$10 Weekday Gourmet: Amazing chicken recipe from fridge to table in less than 45 minutes (Serves 4-6)

If you know me well you know that one of my favorite words is “cheap”… not in the sense that I like low quality things. I’m actually quite the opposite. I tend to like very high quality things (food, clothing, jewelry, vacations) but I do my best to acquire these things at cheaper prices than most people would pay.

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My approach to food is no different. I love dining out at high quality and highly recommended restaurants. But I’ll be honest. I can’t afford to eat out every night and honestly, I don’t think I’d want to. I like cooking way to much and after a long day of work, it’s sometimes nice to just chill at home.

I think most people are like me. People want food that tastes a good as possible, as quickly as possible, and as cheaply as possible. I want to start sharing some recipes that I’ve found that have allowed me to do just that!

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As I’m writing this post, I’m sitting here eating a meal that I’ve made TWICE (yes, I said it, twice) in the last week. The Sheet Pan Chicken and Mushrooms with Parsley Sauce recipe by Food & Wine has been my favorite and I wanted to share this meal and recipe with you. I have a few suggestions for how to make this recipe as quickly and cheaply as possible and the best side dishes to pair it with.

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This recipe is delicious and it really is easy. The parsley sauce combined with the roasted lemons is a match made in heaven…. And yes, you heard that right. you CAN eat roasted lemons. Skin and all. Just make sure you slice them thin and remove any seeds.

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I’ve been blessed to live in a town where I have an abundance of grocery stores that are all pretty close together. My husband and I try to stick to a strict budget of about $70 a week for ALL our groceries. We eat at home at least 5 nights a week and I bring my lunch to work from home as well…. All that to say is that we have quite a few meals to make with a relatively small budget. I have to take advantage of all the stores in the area to create delicious meals without going over budget. I’d honestly rather save money on food and put some of our savings in our vacation fund.

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For this recipe we did our shopping at Nam Dae Mun Farmers Market in Smyrna, Georgia. I warn you, you can get some great deals here but the shopping experience is always an… experience. But again, for me, it’s worth it for the savings.

I spent $8.13 plus tax for most of the recipe ingredients (I had garlic, olive oil, and red wine vinegar in my pantry).

  • 6 boneless/skinless chicken thighs: $3.95
  • 1 Bunch of Parsley: $0.69
  • 16 oz of White Mushrooms: $2.49 (This is cheaper than the mushrooms suggested in the original recipe)
  • 1 Lemon: $1.00

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Tonight I paired this recipe with mashed potatoes. The first time I made it I served it with Garlic Quinoa and broccoli (we always have quinoa in the pantry and broccoli in the freezer). Regardless, I suggest serving with a carbohydrate  and a green veggie.

My steps for getting this recipe plus two side dishes on the table in less than 45 minutes.

Step 1: Preheat oven AND empty sheet pan to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2: Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Step 3: Place chicken and olive oil on pan and let roast for 5 minutes.

Step 4: Cut mushrooms and lemons while chicken is roasting. Toss with olive oil.

Step 5: Add mushrooms and lemons to pan with chicken and allow to roast for 30 additional minutes.

Step 6: Prepare quinoa as outlined on package. I suggest cooking in chicken broth instead of water.

Step 7. Chop parsley and garlic and mix all ingredients for the sauce.

Step 8: Cook broccoli as desired when there’s just 5 minutes left for the chicken to roast (microwave or stove top with salt and pepper is easiest).

Step 9. Serve and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! To find the recipe for Sheet Pan Chicken and Mushrooms with Parsley Sauce please CLICK HERE.

Enjoy!

Protect the Pantry: Croutons

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Last week I posted an introduction to my “Protect the Pantry” series. If you didn’t have a chance to read it, please do so by CLICKING HERE!

The goal of this series is to create dialogue and conversation around food waste. There as so many ways we can grocery shop in our own kitchens and create food and meals with items we already have. I also want to encourage you to recycle or re purpose foods you might otherwise toss out.

Recently I purchased a loaf of Italian bread. I’m not sure why, but I did. By the end of the week i’d used only half the loaf, with no intention of using the rest. As I was sitting there meal planning for the week I wanted to find a way to re purpose this slightly stale bread.

Then I remembered, there’s almost no better way to re purpose bread than using it for croutons. Here are 4 simple steps:

Step 1: Tear or cut leftover bread to bite sized cubes.

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Step 2: Toss in olive oil, melted butter, or a combination of both — being sure not to saturate the bread.

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Step 3: Season — I typically use Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese but be sure to try your own flavor combination.

Step 4:Toast in a 400°F oven for 5-10 minutes until your desired crispiness! Enjoy on top your salad or as a snack! Store in an airtight container. 

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I decided to base my weekly meals around ingredients that I could use in multiple recipes and that used ingredients I already had in my pantry and fridge. I settled on a Black and Blue salad as a backdrop for my croutons.

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My salad was inspired by Creme de la Crumb. I used romaine lettuce, skirt steak, caramelized onions, tomatoes, avocado, and croutons. I topped with Honest Fare’s Guitless Blue Cheese Dressing

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Whole roasted chicken with beets, red onions, and peaches…. That’s right, peaches.

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About 2 weeks ago a profile I follow on Instagram, posted a picture of a roast chicken with thyme and peaches. I was so excited to see such a good looking bird that I immediately took a screen shot of the photo in hopes of making it later that week. A couple days later I visited the blog but unfortunately the recipe was nowhere to be found. So at that point I was stuck. I could try to search the depths of the internet to find the exact recipe, or I could just make something similar on my own… Challenge accepted!

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I bought a huge bag of red onions at Aldi a week ago and at the time I’d only used one onion. I knew I needed to use the rest before they spoiled so I figured I’d use red onions in my recipe. Previously I’ve made salmon with grilled peaches and red onions so I knew the flavors would mesh well together.

All week I’d had a craving for beets because, well, I love roasted beets. I figured I’d try to throw some of those into my recipe and that’s how this meal came to life.

If you know me personally you know that although I enjoy eating well and exercising… sometimes I just need something super buttery and unhealthy. So this recipe is a little bit of both. I took the fiber and folic acid from the onions, vitamin c and vitamin a from the peaches, and the fiber and vitamin c from the beets, combined it with the high protein chicken and added a touch of BUTTER. And by a touch of butter I mean, an entire stick. I’m not ashamed either.

This recipe was really good (probably because of all the butter). The prep for the meal is pretty easy. I peeled my peaches but you don’t have too, so that can save you a little time. Most of the time for this recipe is spent watching it make in the oven.

I roasted my chicken in a cast iron skillet. I don’t know if there’s any scientific proof behind this, but I believe anything cooked in a cast iron skillet tastes 5x better than if it were made in a more “traditional” type of cookware.

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If you don’t like beets and peaches, switch it out for apples and potatoes, or some other root veggies. This is roasted chicken and veggies at it’s finest. Make this recipe your own!

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You will spend a little time basting the chicken, but as a result it ends up coming out of the oven as a rich red color! It’s beautiful easy and delicious. Serve with a side salad and you’re done!

Enjoy!

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  • Difficulty: Intermediate
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Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 large beets, peeled and cubed
  • 3 medium peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 3 medium red onions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 stick of butter, halved
  • 1 whole chicken (4-5 lbs), butterflied (spine removed)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F
  2. Combine beets, peaches, and onions, and olive oil in the bottom of your cast iron skillet (set aside a few peach slices and onion slices for a garnish). Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Top the beets, peaches, and onions with a few sprigs of thyme.
  4. Using the microwave, melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a medium bowl.
  5. Add garlic powder, thyme, salt, onion powder, and nutmeg to the melted butter. Stir to combine.
  6. Cover the entire chicken with the butter mixture, being sure to coat the outside of the chicken, inside of the chicken, and if possible, under the skin as well.
  7. Set the chicken, skin side up, on top of the beet, peaches, and onions.
  8. “Decorate” the chicken with the extra peaches and onions that we set aside earlier.
  9. Place a few additional thyme sprigs between the chicken wings, and legs.
  10. Place skillet in oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  11. While the chicken is baking, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter.
  12. After the chicken has baked for 30 minutes glaze the top of the chicken with the remaining melted butter.
  13. Let the chicken cook for 20 – 30 minutes more (until the internal chicken temperature reaches 165° F) while basting the chicken every 5-7 minutes. Basting the chicken with the pan juices will give the chicken a red coating (from the beets) and will distribute the juices back into the chicken.
  14. One the chicken is roasted, turn your oven to broil and place chicken under the broiler until the skin reaches a desired crispness (2-3 minutes).
  15. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before carving.