Top 10 Chicken Dinners

Easy Weeknight Dinners is the topic this week at Ultimate Recipe Swap and I find that often I cook a chicken, rice, pasta, prep veggies and then spend the week assembling different combinations.

Feeding a family of six on a budget can be a challenge.  We rarely eat out so coming up with interesting things for dinner, that everyone will eat, can be sort of boring if you let it.

I plan out all of my meals because it helps my budget, helps maintain my sanity and I crave the predictablily of the evening meal.  Our days are filled with enough impromptu, glitches, and oppsies.  My kids are young and I curb our evening activities so that we can eat together each night.  I treasure this time with my kids because I know it is fleeting.

I have 10 go-to chicken dinners.  I usually use my crockpot to cook the chicken one day for meals the following days.  If I am baking all day I like to roast the chicken.

roasted chicken

1.)  Chicken and White Bean soup.  I use the Frontera grill chili starter base and have added peppers, onions, celery, carrots, more beans and rice or whatever else I have in my refridgerator.

2.)  Chicken and Stuffing bake.  Chicken, gravy and some veggies in the bottom of a oven safe pan and top with stuffing and bake until hot and bubbly.  This can be assembled ahead of time.

3.)  Chicken quesadillas.  I heat a pan, toss in a tortilla then add cheese and warmed chicken.  I use plain chicken for some and seasoned chicken for others.  I serve it open face so everyone can decorate with sourcream, salsa and lettuce.

4.)  Chicken stock.  When ever I cook a chicken in the crockpot I always save the stock and freeze it in ziploc bags or mason jars.

5.) Leftover Chicken noodle soup.  I use the homemade chicken stock and and simmer veggies and the chicken and then add noodles and simmer until they are done.  I use leftover baked chicken–I find that crockpot chicken reheated in this slower cooked soup falls apart and that is not appealing to me.

6.)  Sunday dinner.  I put the chicken in the oven, prep the potatoes for mashing and prep the veggies.  Serve with a salad.

7.)  Stir fry with Rice:  We love having this dinner with Grandpa Pop Pop.  I cut the chicken as thin as possible–you can freeze the chicken for a while to make it easier to cut, find as many veggies as possible and cook them in my wok.  I do not add sauce to the stir fry but have some teriyaki (I love the Soy Vay sauces) and peanut sauces on the table with some roasted cashews.  I set the wok in the middle of the table and enjoy.

8.)  Grilled BBQ Chicken.  We have this at least once a week in the summer.

9.)  Homemade chicken nuggets.  I find boneless, skinless chicken breast or do it myself and cut them into 1 inch squares or for tenders you can make them strips.  I coat them in salad dressing and dredge them in bread crumbs.  I make homemade bread crumbs by saving the bits and ends of bread in the freezer and when I need crumbs or want to make a batch I just zoom it in the food processer.  I always have storebought just in case as well.

10.)  Chicken Salad.  I use leftover chicken of any kind including boiled chicken.  Basic salad I add mayo, celery, onion, two touch of hot sauce.  For variation I add cranberries and yougurt or ginger salad dressing with they mayo and sesame seeds.  The kids only eat the basic salad but I love to play with different combinations.

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