Thursday, June 28, 2012

Foil Packet Chicken! And My Cooking Theory.

Like I promised!  A food post!  My roommate and I have been grocery shopping together, planning meals for the week, and splitting the cost of groceries to make dinner.  She only eats a select few veggies, and we're trying to be as frugal as possible while still eating a well-rounded diet, and we both work late so things need to be simple, easy, and relatively fast.  On average, we spend $40 total for dinner for two people for five days.  That's about $4 a meal.

We buy frozen or canned vegetables as an easy, on-hand side dish.  I know that fresh can be cheaper, but honestly, when it comes to veggies, if you hit the sales right, frozen is just as good.  I wouldn't use the frozen mixes for salads or stir-fry, but for mixing with butter or olive oil and salt and pepper, they're a 4-minute alternative that's just as healthy.

Anyways, yesterday we tried foil-packet chicken.  I think it was originally intended for a grill, but we don't have one of those.  So we baked it.  We used red potatoes, green beans, and chicken breast, but it's one of those recipes that can be made with just about anything.  Throw it all together in the foil.

And here comes my difficulties with food-blogging.  I have been cooking since I was a child.  My whole family is culinarily proficient.  And we're Italian so nothing is a recipe.  It's just "put this with that and cook it until it's done."  And that's why I can never re-create my Nona's meatballs or sauce.  So, especially with simple meals like this, I find it hard to blog about the "recipe."  But I tried for you guys.  I tried hard.

Anyways, we used 6 medium-ish red potatoes.  I diced them really small.  Two big chicken breasts (not tenders or halves or cutlets, which I'm sure you could do, but they wouldn't take as long to cook) and a big bag of frozen cut green beans.

The bowl was way too small. 
I put it all in some tin foil.  Like three layers of it, crossed so it folded up on all sides.  And then I drizzled everything with a good amount of Italian dressing.

We decided to get a little "zesty" but it really wouldn't make a difference.

The dressing is basically in lieu of rubbing everything with olive oil or butter and then seasoning it separately.  Like I said, we look for easy.  

And then I wrapped up those foil packets and baked them on 450 for 40 minutes.  And it actually ended up being 30 minutes, at which point we turned off the oven and let it sit in there for another 30 minutes while we, uh, ran a really important errand.... to get wine... meal essentials.  

When we got home, this was the delicious finished product!  

Steamy, pull-apart-with-a-fork chicken and potatoes and beans!  I drizzled it with a little extra dressing and ate the whole plate.  Like I said, it's not exactly Iron Chef material over here, but this day in age (oh god, I sound old...) I'm all about nutritious (aka NOT from McDonald's) and quick.  It's much less tempting to hit up a drive through for a "snack" from the dollar-menu if you know dinner will be ready (without much work or effort) by the time you shower, put on your PJs, and decide what to watch on your DVR first.  

Rooms and I are heading to the Jersey Shore tomorrow, so posting will resume next week!  Hopefully with some fabulous Snooki-inspired photography of hair poofs. 


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