Frugal Friday ~ {single girl cooking} Spicy Chicken Seasoning under $1!

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Its no secret by now that I like chicken, and I buy it in bulk, (see my first single girl cooking here-Mexican Chicken)!  I don’t know about you but I hate chicken when it has no seasoning or taste to it.  Here’s my go to seasoning that is a hit among my friends too!

Seasonings can be expensive if you buy a jar of already mixed spices for your chicken.  This will cost less than a dollar to make and will last a couple weeks if kept in a sealed container.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1 pkg of taco seasoning

DIRECTIONS:

  • Super easy…just mix it up!  I use about 1-2 tablespoons for a chicken breast.  This will get you 2-3 uses and I keep mine in my kitchen with other spices for the next time I use it.

My TIPS:

  • I usually dip my chicken (thawed) right in the seasoning but sometimes if I have a bit of milk left to use up or an egg I’ll use that first and treat it more like “breading” the chicken breast.   Either way works just fine, on most days I pat dry my chicken (I’ve already rinsed it off before I froze it) and then put the coating right onto the skin so its more like a coating than traditional “breaded” chicken breast.
  • I bake the breast at 350 degrees turning it after about 6 minutes and then cook until it reaches 165 degrees in the middle (buy a decent meat thermometer if you don’t have one) and then once done I let it sit for a few minutes so the juices stay in the breast.

SERVING IDEAS:

  • Plain with veggies!
  • Chop up and eat with salad and spicy ranch – my favorite way!!
  • Chop up and eat it in a wrap with lettuce, cheese, and any other favorite veggies!

The ideas are really endless once you have a great tasting piece of chicken.  My directions are for making 1-2 breasts at a time but remember that cooking time will vary with the size and thickness of each breast so its vital to use a meat thermometer and check it before eating – these are merely guidelines to making it – have fun and play around with it.  I’ve also heard of people making their own taco seasoning – have you?  That may be my next “Pinned it…Tried it…” post..

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Gracious Luck!

Frugal Friday {single girl cooking} Mexican Chicken

This week’s Frugal Friday features a recipe that I sort of generated from a pinterest idea.  I found a pin called Mexican Chicken but I wanted to change it up and streamline the process.  I’m never sure if it’ll work out the way I plan but every now and then I stumble onto something good!

First a few shopping tips.  I don’t have a family and typically am just cooking for myself.

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* I always buy bulk packs of chicken breast.  If its a better deal I buy them already cleaned up.  Most of the time I don’t – I buy the best price!  Usually the only difference in my store is the chicken breasts still have some bits of fat and skin on them and usually the two are still attached.  I don’t mind, I just cut them apart and finish cleaning them up to my liking.

*I packaged each breast in a sandwich bag with the date written on it and put them into the freezer.  I save these for another day when I can pull one out at lunch time and it’ll be thawed for supper that night.  (Typically I bread and bake them and make either my own breaded chicken breasts or cut it up and make chicken nuggets!

*This week I bought a 3.5lb bulk pack for $12.50 (10 breasts) making each breast $1.25

NOW — on to the recipe and instructions

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INGREDIENTS: 

  • 4 chicken breasts – chopped into 1″ pieces ($5.00)
  • 1 pkg of taco seasoning – any brand – I chose the store brand for this recipe ($0.49)
  • 1 cup chopped onion – add more or less based on your preference (on hand)
  • 1 jar of salsa – any brand – I had one jar on hand but approx ($1.50)
  • 1 pkg of green onion ($0.99)
  • 1 pkg of Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese ($1.50)
  • Total  = $9.49/4 servings = $2.37ea

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pre-heast oven to 350 degrees
  2. Place chopped up chicken breasts in greased 8″ baking dish
  3. Coat chicken in 1/2 pkg of taco seasoning – then turn each piece and coat with remaining seasoning
  4. Sprinkle onion around dish
  5. Pour jar of salsa + half a jar of water over chicken & onion (do not stir)
  6. Put into oven for 20 minutes – then stir chicken
  7. Continue baking for approximately 30 minutes and check larger pieces of chicken with a meat thermometer (may need more cooking to reach 165 degrees)
  8. Once done you can eat it as pieces however I took my pieces out, shredded it with two forks and then put it back into the sauce to soak up the liquid.

END RESULT:

It has a nice slightly spicy flavor but not too strong – its actually fairly mild if you like spicy food I’d suggest hot salsa and maybe a spicier taco seasoning and adding in some peppers while baking.  I don’t use salt and pepper – my flavors just came from the salsa, fresh onion, and taco seasoning.

The flavors were fantastic and I love adding the green onion for a “light and fresh” taste to go with it all.

I hope you enjoy making this and it will freeze if you want to save some for later however it might become watery when you thaw it out so keep that in mind for what you want to use it for in the future.

  • Serving suggestion – I put mine on tortillas, rolled it, topped it with more sauce and cheese, let it melt and then added green onions, lettuce and sour cream.
  • Serving suggestion – make chicken nachoes!!! It is pretty great.
  • Serving suggestion – serve on top of rice or Mexican rice.

Thanks for stopping by Gracious Luck today and I hope you try this and let me know what you think or what you’d add to it to make it your own!

This post was also added to the Life After Laundry’s Less Laundry, More Linking Link up on August 8, 2013!