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Two Recession-Proof Chicken Dinners

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Celeb chef and mom Susannah Locketti gives us two fast and affordable chicken dinners anyone can pull off during the week!


Susannah Locketti: I never get sick of chicken because I'm too busy experimenting with new ways to enjoy it. Boneless skinless breast was on sale at my grocery store this week for $1.79 per pound so I stocked up! People are always looking for new and different ways to enjoy chicken and rightfully so. Chicken is a great source of low-fat protein and right now it's affordable. As a cook, I love chicken because of its versatility. It goes great with mayo, in soup, as a main course, with sweet foods, sour foods and even spicy foods. To really stretch your dollar, I recommend freezing three large breasts per bag as soon as you get home from the grocery store. Not only does this allow for quicker and easier defrosting later, but you'll use exactly what you need without defrosting a whole package of eight breasts that may go to waste.

Lemon Garlic Chicken with Spring Onions

¼ cup olive oil
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced thin
4 spring onions sliced (whites and greens)
4 cloves crushed garlic
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
Splash of white wine
8 oz. whole grain penne
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and pepper

Boil pasta in salted water according to box directions. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, add two tablespoons of the olive oil to a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the hot skillet, turning the meat often. When the chicken is almost cooked through, add the green onions and garlic, and saute until the chicken is done. Then add the juice and zest from one lemon along with a splash of white wine. Cook over medium-high for a few minutes and then turn off the heat, add the pasta, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and remaining two tablespoons olive oil. Toss to coat and serve with a salad. Double the recipe for leftovers.

Off-Season Pesto Chicken with Toasted Walnuts

2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup olive oil
1 packet Knorr Pesto Sauce mix
¼ cup lemon juice
½ cup water
Four boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded out thin
8 oz. whole grain angel hair pasta
¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and pepper

Boil pasta in salted water according to box directions. Drain and set aside. Add two tablespoons olive oil to a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pan, cooking on both sides completely. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pot, add ¼ cup olive oil, the packet of Knorr Pesto sauce mix, plus the lemon juice and water. Bring to a boil, stirring often, and remove from heat. Add the pasta to the chicken pan and pour the pesto sauce over the mixture. Toss until fully coated. Top four plates with pasta, a chicken breast, one tablespoon of toasted walnuts and one tablespoon of Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy with a cup of veggie soup.

Want to dish with Susannah? Check her out in the momlogic community!

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7 comments so far | Post a comment now
ho..hum!!!!! March 9, 2009, 12:49 PM

Kinda crazy that the best a celeb chef could come up with for chicken is a package of Knorr Pesto, and green onions, garlic and some lemon juice: ( unimpressive! geez!

Kathy March 11, 2009, 10:23 AM

Fast and affordable just like it states on the headline. I actually enjoy these recipes for daily living. Most of the ingredients are already in my kithchen which means I am not running around spending more money.

Denise March 11, 2009, 11:25 AM

Susannah…sometimes simple is better. I don’t think the anonymous person who posted came up with anything interesting for dinner, otherwise she wouldn’t be here.

I made the lemon chicken last night for my kids and they ate it up. Even the finicky husband enjoyed it. Good idea, and easy to make. Thanks.

oh...bother..u caught me :) March 11, 2009, 5:25 PM

oh my ya got me uninteresting dinners that’s my thing and that is why i also get my recipes from the back of boxes…anyone try the Hellman’s mayo chicken recipe????

Susannah Locketti March 11, 2009, 7:41 PM

Thanks for the feedback! Recently I did a cooking class for my church and the moms that came were begging for cheap and easy…nothing fancy. Many actually relied on the sides of product packaging to assist them at mealtime which is why I chose to vary the use of a popular Knorr product (which I do use off season and enjoy). Many people cannot afford fresh produce or herbs right now…times are so tough for people and I like to make it a point to include recipes anyone can do on any budget. A bad economy can limit creativity in the kitchen that is for sure, but it is a harsh reality we are facing right now and I do my best to offer recipes for people who really need to pull off a healthy, simple and affordable meal for their families. Hope you all have a great week and thanks for taking the time to write! ;)

Herschel Herrera May 1, 2009, 8:13 AM


Ektauvmv June 25, 2009, 8:06 PM

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