Whether you are a Single Mom or Dad, or a struggling student on a budget you can eat healthy, delicious restaurant worthy meals – & not break the bank.
For me as a Single Mom, sure it’s easy to buy prepackaged processed frozen breaded chicken cutlets or grab fast food.
Let’s not even get started on the nutritional nastiness but it does end up costing more if you think of what you are getting for your buck & what you are spending for the packaging etc.
Plus, my kids excited seeing amazing chicken marinating in the fridge for a couple of days, the smells in the house when it’s roasting, well, that’s worth it’s it’s weight in gold. Single Mom Win 😉.
Cooking a Delicious Healthy Meal for my small Family on a budget- it doesn’t have to be over complicated, just some time & a brine.
Organic chicken thighs & drumsticks are my favourites – sure everyone is keen on chicken breasts but thighs are so much more juicier (especially on the bone), more affordable too.
Organic does cost more but so worth the extra money bite for bite.
Making a simple brine/Marinade for the chicken is easy & makes for total chicken transformation. Trust me.
Use what you have at home. You’d be surprised what you have in your cupboard that can elevate your dinner in ways you’d never expect.
To be even more efficient & save time & money, buy lots of chicken thighs & drumsticks, make a big batch of brine & freeze portions in freezer bags that can be pulled out a day or two in advance & thaw in the fridge for those mental weeks. Because who has those right?
Why make the effort to make a brine if it doesn’t end up being the gift that keeps giving right? (Plus your kids will elevate you to Rockstar Status when you are effortlessly executing restaurant quality meals without blinking an eye).
For 6 pieces of chicken (usually what I make for my small family) I like this combination but if you like more heat add chilli flakes, if you like more zing, add more lemon – play around with flavours that your family likes.
The key is love & time. ❤️
For my 6 piece Brine/Marinade I add:
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp each of worcestershire & Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp grain mustard
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 good pinch dried rosemary
Fresh parsley, roughly chopped
A couple good pinches of salt & pepper
Bay leaves (dried or fresh)
A few cloves of roughly chopped garlic (a good pinch of garlic powder will do if you don’t have any fresh)
Whisk that together, add to a bowl. Add a touch of water. A true brine is mostly water but this is kinda a Marinade/brine hybrid.
Take your chicken & with a fork give the chicken a few good stabs so the flavours can get right in.
Add the chicken, give those babies a good back rub to get everything coated. Cover & let the chicken ‘Spa it Out’ for a couple of days in the fridge.
When it’s time to unleash your chicken dish, heat up a pan on med high heat. Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees.
Seat the chicken skin side down until golden brown.
Flip & put it in the oven to keep cooking for 20 minutes or so depending on how big the chicken pieces are.
Remove the chicken from the pan to a plate but for the love of God, do NOT throw away the rendered chicken fat at the bottom of the pan.
That stuff is gold. Pure roasted chicken gold.
Pour it off in a mason jar, stick it in the fridge. Ever roast potatoes with seasoned roasted chicken fat? Oh you know you want to. You know you do.
I serve these with orzo pasta (pennies per person) because it soaks up the juices so well but my favourite is White Cheddar & Chive Mashed Potatoes.
This kind of meal literally will cost about $1.25 per kid. Makes me feel like a Rockstar meets Mother of Dragons 😉.
Love Tamara ❤️👩🏻🍳🇨🇦