Monday, July 20, 2009

Part 1 of 5 of my $13.00 a day dinner plan, Arroz con Pollo

Day one meal one, a one pot Latin classic dish Arroz con Pollo. An easy meal that was put together for an impressive cost of $12.12, that is for everything in the dish. The only items I used from my pantry were salt, pepper, garlic, bay leaves and olives. But for me those are all staples, things that should be in your pantry already. I did have to substitute some items like bouillon cubes for stock, I was embarrassed to even come to the counter with it but I digress. And to be honest for bouillon cubes they weren't that bad, I mean for $.54 cents I can make 16 cups of stock. I am a budget cooking chef so you know I like a good deal. And it is one of those one pot dishes where you sauté the chicken add the other ingredients turn it on a low simmer. Clean up the kitchen and get ready for day two.

2 whole chickens washed and cut into eight pieces
salt and pepper
2 tbsp onion powder
3 Tbsp oil
3 Tbsp butter
1 medium green pepper cut diced
1 medium onion diced
3 cloves of garlic minced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
1 (14 oz) can of diced tomatoes
1 package of Goya Sazón with Coriander and Annatto
1 (16 oz) bag Mahatma Saffron rice
2 Maggi chicken flavor bouillon Cubes
3 cup of hot water
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1/2 cup sliced green olives with pimento's
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Heat oil and butter in a large casserole or cast iron pot on medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt, pepper and onion powder, add the chicken to the pot and sauté over medium heat for about 4-6 minutes per side until golden brown turn once or twice to ensure even browning. Cook in small batches being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Remove from the pot and reserve on a serving platter. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of oil in a metal bowl; do not discard in case you need more for the vegetables. Add the bell peppers and onions and sauté them until the onions are translucent about 2-3 minutes add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the bay leaves, oregano, diced tomatoes and Goya Sazón and stir to incorporate with the vegetables. Put the rice in the pot and stir to coat, combine bouillon and hot water to dissolve once dissolved add to the pot and stir to mix evenly bring to a simmer. Return the chicken back to the pot along with any juices that accumulated on the platter. Cover and turn the heat down to low and simmer for 30 minutes check the seasoning; it shouldn't need any due to everything else being seasoned. After 30 minutes garnish with frozen peas, olives, parsley and serve. This was a meal of unexpected surprises, I never thought bouillon would taste that good. I never thought that saffron rice in a bag would be that good either, but I guess that's the challenge when you stick to a budget. Let just figure 7 people total grocery bill $12.12 that 1.74 per plate, Budget Cooking Chef.


  1. do you cook for 7 everytime - excuse my lack of knowledge I only just got here

  2. I have some friends staying with me, they asked what is the lowest amount money I could use to make dinner for seven people. I said 15 he said 12 so we settled on 13 per day. So that's the blog for this week. Usually I cook me,my wife and daughter.