Recipes Thrifty Food

Oven-baked chicken – serves four

Feed your family for less than C£5

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For times when you can’t be bothered to cook (let alone eat), but you don’t want to waste food, and the family needs feeding.

I do a weekly meal plan, but it’s nice to be able to tweak it when the need arises, such as changed plans or moods. With a cancelled playdate yesterday and the need to feed all four of us instead of just the hubby and me, it was a case of rethinking the menu. So, peanut chicken for Wednesday (too complicated in this heat) was forfeited for oven-baked chicken with roasted carrots and potatoes, all thrown in to the roasting dish with some olive oil, garlic cloves and sage. The result was a mouth-watering dish of succulent chicken, soft-yet-crisp roasties and deliciously sweet carrots, served up with some steamed greens from the frozen section of Miss Penny’s kitchen. So easy, so lazy, and nice and thrifty, as it cost less than £5.00. 🙂 (NB – there is some cabbage in there too, I just didn’t mention it here because, as the hubby put it, it was a ‘bit ripe’. Our youngest and he both ate it, though, and the rest was very well-received!). See below for a cost breakdown:

Wholesome food on a budget
Oven-baked chicken – serves 4
  • Aldi skinless chicken thighs: £2.35
  • 1/2 bag Asda Baby potatoes: 40p (80p for a 1kg bag)
  • 2 x chopped Aldi carrots (approximately 200g): 10p (43p for a 1kg bag)
  • Approx. 150g Tesco Grower’s Harvest Frozen Sweetcorn: 13p (79p for 907g)
  • Approx. 150g Tesco everyday value frozen peas: 12p (69p for 900g)
  • Approx. 200g Tesco frozen spinach: 29p (1.30 for 900g)
  • 3/4 garlic cloves
  • A dash of olive oil

TOTAL COST: £3.39 (not including the garlic and olive oil) 

If you’re wondering how to make it, there’s not a great deal to it.

Place the chicken thighs, baby potatoes (cut to size), carrots and garlic cloves together in the roasting dish, and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle over some sage, and toss together before popping in the oven at about 180º – 200ºC depending on your oven, and bake for about an hour while you wander off and do something else (this is my favourite bit as I spend half of my life in the kitchen). Shortly before the hour is up, steam the frozen veg for about 5-10 minutes (the spinach will take a bit longer than the peas and corn). When the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are soft, crush the garlic between two spoons and stir the dish to distribute the flavour. Lastly, deliver it all to the table for everyone to tuck in, and enjoy!


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