The most exciting news of the week is that last year we were $20/month under on our grocery budget, which is probably…three weeks or so of groceries in this house. I am inordinately proud of this because it means that my bulk-buying of chicken thighs at $0.99/pound (and a potpourri of other things) paid off in spades.
The second most exciting news of the week is that I spent Sunday making a few batches of sauce for the Homesick Texan’s West Texas Enchiladas to toss in the freezer and Monday evening was dedicated to actioning two batches of Green Chorizo for the same purposes. There is something so satisfying about knowing your freezer is full of Good Things. More realistically, it will allow us to more easily make weeknight dinners that would otherwise belong on the weekend.
Sunday – Braised Country Style Ribs with Basic Polenta, Version I from How to Cook Everything
This should really be called country-style anything. We cook this dish exactly once per year and we make it with the turkey breasts I butcher off of Marcus’ work-sponsored Thanksgiving turkey. It makes enough food for three meals, so one container gets shoved into the freezer promptly because sometimes there are days when there is no time to cook.
Or I go out-of-town.
I absolutely love polenta but we vary rarely make it because otherwise I would eat the whole pan. I have no self-control where this is concerned. Since this dish basically demands it, I did it up right with butter and Parmesan cheese and corn kernels from some of the last ears of the season at Gregor Farm. What a joyous dish to set out on the table.
Monday – Mustard Baked Chicken with a Pretzel Crust with Asparagus and Roasted Potatoes
Fact: I have had this recipe in my recipe binder for probably two years now, which is shameful. We don’t usually have an abundance of pretzels around the house and that is pretty much the deciding factor. You know? No pretzels = no pretzel crusted chicken.
Things we learned during this dinner: We very rarely eat breaded chicken. Chicken that has been rubbed and roasted? Yes. Marinated? Sure. But very rarely with any sort of breading.
The mustard sauce (which is also what you dredge the chicken in) is just to die for. I think that we may start to make it regularly as a salad dressing.
When I pulled these chicken thighs out of the freezer, I realized (with great disappointment) that they were the last of our latest $0.99/pound crusade at Cub. The only natural reaction was for me to tell Marcus that we need to start scouting.
According to bon appetit, the serving size for this dish is two chicken thighs and half a can of chickpeas. Yes, I could down that, but I’m pretty sure that if I ate the protein-only dinner on that scale it would crush my spirit forever. Sort of like any time you eat three eggs in a meal. It gets to be a bit much.
The critique: This dish was so supremely easy to make, it was delicious, it could come from the pantry. It will absolutely become a part of the rotation.