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help me decide what to make for dinner tonight for 5 people :) on the cheap

Produce I have on hand:
carrot onion celery (mirepoix)
scallions
cilantro
lemons
garlic
onion

was thinking about roasting a whole chicken but they are all white meat eaters so dont' want any fights over the breast. ideas?

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  1. Roast just chicken breasts?

    1. Tilapia is usually pretty inexpensive. Make individual packets w/ your cilantro, scallions, lemon & bake "en papilotte" in foil or parchment.. Or do boneless skinless chicken breasts---bread or flour, then saute in pan on stove & make a pan sauce w/the lemon, cilantro etc & maybe degalze w/ white wine or vermouth--throw in a pat of butter at the end.

      1. Or if you're feeling for comfort food, make an "arroz con pollo"--the Cook's Illustrated version uses almost the exact ingredients you have on hand--just use bone-in breasts for your white meat lovers. With the addition of peas and sweet peppers, and rice to your ingredient list....you're basically good to go....CH also has a range of recipes for the aforementioned dish! This dish satisfies the "on the cheap' requirement for me, oftentimes!

        1 Reply
        1. re: unturtlesoup

          I too was going to suggest yellow rice and chicken. Once the chicken has been broken down, you can pull it and add it back to the dish, there will be little fight for white meat. It all kinda blends. Throw in some Cuban black beans topped with scallions and cilantro you you have a feast.

        2. Flatten boneless, skin-on chicken breasts. Sautee chopped bacon, adding the mirepoix once it renders some fat. Cool a little, then stir in spreadable cream cheese, preferably onion/chive or garden veg flavored. Put two tbsp of this mixture on the underside of each breast and roll up, skin side out, S&P, place seam-down in a baking pan and roast at 375 until skin is nicely browned. 45 min? The filling will ooze out a little and mix with the chicken drippins to form a rich sauce.

          2 Replies
          1. re: greygarious

            would this stuffing technique work with a pork tenderloin? if i slice it in half lengthwise then roll it up with the flling mixture?

            1. re: littlew1ng

              I would butterfly the tenderloin - that is, cut lengthwise about 2/3 through, then open it up and repeat on both sides so you can unfold the meat into a thinner rectangle, then spread mixture on and roll. Or if you're more confident with a knife, slice a lengthwise spiral, as though following the fillilng in a jelly roll.

          2. Do you have a grill? Make grilled Caesars! Might sound weird, try it, you'll be a convert. Split romaine heads in half lengthwise, keeping core intact. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper both sides. Grill on a hot grill 2-3 minutes per side. Serve whole. Drizzle Caesar dressing on top. Add shaved parm or Asiago, croutons. Added grilled chicken or shrimp if desired. Buy already cooked shrimp, and put 5-6 on a skewer and just heat on the grill, then set on top of the grilled half head of lettuce. Nice presentation. Serve with knife and fork. Everyone who tries this raves!!!

            3 Replies
            1. re: scuzzo

              I love grilled romaine. I also make it into a grilled greek salad as well.

              If you do roasted chicken breasts, I suggest buying bone in, salting them well and let them dry on a rack in the fridge a little bit, so the roast up juicy & crispy. Use the mirepoix for the base while the breasts roast, then when they're done, make a simply sauce with the drippings & vegs. Add wine to deglaze, chicken stock to oil, then reduce it. Add a vinegar at the end to brighten it, then sieve into your gravy boat. My kids love this recipe.

              1. re: Phurstluv

                Grilled romaine really is the best- my favorite salads include it!!

              2. re: scuzzo

                i am definitely going to do this for our salads. thanks for the great idea!