Friday, September 7, 2012

Chicken.... Delicious Chicken

I don't know about you, but I'm always trying to find new things to do with chicken. There are a couple of reasons for this:

1) Le Spouse of the Fussy Persuasion refuses to eat much else;
2) It's a good low-fat protein option;
3) It's affordable; and
4) It's pretty versatile.

But since I've been with my husband for over 20 years, (23 to be exact), there are only so many times you can make stir-fry chicken, chicken sandwiches, chicken parm, chicken salad, or oven roasted chicken without going insane. My favorite kind of chicken, for the record, is a roast whole chicken. Makes the entire house smell fantastic, it's super easy to make, and the meat falls right off the bone if done right. Whole chickens are also pretty inexpensive and I'm able to pull about 3 meals out of one bird for the 3 of us.

Aside from that tangent, tonight I found a new recipe to add to my chicken bag o'tricks.

The September 2012 issue of Cooking Light magazine features flavorful entrees for less than $2.50 per serving. You know I'm all about the budget meals that are tasty, and are good for us, so I was very pumped to receive this issue.

The recipe I made for dinner tonight was Chicken with Honey-Beer Sauce. Let me tell you something, this recipe was not only super-easy to make, it was also very inexpensive and it took 20 minutes. 20 minutes! And the sauce is FANTASTIC.

Only problem with this recipe was that Le Spouse and I don't drink. And finding just 1/2 cup of beer that the recipe calls for was rather difficult. I don't know if you are aware of this, but most stores do not sell single containers or bottles of beer. And I didn't want to purchase an entire 6-pack when nobody in the house would drink it. Of course, I only looked in grocery stores for it. I probably could have found a tall boy in a convenience store somewhere. Do they sell single cans of beer? It's been a long time since I've bought any and I don't usually look in the convenience stores to check.

I decided that I would substitute 1/2 cup of chicken broth for the 1/2 cup of beer the recipe calls for, and it worked beautifully - gave the sauce a buttery, rich flavor and probably reduced the overall cost of of the dish.

Link to the recipe is here:

It was great - involved barely any chopping, and according to Cooking Light, only costs $2.36 per serving. The only thing I did a bit differently was to pound the breasts down to about 1/2" thickness using saran wrap and a meat mallet, because you want to be sure all the chicken cooks evenly.

The only caution I might have for novice cooks is that you will have to reduce the sauce, which can be daunting. Be sure to keep an eye on it and stir it frequently. When it starts to thicken, add the chicken back to the pan and flip until it's fully coated in the mixture.

It was so delicious that words fail me. Buttery, oniony, tangy but sweet - and the chicken was very moist. I served it with a mixed green salad covered in a light Italian dressing.

I want to make it again and again. If you are a fan of chicken, and are running out of ideas - definitely give this recipe a try. Totally worth it. A solid 5 out of 5 stars. 

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