Value Pack Cooking

In today’s tough economy house cooks around the world are looking for ways to make the grocery bill stretch. I remember reading once that housewives in Greece were using Lays Potato Chips  to add to their dishes. Anything is possible if you think outside the box to save money. More and more these days leading grocery markets are tapping into the tough economy and offering customers “Value Packs”. These are essential big ticket items in large quantities. Last weekend, I bought a value pack of chicken breasts at Fresh Co. Usually I would use all the pieces in one dish however this week I decided to stretch that value pack of chicken into several dishes.

The package of chicken breast I bought had 5 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts ready for cooking. From this package of chicken I made four recipes all in one day. Yup! I was a busy little housewife yesterday. Here is a list of all the dishes I made.

Dish #1 – Simple Chicken & Rice Soup

Dish #2 – Spicy Chicken Salad Sandwich Filling

Dish #3 – Roasted Chicken Breast

Dish #4 – Peanut Chicken with Noodles

For my son, Alejandro I made a Simple Chicken & Rice Soup instead of my usual Greek style chicken and rice soup to save time.

1 chicken breast
1 small onion
1 cube chicken stock
1/2 cup arborio rice
1. Boil the chicken breast and onion in a small stock pot for 30 minutes. Season with salt.
2. After 30 minutes remove chicken, throw in the cube of chicken stock and bring the soup base back up to a boil. Add the rice and continue boiling for another 30 minutes on medium-low heat. Stir together so that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
3. Meanwhile shred the chicken into bite size pieces. My son likes his chicken to be shredded really tiny. Once the rice has boiled add the chicken back into the pot.
4. If the soup is too thick boil 2 cups of water separately and add to the soup.
As I was shredding the chicken I soon realised that the amount of chicken I had for Alejandro’s soup was too much for the little guy so I separated the chicken into two equal parts. It is amazing how much chicken you can get from shredding. One portion I used for the soup and the other for a Spicy Chicken Salad Sandwich Filling. 1 tbsp mayonnaise, 1 tbsp prepared mustard, 1 tsp chili paste. Mix together and spread it on your favourite sandwich bread. Done!

Next dish I made was a simple Roasted Chicken Breast that I will use for my Classic Chicken Empanada Filling.

2 chicken breasts
canola oil
1/2 tbsp paprika
1/4 tbsp oregano
1/4 tbsp cumin
First, I preheated the oven to 425F. Then I marinated the chicken breasts with the canola oil and seasonings in a square baking dish until the oven was ready. I covered the baking dish with foil and roasted the chicken for 30 minutes.
The other recipe follows on the next posting. Stay tuned for my Peanut Chicken and Noodles.



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