Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cheap and Easy Meals with Chicken

Stir-fry is a great way to use chicken breasts.
Photo by Sura Nualpradid

Today we scored a really good deal on chicken breasts.  We got a 10-pound bag of frozen chicken breasts for $1.66 per pound.  That’s a lot of chicken at a really good price.  So, what are our plans for all that chicken?

Chicken Tacos
  • 1 lb. chicken breasts (frozen is okay)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • Soft or hard taco shells
  • Favorite taco toppings

Place the chicken breasts in the crockpot.  Mix the taco seasoning and chicken broth together.  Pour over the chicken.  Set to low and cook for 6 to 8 hours. 

When chicken is ready, shred with forks.  You can add in another pound of chicken breasts to have leftover meat for nachos or enchiladas.

Poor Man’s Cordon Bleu

  • 1 lb chicken breasts
  • Laughing Cow cheese wedges, or cream cheese
  • Ham lunch meat
  • Shake ‘n’ Bake or bread crumbs

Flatten the chicken breasts using a meat mallet.  Spread each breast with a cheese wedge, or about 2 tbsp. of cream cheese.  Place a slice or two of the lunch meat over the cheese.  Roll each chicken breast and secure with a toothpick.  Cover outside of the chicken in Shake ‘n’ Bake mix or bread crumbs.  Place in a baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake at 375 F for 45 minutes or until done.

Mexican Chicken Soup with White Beans

  • 1 lb. chicken breasts
  • Onion
  • Minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried cumin
  • 2 15-oz. cans white kidney beans
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • Cheddar cheese

Cook chicken breasts in a nonstick skillet with about 2 tbsp. of olive oil until they are no longer pink on the outside.  Place in a slow cooker.  Add a little more olive oil to the pan and cook onion (however much you like, I use about ¼ of a sweet onion), a clove or two of minced garlic, oregano and cumin, just until the onion is soft.  Add this mixture to the slow cooker. 

Drain and rinse the kidney beans, then add to the slow cooker, along with the broth.  Stir well. 

Cook on low for about 8 hours.  When cooking time is complete, use forks to shred the chicken.  Mash beans against the side of the crockpot with a large spoon to thicken the soup.  Garnish with shredded cheese.

Chicken Stir-Fry

  • 1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • Assorted fresh vegetables, we like carrots, snow peas, celery, mushrooms, sliced
  • Canned, sliced water chestnuts

Sauce ingredients:
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. ketchup
  • 2 tsp. minced ginger
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil

In a large skillet or wok, cook chicken in 1 tbsp. vegetable oil or wok oil over medium-high heat until cooked through.  Add vegetables and cook until desired texture is reached.  Add water chestnuts.  Mix sauce ingredients together and add to pan.  Cook a minute or two until sauce thickens slightly.  Serve over hot rice.

What are your favorite ways to use chicken breasts?


  1. I actually don't use the chicken breasts as often as the boneless chicken thighs, they are cheaper and have a better flavor than the breasts (I like dark meat though). I will make chicken fajitas, chicken tacos, chicken with pasta and veggies, chicken cheese steak sandwiches, chicken and rice, chicken and noodles, chicken salad, BBQ chicken sandwiches (like pulled pork but with chicken), chicken teriyaki, chicken fingers, green salad with cooked chicken, and chicken stew.

  2. I actually prefer the taste of chicken breasts, but we do use thighs occasionally when I find a really good deal. Gavin has an Alton Brown book that has a FANTASTIC recipe for chicken thighs. It's probably loaded with calories, but it's absolutely to die for. It's nice how versatile chicken is!