Looks Like We’ll Be Having Chicken

 

I was greeted this morning by a front page article in my local newspaper that was yet another reminder that we’ve had one of the harshest and coldest winters in recent memory. This is true in my home state of Michigan and in many other parts of the U.S. too that saw lots of sub-zero temperatures and giant snowbanks everywhere.  Here at my house we had one crazy snowbank that was almost up to the roof!

winter 2014 snowbank

The newspaper article focused on how the cattle farmers struggled to keep their herds warm and fed and had to spend more money this winter than they usually do. I can imagine it felt like a never ending battle against the relentless cold and snow.  It sure felt that way to me and it must have been really rough when you’re looking after hundreds of cows too. And now the winter’s effect on cattle farming is being reflected in our prices, as well as prices being affected from a nationwide cattle shortage.

Then my eyes couldn’t help but drift down to this statistic in the article:

Average retail cost of beef:  $5.25 Per Lb

chicken ideas

{ Yikes! }  My recent trips to the store and the weekly grocery ads confirm this too.  Beef Rib Roast?  $6.49 Lb   Beef Sirloin Steak?  $5.99 Lb   Even an ordinary chuck roast is $3.79 Lb.  It makes me feel old as the hills to remember the good old days when I would watch for certain cuts of beef to go on sale for 99 cents a pound.

So what to do?

Looks like we’ll be having chicken.

Three Easy Sauce Ideas for Chicken

Maybe you’re experiencing the same kind of beef prices where you live.  And maybe, like me, you’re trying to keep the grocery budget under control and need some frugal options for awhile (like chicken!).  So today I thought I would share some of my quick and easy sauces for chicken that help me put a meat and vegetable dinner on the table without too much cost or fuss.

I almost always buy the bags of frozen chicken tenderloins at Aldi.  The cost is reasonable and the smaller size of the tenders cook up a little faster than the larger chicken breasts (and even that little bit of cooking time can help out a lot with busy work night suppers). Even though I use these sauces with chicken tenders, they could also be used with breasts, thighs, or drumsticks.

chicken sauce recipes

Cooking Time Note:  For the recipes below, I place about 8 thawed chicken tenders in a glass baking pan, top with the sauce, and then bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  You will have to adjust the cooking time as needed if you are using a different cut of chicken.

Sauce Idea #1 – Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 1 heaping tablespoon sour cream

  • 1 heaping tablespoon mayonnaise

  • 1/4 cup pesto (I buy prepared pesto in a jar)

  • grated parmesan cheese

Combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, and pesto in a small bowl.  (When measuring the sour cream and mayonnaise, I just use a soup spoon to scoop out a good sized, heaping spoonful – so I really don’t measure! ) .  Put the pesto sauce over your chicken pieces and then sprinkle some grated parmesan over the top of that.  See cooking time note above, or cook as needed for the type of chicken pieces you are using.

 

Sauce Idea #2 – Parmesan

 Ingredients:

Combine the mayonnaise and grated parmesan cheese in a small bowl.   Spread the sauce over the chicken pieces, and then sprinkle with breadcrumbs.  Italian breadcrumbs can be used for this recipe too.  See cooking time note above or adjust as needed for the type of chicken pieces you are using.

This recipe doesn’t look like much, but it really is tasty!

 

Sauce Idea #3 – Italian Dressing

Ingredient:

  • Bottled Italian Dressing

This is my fall back chicken strategy when I’m in a hurry.  It’s quick, easy, yummy, and works great on the grill too.

Place your chicken pieces in a baking dish and squirt some bottled Italian dressing over them. About 1/4 to 1/2 of the bottle will usually do it.  If cooking on the grill, I place the chicken pieces in a foil pan, and then squirt the dressing over them.  See the cooking time note above or adjust as needed for the type of chicken pieces you are using.

Italian dressing is an excellent marinade for chicken pieces as well.

 

More Ideas for Chicken

Still want a few more ideas for chicken?  Here’s a list of some of my other chicken recipes that you can check out:

Salsa Chicken – I always serve this with homemade Spanish Rice

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas – a great Saturday night supper

Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore – I love, love, love this one!

Fake Shake & Bake – that’s right  – make your own 🙂

Chicken Seasoning Spice Blend –  works perfectly with the next recipe below

Make Your Own Rotisserie Chicken – A crockpot strategy for cooking a whole chicken

Homemade Chicken Nuggets – includes ideas for 3 dipping sauces too

homemade chicken nuggets with dipping suaces

Need a few more bright ideas?
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  1. We need to stop eating red meat altogether. Check into how the beef is raised and then how it is slaughtered and processed and then decide whether or not you want to keep eating it.