Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

27 04 2011

Chicken. It’s what’s for dinner! At least it frequently is in my house 🙂 I know that I am not alone in saying that it is not always easy to “throw together” QUICK, HEALTHY and INEXPENSIVE dinners during the week. Whether you are busy studying to get your Masters, training for triathlons, vanning the kids around to soccer practice, or just plain lazy, what I am about to share to you will be a welcomed addition to your weeknight menu!

Introducing my 3 dinners in 1 roasted chicken. The original prep of the chicken is not very quick, but you can knock off some of your other around the house to do items while it roasts and it will save you LOTS of time over the course of the week!

All you need:

  • big ole’ chicken
  • 2 large apples
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 large onions
  • 1 lemon (halved)
  • fresh rosemary
  • salt and pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil

I got this 9 lb baby from our local big chain grocery store, the Giant. On occasion I buy organic chickens, but this guy looked pretty good and for $10 (on sale), I couldn’t turn it down. Some people get squeamish handling a big raw chicken, but I really don’t mind it. I took out (and threw away) the “delicacies” that were bagged inside the chicken. I chopped up the onions, apples and sweets into big bite sized pieces and coated then with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. I stuffed a handful of the chopped up veggies and fruit into the  chicken along with a few lemons which I had cut in half. I sprinkled the whole deal with generous amounts of salt, pepper and rosemary. Fresh Rosemary is AMAZING.

**side story- Last Christmas Chris bought me a Christmas tree that was made COMPLETELY out of Rosemary. You should have seen how my eyes lit up when I saw that tree! That is reason # 245532 why he is a keeper.

So, back to the chicken. A good rule of thumb is to roast a chicken at 20 minutes per pound at about 375degrees. My oven is completely screwy so its good to keep an eye on the chicken if you have a screwy oven. Mr 9 pounder took about 2 hrs 45 minutes to cook, but make sure that you stir the veggies in your roasting pan every 1/2 hour or so or they will stick to the bottom! You know when the chicken is complete by cutting a slice in the thick part of the chicken…it should be SLIGHTLY SLIGHTLY LIGHT LIGHT pink and the juices will be lowing out. Your kitchen house/apartment will smell glorious!

So…the chicken is done and your house is smelling like heaven. What to do with 9 lbs of chicken!?!? Answer- plan your weekly meals so that you don’t have to cook! 9 lbs of chicken made 3 dinners in my house (2 people…1 who is doing lots of triathlon training which results in lots of eating and the second who is eats 2-3 servings of everything at every meal). So…here were my Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday night eats last week!

Sunday Night: Fresh out of the oven roasted chicken, roasted sweet potatoes, apples and onions and sauteed green and yellow squash.

Tuesday Night: Mexican Chicken Salad: Mixed greens, black beans, corn,  shredded cheese, chopped up roasted chicken and salsa. (I also had lots of blue corn tortilla chips on the side. Blue chips are the best!)

Wednesday Night: Cold roasted chicken (I find it to be really tasty cold!), roasted asparagus and warm rolls. mmmm bread and butter.

So there you go! 3 nights of different chicken dinners that are healthy, quick and will not break your bank account. My grocery bill last week was about 25% smaller than usual! I would definitely call last week a week of winner winner chicken dinners!

Question of the Day: What is your favorite quick, healthy and relatively inexpensive dinner?