Saturday, October 19, 2013

k's everything chicken

Katlyn {or as I like to call her – K} was my roommate for two years, often my classmate and my matron of honor. She is still my best friend, even if she lives forever away in Missouri.

Our senior year of college, we lived with six other girls in a townhouse. Yes, that’s a lot of girls in such close proximity. For the first time in our college careers, we were free from the cafeteria and had our very own kitchen. For some {like me}, this was a tremendous blessing. For others, well, it was a different experience.

You see, Katlyn eats like a five-year-old. Don’t worry, she knows I am not making fun of her – she would tell you the same thing. Her favorite foods are all orange – macaroni & cheese, chicken strips, mandarin oranges, grilled cheese, goldfish crackers, fries, etc. But in the townhouse, she was known for one specific meal: chicken breast covered in cheese grilled on the George Foreman. I think one week she ate it every night for dinner.

Left Photo Credit: Jordan Brittley Photography
Right Photo Credit: Kourtney Allyse Photography

Katlyn and I are still in very similar stages of life. She was married a month before me – so we’re newlyweds in new-ish jobs figuring out how to implement our new budgets. About a week ago, Katlyn posted a question on Facebook asking for easy recipes to include in her meal plan.

Well, Katlyn, this is my delayed – sort of long – response to your Facebook post. I’ve compiled a week’s worth of recipes centered on a variation of your signature dish. I’ve named it after you: K’s Everything Chicken. Hope you enjoy!

Sunday: Grocery Shopping Day

Here’s a list of what I bought at the grocery store. You might already have some of the seasonings and cooking oils, so you won’t need to purchase those.

-6 chicken breasts {you could buy frozen, but you would have to wait for them to thaw and they don’t have as much meat.} -$12
-Lime Juice {Found in a bottle near the cooking oils}-$2
-Chili Powder - {I have a large canister from Sam’s Club} - $5
-Olive Oil - $8
-2 Sweet Potatoes {or substitute with regular potatoes} - $2
-1 package of brown rice - $3
-1 pepper {green or red} - $1
-1 yellow onion - $1
-1 jar of minced garlic - $3
-1 bottle of toasted sesame oil - $9
-1 bottle of soy sauce - $3
-1 small carton of eggs - $2
-1 bag of shredded cheese {your preference} - $4
-1 jar of pizza sauce {your preference} - $3
-1 can of pizza dough - $3
-tortillas {corn or flour} - $3
-1 can of black beans - $1
-Salad - $4

I may also buy fruit, yogurt, cereal, milk, peanut butter, bread and dark chocolate – depending on what we need - to add to leftovers for breakfasts and lunches throughout the week. I included some “big city” grocery store prices, so these things should be cheaper at your neighborhood Walmart. This should leave your grocery bill under $75, and you won’t need to buy a couple of these items every time.

Sunday Night: Marinate Your Chicken

I told you this was a variation of your signature dish, and this is where it varies. If you marinate your chicken before you grill it, it will come out oh-so-juicy and tasty. I use this incredible Chili Lime Chicken Marinade from The Honour System, and it takes less than five minutes. I tripled the recipe, because I marinated six chicken breasts.

-9 tbsp olive oil
-6 tbsp lime juice {I just bought a bottle of lime juice instead of limes}
-3 cloves garlic, minced {I also just bought a jar of minced garlic}
-3 tbsp chili powder
-salt & pepper to taste
-6 chicken breasts

1. Mix all of the ingredients together well.
2. Pour over chicken and massage well.
3. Leave them in the fridge overnight.

Monday Night: Chili Lime Chicken + Veggie

Just take the marinated chicken out of the fridge and grill it all. It’s been warm enough that Daniel could cook it outside on the grill, but for the winter months, a George Foreman would work just as well. Or, you could also cook it in a pan or bake it, but that would take longer.

Set two chicken breasts aside for dinner, and place the rest in Tupperware container in the fridge. We paired our chicken with these Roasted Sweet Potatoes from For the Love of Cooking, but I know Katlyn isn’t a fan of sweet potatoes, so other options include: green beans, a side salad, regular baked potatoes OR french fries.

And Katlyn, this marinade is so delicious by itself that you won’t need to top it with cheese.

Tuesday Night: Chicken Fried Rice

This recipe is another favorite from The Honour System. I know Katlyn and her husband are big Chinese food fans, so they will be happy to hear that this is an easy and healthy recipe that doesn’t sacrifice on taste.

2 tbsp toasted sesame oil*
1 pepper, chopped {red or green, whatever is cheaper}
1 onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced {from my handy jar}
2 eggs
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cooked chicken breast, chopped {use one from the fridge}
¼ cup soy sauce {make her faux soy sauce, or do like I did and use the regular kind}

*Not going to lie, toasted sesame oil is expensive. But you absolutely need it for this recipe, and I promise you will like this dish enough to cook it over and over again and make this purchase worth it.

1. Prepare all your ingredients – cook your rice, chop your vegetables, cut up your chicken.
2. Heat sesame oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add onions and peppers and sauté until tender. {Set aside some of your peppers and onions in a Tupperware container for later in the week.}
3. Add in minced garlic and stir.
4. Crack eggs over vegetables and stir, mixing well.
5. Once eggs are cooked through, add rice, chicken and soy sauce and mix together until heated through.

If you cook your rice and chicken ahead of time, this meal will take you less than 30 minutes to cook. I am also considering substituting the onions and peppers with a bag of frozen stir-fry vegetables, but I have yet to try that out.

Wednesday Night – Chicken Pizza

Daniel and I always have homemade pizza on Wednesday nights. We usually top our pizza with pepperoni, but this week we got the opportunity to mix it up! I don’t have a specific recipe for this pizza, and there are endless variations. So, I will tell you what we used and also give you alternatives. I usually pair this with a side salad.

-1 cooked chicken breast {from your fridge}
-1/2 packages of shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese {or whatever you prefer}
-3 tbsp of Arrabbiata Sauce {or marinara or BBQ sauce}
-1 can of pizza dough {found near the biscuits and cinnamon rolls}*

*If you want to be adventurous, Daniel and I buy Fleischmann's® Pizza Crust Yeast and follow the ingredient list and directions on the back of the package. It gives me a good reason to use my beautiful Kitchenaid mixer – and now that I am familiar with the recipe, it takes us less than 30 minutes to get a dinner on the table.

Thursday Night – Quesadillas and/or Chicken Tacos

So, confession time, I would probably never eat this much chicken in one week. I usually break it up with red meat, salmon, tilapia or even shrimp. But, I promised a week’s worth of meals. Thursday is actually our small group night, so I don’t cook a full meal. However, we did eat these on Saturday night, when we were scraping together ingredients to come up with a full meal.

-8 corn tortillas
-2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese {or Mexican Mix}
-1 chicken breast, chopped
-1 can of black beans, rinsed
-1 chopped onion {leftover from Chicken Fried Rice}
-1 chopped pepper {leftover from Chicken Fried Rice}

Do I need to tell you how to make quesadillas? I just used the George Foreman, sprayed it down with cooking spray, placed one tortilla on it, covered it in the toppings, placed the other tortilla on top, and closed the grill. I took it off when the cheese was melted and the tortillas were crispy.

Friday – Date Night

We like to go out and eat at least once a week. When you take your own lunch to work and school and cook dinner every night, you can afford one night out a week.

Saturday – Leftovers

If you’re counting, you know that you have one chicken breast still left. I chopped half of it up and put it in a garden salad for lunch one day. I have also used this marinated chicken to make chicken salad for lunch. I have also chopped it up and eaten it inside a sweet potato with cheese and chives {kind of like a sweet potato chicken spud}. You could also mix it in with macaroni and cheese or put it on pasta with marina sauce. The possibilities are endless.

If you’re still reading this far, the point of this post is that it’s a great idea to have cooked chicken on hand. It makes cooking faster, which is ideal if you work 7 to 5 like Katlyn does.

Love you and miss you, K! I hope these help. I'll probably be sending more your way via snail mail.

Do you have any recipes that would be perfect to use K’s Everything Chicken?


  1. Even "old dogs" learn new tricks! Loved this week of K's chicken recipes.

  2. Even "old dogs" learn new tricks! Loved this week of K's chicken recipes.

    1. Glad you liked it! And glad I can share some cooking knowledge with you - it's usually the other way around!

  3. I am stealing these to use "someday" when I am in need of chicken recipes :)

  4. loved this post! Such a good way to budget/ cook for a whole week! Your blog is so cute!

    1. Thank you, Jordan! I'm still learning, but planning like this has helped me a lot.