Cheap chicken recipes: 7 money-saving ways to cook chicken
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.
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.
- 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 small jar strawberry jam
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- Whisk these ingredients together and pour over the chicken just before you put it in the oven.
Honey Mustard Chicken
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 jars of salsa of your choice
- Pour over the chicken just before you put it in the oven.
Sweet and Sour Chicken
- 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
- 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.
- After 45 minutes, add the drained pineapple and cook 5 minutes more.
Chicken with Peaches
- 1 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1 large can peach slices, drained
- Whisk the juice, honey, vinegar, and parsley together and pour over the chicken just before you put it in the oven.
- After 45 minutes, add the drained peaches and cook 5 minutes more.
Pesto and Parmesan Chicken
- 1/2 cup pesto sauce 1/2 cup
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- Spread the pesto over the chicken just before you put it in the oven.
- After 45 minutes, sprinkle with the Parmesan and cook 2 to 3 minutes more.
- 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
- Combine all the ingredients.
- Marinate the chicken in this mixture for several hours.
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
- Drain the chicken (discard the marinade) and place on a greased broiling pan. Bake 25 minutes.