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

Feb 20, 2020
I always say when life gives you lemons


chicken piccata hello I'm Andrew I'm the test kitchen manager here at Tasty and after a long day of work in the kitchen there's nothing I like more than sitting down to eat with my wife but ordering in and out can be a little pricey, so today I'm challenging myself to


five weeknight meals for two for just twenty dollars. First, I'll run to the store and see what I can find. I was able to find everything I needed at the store for 18.76, which means I was under budget, so the dishes I'm going to make are a sweet potato and chickpea curry, a baked chicken fajita with rice and To close out the week I'll make my favorite chicken piccata, so instead of eating five meals over five nights, I'll stretch my budget a little further and eat twice twice and then end the week with something a little special and useful.
i tried to make 5 dinners for 2 for only 20 tasty
For me today is going to be some pantry staples that I also recommend you have in your own home, they are butter, olive oil, salt and pepper and with all that being said, it's time to start cooking okay so The first thing I have to do is rest. Lower this chicken whole, which seems a little intimidating, but it's actually much easier than you think and very affordable. If you want to place it with its legs facing you, you will take your knife and make an incision in the skin right here between the legs. the chest and the leg should separate very easily now do the same 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 get the thighs out of the socket, I want to take my knife and I want to cut right on the opposite side of the one closest to the breast, very carefully, obviously use a sharp knife when you do this, it makes everything easier, so here you have your chicken leg, you have your thigh and your thigh, now the same with the other one, find the kneecap, go in there with your knife carefully and there you have both separated, so I'm going to set this aside right over here.
i tried to make 5 dinners for 2 for only 20 tasty

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i tried to make 5 dinners for 2 for only 20 tasty...

I'm going to bring the legs back to my board, turn them over and you'll see that here's a thick line which is the exact spot where you want to cut and separate the leg and the thigh and you'll really feel it with your knife and just go right through a leg and a thigh, so now I'm going to focus on the white meat. The easiest way to remove chicken breasts. You have your brisket plate here. What you want to do is cut on the opposite side. as close to the breast you want to remove and simply make a small incision.
i tried to make 5 dinners for 2 for only 20 tasty
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 riding along the ribcage. Remove any of this fat from the skin that you don't need to remove. This breast goes through the skin. It's all about small strokes and there you have a chicken. breast, the other one, same thing, assemble the ribcage when you can trim some of this fat, cut around the wing, there you have two chicken breasts, so my chicken is shredded and the good thing about this is that I'm going to be able to Use all of them these parts of the chicken in different dishes to really stretch my budget, but I'm not going to rule out this carcass.
i tried to make 5 dinners for 2 for only 20 tasty
This will become a delicious chicken broth. Our chicken broth will actually be just chicken, salt, pepper, and water. You could use aromatics if you want onions, carrots, celery, most chicken broths have them but since it's not in our budget we have to work with what we have so I have the chicken in the pot and then I'll add water just to cover a bit. of salt a couple of pinches of fresh pepper we're going to let this come to a boil, turn it down to a simmer and let it simmer for about four hours to extract as much of the chicken flavor as possible.
I guess I'll see you in about four hours, so what I want to do is strain this, get all the chicken pieces out, and have a nice clean broth. Be careful once all the pieces come out, let's try it, it's actually pretty good, I'm just going to add a little bit. a little more salt just for me the broth is all strained it's seasoned to my liking I'm going to use this in most of my cooking today whatever's left I'll keep it in my refrigerator for a week and then throw it in the freezer if I don't I do so now it's time to dive into our first recipe.
The first thing I'm going to make is a sweet potato and chickpea curry. This will be enough for two


for the two of us, so first. What we want to do is heat the fire, we are going to heat it to medium heat. We're going to add a little bit of olive oil, so once the oil is nice and warm and shiny, we're going to add some chopped onion. I'm going to stir this up. To coat all the onions in olive oil, I'm going to season them with a little salt just because I like to season every step of the way, it guarantees great flavor, but we don't want the onions to burn, I just want them to sweat a little and be They soften just to bring out their natural flavors as they cook.
I'm going to grate some fresh ginger right into the pot. Most people think you have to peel the ginger, but I think it's just a little. a demanding step, so we'll just grate it directly. I'm going to stir this to bring all those flavors together. It looks like our onions are ready. What I want to do now is add some freshly minced garlic again. adding more flavor, stir it in, you just want to cook it until it's fragrant, you don't want to burn it, it's going to get very bitter, no one likes that, so now we're going to add our curry powder, which we're doing.
If we're roasting the curry powder, we're really drawing out that flavor and making the flavors really warm. Now it will taste good the first day, but leftovers will taste even better when these flavors have had time to marry and sit. in the fridge together there's nothing better than curry being nice and toasty 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 it well so let's coat these vegetables with that beautifully roasted curry powder and now I'm going to add a little bit of coconut milk, stir, I'm going to season a little bit and then we're going to take this delicious chicken broth that we already made, we're going to add this right here.
Now we are using chicken broth because we wanted to stretch the chicken and save our budget, but if you have it in the budget to buy vegetable broth, this would be a wonderful vegetarian dish, we will bring it to a boil, reduce it to a simmer, let it simmer for about 15 minutes until the sweet potatoes are perfectly cooked, my curry is simmering, I'm actually going to toast a little more curry powder just to add a little more flavor so we can get a little curry quickly. We've got our oil warmed up a little bit, so now the oil is nice and hot, I'm going to add our curry. powder and we are going to roast it carefully until it starts to smell fragrant and nutty, as I said, this will add a lot of curry flavor to this already delicious curry.
This will also happen very quickly, so don't even blink. Let's say it smells fragrant and delicious and is ready to be added to our curry. Now I'm going to add some spinach and cook it for about two minutes until it's nice and wilted. Be careful when adding this. It's going to look a lot but it's going to come down to nothing and then to finish it off a little bit, I'm going to add a little bit of acid, so I'm going to add a little bit of lemon juice. Okay, this looks great. I have two Tupperware containers here full of cooked rice.
The rice is really inexpensive and I'm also going to use it in another dish I'm making today. If you want to watch our


101 video on how to cook rice, click below. What I'm going to do is put my curry over the rice, do it over the pot, the curry will stain your counter, this is going to be very, very good in a couple of days, so I'm going to let them cool and transfer them. in the refrigerator for later in the week the rest I will heat up later when my wife comes to try let's move on to the next recipe the next recipe we will make is a one pot chicken fajita rice bake This recipe is very good because we can use most of the chicken we already shredded and then we can use the other half of the rice that we didn't use during the curry recipe and just like with the curry, this will cover two. meals during the week I'm just going to add a little bit of our olive oil.
I'm going to want to use enough to cover a nice thin layer on the bottom of the pan, so season our chicken with salt and pepper on both sides so that We'll turn it over with tongs, we'll use two of the thighs, two of the thighs and one of the chicken breasts. We will save the other chicken breasts for our last dish of the week. Use a packet of store-bought fajita seasoning. I'm going to use about a third to season the chicken and then use the rest later in the dish. The same thing will go on both sides that we really want. to get as much flavor out of this as possible and these fajita spice packets, I grew up with this stuff, everything my mom made had a spice packet, whether it was tacos or chili, okay, so now I'm going to rub the chicken and get all those spices.
Get under the skin if you can, any excess spice on the tray, you can just pat it in there, I just want to make sure that we get every inch of this delicious chicken that you spent all your time shredding covered in the spice. If you have any left over, do the same thing, pour it out, we'll actually get it in there. Our chicken is all seasoned, it's time to brown it, so I'm going to add everything skin side down so we can get it. nice crispy skin, you could use skinless chicken thighs but I really love crispy chicken skin and a lot of the fat will drip into the rice which will make it taste so good evenly spaced out that you don't want to crowd the pan too much so I'm going to let it sit for about two or three minutes per side until it's nicely browned, we'll turn it over and then we'll finish the dish.
Take a look under the chicken just to make sure it is nicely browned and not burning. If it starts to burn, you can move it around the pan. Each pan has a different hot spot, so great, we're almost there. I really have to worry about cooking the chicken at this point, you're really just getting a little bit of color into the skin, it adds a lot of flavor, removes a lot of those spices, a lot of the cooking will be done a little later. the recipe our chicken is nice and golden brown on one side oh that's perfect so let's do the same thing on the other side let it sit for about two or three minutes.
I'm going to go ahead and take it out of the pan, transfer it to a nice clean tray. I know you can't smell it, but it smells great and you don't have to tell anyone it's a package of fajitas. Our chicken is ready, so I'll finish the rest of the plate. Let's start with our vegetables, sliced ​​onion and green peppers. The green one is actually the cheapest one in the store, so that's what we're going to work with today. We have already incorporated all this flavor into the pan. You have chicken juices. I've got some flavor from that, I'm just going to add the vegetables to our pan, season them with salt and then cook them until they're nice and soft in about two to three minutes we don't have to worry about cooking them all the way through because they'll end up in the oven. , we are going to give them a good mix so that everything is covered with that flavor already incorporated in the pan, so while these onions sweat They will release many of their natural juices, which will collect a lot of that pleasant flavor in the pan, so I will add approximately a cup and a half of rice to these vegetables.
I like to add the rice in this step just to toast it a little and get a little nutty flavor, it also adds extra flavor and then to this I'll add the rest of the fajita packet I was talking about before, stir and cover everything so that Once all the rice is nice and coated with the spices, we're going to add our homemade chicken broth, we're going to add about two and a quarter cups of this chicken broth, we're going to give it a mix and let it simmer a little bit. off the bottom of the pan if there are some nice brown bits, okay this is simmering so I'm going to go ahead and add our chicken pieces back in so I'm going to put them in here just to make sure everything cooks. all the way and don't forget all these beautiful juices, so I turned up the heat.
I'm going to go ahead and cover this with some aluminum foil, a fun little trick to make sure the foil fits tight, pinch the bottom and twist it tight and This is done, we'll transfer it to an oven at 400 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees Fahrenheit. OMG, that looks so good. I'm going to take half of this and save it for later in the week, let's get the thighs, my favorite cut of chicken, that should be enough and then we'll get some of this delicious rice and vegetables. Oh, it smells so good I don't know if I can.
Wait until later in the week, so when it's time to serve, I also bought sour cream sauce and somelime to enhance the flavors a little bit.Okay, I'll serve this later when Claire comes here and now we're ready to move on to our final recipe, our last dish of the week, one of my all-time favorite chicken piccata, so The first thing we need to do is address this lemon. say when life gives you lemons make chicken piccata I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to cut this lemon in half crosswise I'm going to cut this guy in half these guys I'm just going to cut them into very thin slices about a eighth of an inch thick so a little trick when cutting any vegetable or fruit is to keep your hand in a claw shape so I'm going to go ahead and transfer them to a very small bowl. into our sauce later on the plate and the juice from this will also go into our sauce later on, so that's our lemon.
Now let's move on to the chicken. We have our last chicken breast. Here you have. You're probably wondering why you have a chicken breast. How is this going to make two meals? Actually, we're going to go ahead and cut this in half and we're going to get two thinner chicken breasts so you don't have to remove the skin. Do anything fancy, you can really peel it, use a little force and that's it, to get two cutlets out of this chicken breast you need to take the knife, use your other hand as force and then make very fine strokes on the center.
This chicken breast, making sure you get all the pieces, you can see, you can open it up like this and then cut it slowly to get two perfect chicken cutlets, one and two, we're going to pound them very thin. It helps the chicken cook a little faster and chicken piccata is also very traditional. I'm going to take a large piece of plastic wrap and place it over these chicken breasts with the flat end of the meat mallet. I'm just going to shred these chicken breasts, what I like to do is instead of going straight down, I like to almost do 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 on a bed of pasta, it's going to have a really delicious, buttery sauce, so it's going to be fine, so I'm just going to season it with salt and pepper. a little sauce a little sauce sprinkle a little pepper I'm so excited about this this is literally one of my favorite dishes I put a little oil in the pan we need to dredge our chicken in a little flour so we use all flour use here, very economical in the store. I'm going to add this to the pan.
Place the chicken cutlet away from you so the oil doesn't splash and is well covered and now let's cook them. for two or two and a half minutes on each side it browns well, then we will turn it over, we will do the same and then we will be in our sauce, well, our chicken is well cooked and golden on both sides, we will transfer this to a clean plate with a clean pair of tongs, okay, so it's time to make our sauce in the same pan, we're going to use all the fat from the chicken as oil, we're going to cook some garlic, about two cloves of garlic, we just want cook it until it's fragrant, we don't want it to burn, we're already starting to brown, so I'm going to add our capers.
The capers are nice and salty to add a nice salty note to this chicken piccata, also one of the classic sauce ingredients that I'm going to add in our lemon slices, these will cook and release their juice naturally, so When the garlic starts to brown too much, we will add our chicken broth. stop cooking, it will also bring out many flavors. Lemon is the very iconic flavor of chicken piccata, so to really bring it home a little bit, I'm going to add a little bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice, so we're just going to let this cook for a couple of minutes until is reduced by half, so the thing about chicken piccata and me is that this is actually the first thing I learned to make.
I think I always gravitate toward the lemon flavor of things I really love super tart things, so when I learned how to cook I thought that would be the first thing I would learn to do to get the sauce reduced by half. I'll just turn off the heat and then add our butter, so it's about two tablespoons of butter, ideally a good cold pot of butter and what I like to do is mix it into the sauce this way, it gradually thickens and the sauce keeps it from thickening. break smell the capers, the garlic really comes out, you can see how creamy and emulsified the butter is in the sauce, it's really nice, okay, it looks perfect, our sauce is ready, it's exactly where I want it to be just to add a little bit of color.
I'm going to add some chopped fresh parsley, save some for garnish, I also turn off the heat and now it's time to serve it all on the plate. I'll serve it over pasta, really hearty pasta, super economical, so pasta on the plate and then. I just want to let me put the chicken breast on top like this and then use our delicious sauce with a spoon, all of that on top. This will also become a sauce for pasta. Make sure it fits well on top. I'm going to add more capers to mine because I love capers.
I'm going to finish them with a little more fresh parsley to give it a little color and that's the last dish of the week. Now my wife is on the way, so me. I'm going to go ahead and prepare everything else before she arrives and then we'll try it out and see if she can guess how much everything costs. We did it, we have everything plated, we have five weeknights. meals four two for just under twenty dollars now all that's left to do is for claire to come and try it hey please see you around, great to see you too oh wow do you think this is enough meals for the two of us for the whole week, I mean, I think so, I live off scraps, so we'll start with the first day.
Well, this is a sweet potato and chickpea curry that is delicious and filling enough that, oh yeah, you could eat it two days a week. ready, we have a rice with pita and chicken in a pot, baked perfect, okay ooh, good color, you taught me that I don't know what I'm talking about, yes, that's really good, wow, that chicken is perfectly cooked, this is Like our first four days, okay? and finally on Friday I made it my favorite, which is chicken piccata. Ah, Italian makes sense. Well, oh my goodness, the big question is how much do you think all this costs?
This is a lot of food. All this, how is it? eighteen dollars and seventy-six cents what less than eight twenty dollars seventy-six that's impossible you're a magician yeah good job thank you yeah thank you for cooking for me oh anytime I really appreciate it so that proves that even on a tight budget you can still make it work make it delicious and maybe even impress a beautiful lady oh if you guys have any occasions where you want us to try a budget let us know in the comments below take care oh yeah .

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