amount of oil over medium high heat. Brown 2 to 3 pounds of chicken pieces on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes a side. Drain any excess fat from the pan, add a sauce of some kind, cover and bake for 45 minutes.

1Strawberry Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 small jar strawberry jam
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions

  1. Whisk these ingredients together and pour over the chicken just before you put it in the oven.

2Honey Mustard Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter

3Salsa Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 jars of salsa of your choice

Directions

  1. Pour over the chicken just before you put it in the oven.

4Sweet and Sour Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with
  • 4 teaspoons water
  • Large can pineapple chunks, drained

Directions

  1. Whisk the rice vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, soy sauce and cornstarch slurry together and pour over the chicken just before you put it in the oven.
  2. After 45 minutes, add the drained pineapple and cook 5 minutes more.

5Chicken with Peaches

Ingredients

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 large can peach slices, drained

Directions

  1. Whisk the juice, honey, vinegar, and parsley together and pour over the chicken just before you put it in the oven.
  2. After 45 minutes, add the drained peaches and cook 5 minutes more.

6Pesto and Parmesan Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pesto sauce 1/2 cup
  • Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions

  1. Spread the pesto over the chicken just before you put it in the oven.
  2. After 45 minutes, sprinkle with the Parmesan and cook 2 to 3 minutes more.

7Tandoori Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

Directions

  1. Combine all the ingredients.
  2. Marinate the chicken in this mixture for several hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
  4. Drain the chicken (discard the marinade) and place on a greased broiling pan. Bake 25 minutes.

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