Ultimate Meal: Cheap, Healthy, and Easy, Roasted Chicken and Veggies

This meal is my go to meal for my family of six. It makes a delicious and healthy dinner for all of us with lots of leftovers that I use for other dinners, for a little over $10. That’s under $2 per person, way cheaper than your average fast food meal. We live in Texas and food prices are pretty great here but even in expensive areas of the country this meal shouldn’t cost more than $15 to prepare.

With a programmable oven it gets even better. I put it all in the oven a couple hours before dinner. I set the oven to go on while I am at my kids’ activities and to cook for 50 minutes. We come home to dinner hot and ready and just have to serve ourselves.

Ingredients needed:

  • 10 pound bag of chicken leg quarters. This is $4.99 at my local Aldi but almost all grocery stores have them for a similar price.
  • 2 heads of cauliflower. Price ranges from $1.89 to $2.19 at my local Aldi
  • Potato for each person. Should cost about $1.
  • 1 tablespoon Olive or sunflower oil
  • sour cream or butter for the potatoes
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. On two roasting pans, arrange the chicken so that the pieces do not overlap. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Salt makes the skin of the chicken crispy so you want to use a good amount.
  2. Wash the cauliflower and break it into bite size pieces and arrange on another pan. Add the olive oil, salt, and pepper and toss to mix and coat. You can also add some garlic or onion powder if you like but it taste good either way. Spread the cauliflower out so there’s minimal overlapping.
  3. Wash the potatoes and prick all over with a fork or knife.
  4. If you will be home, preheat the oven to 375 and then put everything in to cook for 45 minutes or until the cauliflower is golden and the chicken skin is nice and crispy. If you have something to do (kid’s activities, or a gym workout) and have a programmable oven, set it to go on 50 minutes before you expect to be home. Set the temperature to 375 and the cook time for 50 minutes.

Leftovers for Your Next Meals

Once everyone has eaten their fill, save your leftover chicken and the cooking juices. I pour the juices from the pans into a pyrex container and refrigerate. In the refrigerator, the juice separates from the fat and the fat can either be used (added to the dumplings for chicken and dumplings or used as oil in other meals) or discarded. With the chicken, take all the meat off the bone and store in a separate container. For bonus points put the bones in the crockpot and make bone broth.

Meals You Can Make from the Leftovers

  • Chicken and Dumpling Soup
  • Chicken and Cabbage stir-fry
  • Chicken Fajitas
  • Chicken Enchiladas
  • Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • Chicken with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes
  • Chicken salad

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