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I Tried To Make 5 Dinners For 2 For Only $20 • Tasty

I Tried To Make 5 Dinners For 2 For Only $20 • Tasty
i always say when life gives you lemons

make

chicken piccata hi i'm andrew i'm the test kitchen manager here at

tasty

and after a long day of working in the kitchen there's nothing i like more than sitting down for a meal with my wife but ordering in and going out can be a little bit expensive so today i'm challenging myself to

make

five weeknight meals for two for

only

twenty dollars first things first i'm gonna run to the store and see what i can find all right so i was able to find everything that i needed at the store for 18.76 which means i came in under budget so the dishes i'm going to be making are a sweet potato and chickpea curry a one pot chicken fajita rice bake and to close out the week i'm gonna

make

my favorite thing chicken piccata so instead of having five meals for five nights i'm gonna stretch my budget a little bit more and have two meals twice and then end out the week with something a little bit special and helping me out today are going to be a few pantry staples which i also recommend that you have in your own home those are butter olive oil salt and pepper and with all that said it's time to start cooking okay so first thing i have to do is break down this whole chicken which it looks a little intimidating but it's actually a lot easier than you think and very inexpensive you want to lay it down with the legs facing you you'll take your knife and

make

an incision in the skin right here between the breast...
i tried to make 5 dinners for 2 for only 20 tasty
and the leg it should just come apart really easy now do the same thing on the other side the leg joints are exposed so what i'm going to do is i'm going to put my hands underneath here and then i'm going to pop the thighs right out of the socket i want to take my knife and i want to cut right on the opposite side of that closest to the breast very carefully obviously use a sharp knife when you're doing this it

make

s everything easier so here you have your chicken leg you have your thigh and your drumstick now same thing with the other one find the ball joint get in there with your knife carefully and there you have both separated so i'm going to set this aside just over here i'm going to bring the legs back to my board turn them around and you'll see right here there's this fat line that's the exact place you want to cut and separate the leg and the thigh and you'll actually feel it with your knife and just go straight through one leg one thigh so now i'm going to focus on the white meat the easiest way to get the breasts off the chicken you have your breast plate here what you want to do is you want to cut on the opposite side of that closest to the breast you want to remove and just

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a small incision this part is all about the small incisions getting as much meat as possible that's obviously the goal we want to stretch our budget so what i'm going to do is i'm going to keep going down i'm literally just riding...
i tried to make 5 dinners for 2 for only 20 tasty
along the rib cage trim back any of this fat from the skin that you don't need remove this breast goes through the skin it's all about small strokes and there you have one chicken breast the other one same thing ride the rib cage when you can trim back any of this fat cut around the wing there you go two chicken breasts all right so my chicken is broken down and the nice thing about this is i'm gonna be able to use all these parts of the chicken in different dishes to really stretch my budget but i'm not gonna discard this carcass this is gonna become a delicious chicken stock our chicken stock is really just going to be chicken salt pepper and water you could use aromatics if you want onions carrot celery most chicken stocks have them but since it isn't in our budget we have to work with what we have so i have the chicken to the pot then i'm going to add water just to cover a pinch of salt a couple cracks of fresh pepper we're going to let this come to a boil bring it down to a simmer and let it simmer for about four hours to extract as much chicken flavor as possible i guess i'll see you guys in about four hours so what i want to do is strain this out get all the chicken bits out and just have a nice clean stock be careful once all the pieces come out let's taste it it's actually really nice i'm just going to add a little bit more salt just for myself stock is all strained out it's seasoned to my liking i'm gonna use this...
i tried to make 5 dinners for 2 for only 20 tasty
in the majority of my cooking today whatever's left over i'll keep in my fridge for a week and then i'll throw it in the freezer if i don't get around to it so now it's time to dive into our first recipe first thing i'm gonna

make

is a sweet potato and chickpea curry this is gonna be enough for two

dinners

for the two of us so first thing we wanna do get our heat going let's go over medium heat we'll add some olive oil so once your oil is nice and warm and shimmering we're going to add in some diced onion i'm going to give this a stir just to get the onions all coated in the olive oil i'm going to season it with a little bit of salt just because i like to season every step of the way it's guaranteed excellent flavor but we don't want the onions to burn we just want them to sweat out a little bit and soften just to bring out their natural flavors while those are cooking i'm gonna grate some fresh ginger right into the pot most people think you have to peel the ginger but i find that it's a bit of a taxing step so we're just gonna grate it straight in i'm gonna give this a stir get those flavors all together looks like our onions are good to go what i wanna do now is i wanna add in some freshly minced garlic again just adding extra flavor give it a stir you just want to cook it until it's fragrant you don't want to burn it it'll get really bitter nobody likes that so now we're going to add in...
our curry powder what we're doing is we're toasting the curry powder we're really drawing out that flavor and making the flavors really warm now it's going gonna taste good the first day but the leftovers are gonna taste even better when these flavors have had time to marry and sit in the fridge together there's nothing better than that the curry is nice and toasted so what i want to do now is add everything else so we have our chickpeas for a little bit of protein and we have our sweet potatoes i'm going to season all right so we're going to get these vegetables coated in that beautifully toasted curry powder and now i'm going to add some coconut milk give that a stir i'm going to do a little seasoning and next we're going to take this delicious chicken stock that we already made we're going to add this right in here now we're using chicken stock because we wanted to stretch the chicken and save our budget but if you do have it in the budget to buy some vegetable stock this would be a wonderful vegetarian dish we're going to bring this to a boil we're going to reduce it down to a simmer let it simmer for about 15 minutes until the sweet potatoes are perfectly cooked through my curry is simmering away i'm actually going to toast some extra curry powder just to add a little extra flavor so we can get some curry in a hurry we have our heat our oil just a little bit so now the oil is nice and hot i'm going to add in...
our curry powder and we're just going to carefully toast this until it starts to smell fragrant and nutty like i said this is going to add so much curry flavor to this already delicious curry this will happen really quick too so don't even blink safe to say that that is smelling fragrant and delicious and it's ready to get added to our curry now i'm going to add in some spinach and i'm just going to cook it for about two minutes till it gets nice and wilted careful when adding this in it's gonna look like a lot but it's gonna shrink down to nothing and then just to finish this off a little bit i'm gonna add a little bit of acid so i'm gonna add some lime juice all right this looks really good i have two tupperware containers here full of cooked rice rice is really inexpensive and i'm also going to use it in another dish i'm making today if you want to check out our

tasty

101 video on how to cook rice click below so what i'm going to do is i'll spoon my curry over the rice do it over the pot curry will stain your countertop this is gonna be really really good in a couple days so i'm gonna let these cool i'm gonna transfer them to the refrigerator for later on in the week the rest of this i'll heat up later on when my wife comes to try let's move on to the next recipe the next recipe we're gonna do is a one pot chicken and fajita rice bake this recipe is really nice because we can use the majority of the...
chicken that we already broke down and then we can use the other half of the rice that we didn't use during the curry recipe and like with the curry this is gonna cover two meals during the week i'm just going to add a little bit of our olive oil going to want to use enough to just coat a nice thin layer on the bottom of the pan so season our chicken salt and pepper on both sides so we'll flip it over with some tongs we're going to use two of the drumsticks two of the thighs and one of the chicken breasts the other chicken breasts we're going to save for our final dish of the week we're just going to use a store-bought packet of fajita seasoning i'm going to use about a third of it to season the chicken and then i'll use the remainder of it later on in the dish same thing will go in on both sides we really want to get as much flavor out of this as possible and these fajita spice packets i grew up on these things everything my mother made had a spice packet whether it be tacos or chili okay so now i'm going to rub the chicken get all those spices into it get under the skin if you can any excess spices on the sheet tray you can just pat right onto there just want to

make

sure we're getting every inch of this delicious chicken that you spent all the time breaking down coated with the spice if you have any extra left over just do the same thing dump it on we'll really get it in there our chicken is all seasoned it's time to sear it...
up so i'm gonna add everything in skin side down so we can get that nice crispy skin you could use skinless chicken thighs but i just really really love crispy chicken skin and a lot of the fat is going to drip down into the rice which is going to

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it taste so good evenly spaced apart you don't want to crowd the pan too much so i'm going to let this go for about two to three minutes per side just until it gets nice and golden brown we'll flip it over and then we'll finish off the dish i'm just gonna take a little peek under the chicken just to

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sure it's getting nice and brown not burning if it starts to burn you can move it around the pan every pan kind of has a different hot spot so cool we're almost there you don't really have to worry about cooking the chicken through at this point you're really just getting some color on the skin it adds a lot of flavor cooks out a lot of those spices a lot of the cooking is going to happen a little later on in the recipe our chicken is nice and golden brown on one side oh that's perfect so we're just gonna do the same thing on the other side let it go for about two to three minutes i'm gonna go ahead and take it out of the pan transfer it to a nice clean sheet tray i know you can't smell it but this smells so good and you don't have to tell anybody it's a fajita packet our chicken's done so i'm gonna finish off the rest of the dish we're gonna start with...
our vegetables sliced onion and green bell peppers green is actually the cheapest one in the store so that's what we're working with today we've already built all this flavor in the pan you've got chicken juices you've got some of the flavor from that i'm just going to add the vegetables to our pan we're going to season with salt and then we're just going to cook these down until they're nice and soft in about two to three minutes we don't have to worry about cooking these all the way through because it's going to finish off in the oven let's give them a nice toss get it all coated in that already built flavor in the pan so while these onions sweat they're going to release a lot of their natural juices which is going to pick up a lot of that really nice flavor in the pan so to these vegetables i'm going to add about a cup and a half of rice i like to add the rice in at this step just so it toasts a little bit gets a little bit of nutty also adds extra flavor and then to this i'm gonna add the remainder of that fajita packet i was talking about earlier give that a stir get everything coated so once all the rice is nice and coated in the spices we're gonna add in our homemade chicken stock we're gonna go in with about two and a quarter cups of this chicken stock give it a mix let it come to a little simmer scrape off the bottom of the pan if there's any nice brown bits all right this is simmering so i'm...
gonna go ahead and add our chicken pieces back in so i'm just gonna nestle these in here just to

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sure that it cooks all the way through and don't forget all these beautiful juices so i turned up the heat i'm gonna go ahead and cover this with some foil a fun little trick to

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sure the foil gets nice and tight pinch the bottom and twist all right and this is good to go we're gonna transfer to a 400 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees fahrenheit oh my god that looks so good i'm gonna take half of this and i'm gonna save it for later on in the week let's get the thighs my favorite cut of the chicken that should be enough and then we'll get some of this delicious rice and vegetable situation oh it smells so good i don't know if i can wait until later on in the week so when it's time to serve i also bought sour cream salsa and some lime to really jazz up the flavors a little bit all right i'll serve this later when claire comes here and now we're ready to move on to our final recipe our final dish of the week one of my all-time favorites chicken piccata so first things first we gotta tackle this lemon i always say when life gives you lemons

make

chicken piccata i'm gonna go ahead and i'm gonna cut this lemon in half crosswise i'm gonna cut this guy in half these guys i'm just gonna cut into really thin slices about an eighth of an inch thick so a little...
trick when you're cutting any vegetable or fruit is to just keep your hand in a nice claw formation so i'm gonna go ahead i'm gonna transfer these to a really small bowl these are gonna go into our sauce later on in the dish and the juice of this is actually going to go into our sauce later on as well so that's our lemon now we're going to move on to the chicken we have our last chicken breast here you're probably wondering why do you have one chicken breast how's this going to

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two meals we're actually going to go ahead and cut this in half and it's going to

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two thinner chicken breasts so to take off the skin you don't have to do anything fancy you can really just peel it back use some force and voila so to get two cutlets out of this one chicken breast you want to take your knife you want to use your other hand as force and then really thin strokes through the center of this chicken breast making sure that we get all the pieces you can kind of see you can open it up this way and then slowly slice away at it so you get two perfect chicken cutlets one and two we're gonna pound these out really thin it helps the chicken cook a little bit faster and it's also very traditional to chicken piccata i'm gonna take one large piece of plastic wrap and i'm gonna place it over top of these chicken breasts with the flat end of the meat mallet we're just going to pound away these chicken breasts what i like to do is...
instead of going directly down i like to almost go in an upward motion and i would say you're looking for these chicken cutlets to be about a quarter of an inch thick this may seem like a really small amount for two people but it's going to be over a bed of pasta it's gonna have a really delicious and buttery sauce so you'll be all good so i'm just gonna season it with salt and pepper give it a little flip of dip a little sprinkle a little pepper i'm so excited for this this is literally one of my favorite dishes i put some oil in the pan we have to dredge our chicken in a little bit of flour so we used all-purpose flour here very inexpensive at the store i'm going to add this to the pan lay the chicken cutlet down away from you so the oil doesn't splatter and get this guy nice and coated and now we're going to cook these for two to two and a half minutes per side get nice and golden brown then we'll flip do the same thing and then we're onto our sauce all right our chicken is done nice and golden brown on both sides it's gonna transfer this to a clean plate with a pair of clean tongs all right so it's time to

make

our sauce into the same pan we're going to use all the chicken drippings as our oil we're going to cook some garlic about two cloves of garlic we just want to cook that until fragrant we don't want it to burn we're already starting to brown so i'm going to add in our capers the capers are nice...
and briny to add a nice salty note to this chicken piccata also one of the classic ingredients in the sauce i'm going to add in our lemon slices these are going to cook down and release their juices naturally so when your garlic starts to get a little too golden brown we're gonna add in our chicken stock this will stop the cooking it'll also bring out a lot of the flavors lemon is the very iconic flavor in chicken piccata so just to really drive that home a little bit i'm gonna add some freshly squeezed lemon juice so we're just going to let this cook down for a couple minutes until it's reduced by half so the thing about chicken piccata and me is this is actually the first thing i actually learned how to

make

i think i just kind of always gear towards the lemon flavor of things i really love super acidic things so when i first learned how to cook i was like that's the first thing i'm gonna learn how to do so the sauce is reduced down by half i'm just gonna turn off the heat and then we're gonna add our butter so this is about two tablespoons of butter ideally a nice cold pot of butter and what i like to do is i actually like to swirl it into the sauce this way it gradually just kind of thickens the sauce stops it from breaking i can smell the capers the garlic's really coming through you can see how creamy and emulsified that butter is in the sauce it's really really nice all right that looks perfect our sauce is done it's...
exactly where i want it to be just to add a little bit of color i'm gonna throw in some fresh chopped parsley save a little bit for garnish too turn off the heat and now it's time to plate it all up i'm gonna serve it over pasta pasta really hearty super inexpensive so pasta on the plate and then i just want to let me place the chicken breast over top like so and then use our delicious sauce spoon all of that over top this is also going to become a sauce for the pasta too

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sure we get it right on nice on top there i'm gonna put more capers on mine because i love capers i'm just gonna finish it off with a little bit more fresh parsley just for some color and that's it the final plate of the week now my wife's on the way here so i'm gonna go ahead and plate everything else up before she arrives and then we're gonna taste it and we'll see if she can guess how much it all costs we did it we've got everything plated up we've got five weeknight meals four two for just under twenty dollars now all that's left to do is to have claire come in and try it hey please see you oh nice to see you too oh wow so do you think this is enough meals for the two of us for the whole week i mean i would think so yeah i live off of leftovers so we'll start with the first day okay so this is a sweet potato and chickpea curry that's delicious hearty enough for oh yeah you could eat this two days out of the week done we have a one pot...
chicken pita rice bake perfect all right ooh good color you taught me that i don't know what i'm talking about good yeah that's really good wow that chicken is cooked perfectly this is like our first four days okay and then finally on friday i made it my favorite which is the chicken piccata ah italian

make

s sense good right oh my gosh the big question is how much do you think all of this cost this is a lot of food all of this um what like bucks eighteen dollars and seventy six cents what under eight twenty dollars seventy six that's impossible you're a magician yeah wow good job thank you yeah thank you for cooking for me oh anytime i so appreciate it anytime so it just goes to show that even on a tight budget you can still

make

it work

make

it delicious and maybe even impress a pretty lady oh if you guys have any occasions that you want us to attempt on a budget please let us know in the comments below take care oh yes