A Savvy Week: Chicken and Breakfast-for-Dinner

WeeklyMenuMarch4

I made blood orange marmalade with a new-to-me recipe last weekend.  I was getting over a cold, and didn’t want to spend ages painstakingly removing the pith and membranes, so I chose a method that looked simpler and a lot faster. Either my blood oranges had less pectin than usual, or this method just doesn’t draw it out as well, but either way, the marmalade just wouldn’t set.

So it was a good thing I had a simple dinner planned for Monday, because I also had to cook and reprocess the marmalade that hadn’t set on Sunday.

I had planned to roast a chicken on Tuesday for girls’ night…until I found out that more people were coming than I had thought, and our chicken was going to be too small.  So I scratched that plan and threw together a vegetable hash using some leftover bacon, frozen corn and some roasted peppers I had frozen this summer.

On Wednesday, I made Tuesday’s planned chicken. I know there are five billion “best roast chicken EVER” recipes out there, but I like to use this method from the Kitchn, because it has roasted vegetables built right in.

The rest of the week was simple: stir-fry using leftover chicken on Thursday, then breakfast-for-dinner to use up the last of the maple breakfast sausage from Autumn’s Harvest.

Chicken and Breakfast-for-Dinner

Monday:  Pasta dish of choice.  I recommend this sausage and goat cheese rigatoni.  Serve with a side salad.
Tuesday:  Winter vegetable hash with corn and peppers.
Wednesday: Roast chicken with roasted vegetables (The Kitchn).
Thursday: Chicken and vegetable stir-fry.
Friday: Breakfast for dinner!  Almond-oat pancakes with fruit and breakfast sausage.

On Sunday:

Chop two of the peppers and one of the onions for the pasta.  Or, if you are using frozen roasted peppers, defrost them now.  Refrigerate until Monday.

Chop one onion, one pepper, the fennel and four carrots for the hash.  Seal the vegetables in an airtight container and refrigerate until Tuesday. Save the fronds and stalks of the fennel for chicken stock.

Chop one onion, four carrots and the broccoli into bite-sized pieces for the stir-fry.  Refrigerate in an airtight container.

On Monday:

Prepare the pasta according to the recipe instructions.  If you are using peppers that have already been roasted, just caramelize the onions on their own and add the peppers when the sausage is almost done cooking.

While the pasta cooks, wash salad greens and toss with dressing.

Total prep and cooking time: 45 minutes.

On Tuesday:

Defrost one cup of frozen corn in the microwave. Scrub and chop four Yukon gold potatoes. When making the hash, use the bacon in place of the pancetta, and add the bell pepper with the rest of the vegetables.  Add the corn in the last five minutes.

Total prep and cooking time: 45 minutes.

On Wednesday:

Chop one onion, four potatoes and four carrots and arrange them in an even layer on the bottom of a roasting pan.  Prepare the chicken according to the rest of the recipe directions. Wrap up and refrigerate the carcass for chicken stock tomorrow.

Total prep and cooking time: 1 hour, 45 minutes.  But most of this is just the chicken roasting!

On Thursday:

Cover one cup of brown rice with two cups of water in a small saucepan.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then remove the lid, decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer until the water is absorbed. Stir well with a fork.

Meanwhile, tear up one cup or so of leftover chicken. Heat two teaspoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet.  Add the chopped vegetables and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened and beginning to brown on the edges, about 15 minutes. Add the chicken and cook until warmed through. Remove the skillet from the heat and add just enough stir-fry sauce to coat the vegetables and chicken.  Serve with rice and additional stir-fry sauce, to taste.

While you make and eat dinner, make some chicken stock.

Total prep and cooking time: 30 minutes.

On Friday:

Mix the pancake batter and cook. While the pancakes cook, cook the sausage in a skillet and chop the fruit if needed.

Total prep and cooking time: 40 minutes

Grocery List

3 large bell peppers (unless you have frozen roasted peppers from summer, in which case you will need 1 1/2 cups roasted peppers)
4 yellow onions
8 Yukon gold potatoes
12 large carrots
1 medium bulb fennel
1 cup frozen corn
1 head broccoli
Salad greens for Monday
Fruit of choice for breakfast for dinner
1 3-4 pound whole chicken
2 links sausage (I used garlic chicken, but any sausage will work)
2 breakfast sausage patties
4 slices bacon
4 ounces creamy goat cheese
1 pound regular or mini rigatoni noodles
1/2 cup sliced blanched almonds
Stir fry sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Soyaki, but use your favorite)

Groceries You Probably Already Have:

1 cup brown rice
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cup milk
Vegetable oil
Marmalade or syrup for serving with pancakes
Extra virgin olive oil
Dry white wine (you only need 1/4 cup)
Salt and pepper

Happy Savvy Eating!