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We all know grocery prices have been soaring, but self-described "budget-inspired chef" and mom-of-four Lexy Rogers says that she can feed her family a delicious meal for less than two dollars a plate (not including basic panty items)! This one-pot braised chicken dish with onions, peppers and potatoes served over steamed rice is one of her favorite examples and takes less than thirty minutes to make. It's included in her new book, Break Bread on a Budget, which she created around her (catchy!) mantra: "My tastebuds are bougie, but my pockets are stingy."
Some of Lexy's tips for saving money in the kitchen include:
—Skip the pre-chopped garlic and do it yourself.
—Look for packs of peppers, which can be less expensive than buying them individually.
—Bouillon cubes mixed with water are much more economical than cans or boxes of broth or stock.
—Use chicken thighs instead of breasts.
—Make veggies and starches, such as rice, the "star" of the meal instead of meat. That's a big money-saver. Sides also help stretch the meal.
—Regrow used scallions by putting the root end in a jar containing a small amount of water. Lexy does it all the time and hasn't bought scallions in almost a year!
Melt butter in a skillet on medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add minced garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add onions, peppers, potatoes and ½ cup of the chicken broth.
Cover and cook for 15 minutes, briefly stirring at the 5- and 10-minute marks and returning the lid after stirring.
Season the chicken with Cajun seasoning, massaging it in until it has spread to all the pieces of chicken. (The chicken should look seasoned, but it shouldn't be completely covered; add more seasoning if needed.)
With a rubber scraper or spoon, move the onion mixture in the skillet to create small spaces for the chicken to touch the bottom of the pan. Add chicken to those spaces, spread the vegetable mixture over the top of the chicken and add the remaining 1 ½ cups chicken broth. Sprinkle Italian seasoning on top of chicken and veggies.
Cover and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. The chicken flesh should be slightly brownish-pink because it's dark meat, but definitely not bright pink. If you are ever concerned as to whether or not the chicken is cooked through, check the internal temperature and make sure it reads 165°F. The onions and peppers should be soft and the potatoes should slip off the end of a knife when punctured.
Wash the rice in a metal mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Pour the washed rice in a pot and add the 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. The rice should be soft and fluffy.
Serve chicken and veggies by the spoonful over cooked rice.
Excerpted from Break Bread on a Budget by Lexy Rogers. Copyright © 2023 by Lexy Rogers. Used with permission by Row House Publishing. All rights reserved.