For several years, when we lived on an extremely tight grocery budget and had to watch every single penny, I only purchased bone-in, dark meat chicken because it was the most frugal option. I would cook up a huge batch at once – usually some baked and some boiled to make chicken stock. Then, I’d let all the chicken cool and shred it. I’d divide it into meal-sized portions and freeze.
We had lots of great meals made with this chicken. It was definitely the perfect option for us at the time and if needed, I’d do it again in a heartbeat. But to be honest, after doing this for a few years, I began to get burnt out on the whole process. In fact, it got to the point where picking chicken off the bone nearly made me sick. I told my husband that as soon as we could stretch our budget a bit and I could find the most frugal way to do it, we were switching to boneless, skinless chicken breasts for good.
Soon after that, we examined our finances carefully and made the decision to bump our grocery budget by $50 each month. Prices were going up and the kids were getting bigger and needing more food. I researched the cost of buying boneless, skinless chicken breasts and was shocked to discover I could purchase them for little more than what I was currently paying for the bone-in pieces. Granted, it’s not the top of the line, but I love it all the same!
The answer for us is to buy frozen, store brand chicken breasts that are sold in 3 pound bags. When they go on sale for $6.50 per bag, (which happens roughly every 6 weeks, depending on the store’s sales cycle) we stock up and buy enough to get us through until the next sale. It’s worked great and I have no complaints with the taste or quality of the chicken. Even in recipes like these Breaded Chicken Cutlets, we all love the way the chicken turns out.
What are your chicken buying habits like?
Breaded Chicken Cutlets with Creamy Portobello Pan Gravy
- 1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded flat
- 1 1/2 c. flour
- 1/2 t. each of salt, black pepper and paprika
- 2 eggs
- 2 T. water
- 3 T. olive oil
- 4 T. butter, divided
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1/2 lb. sliced portobello mushrooms
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 T. flour
- 1 1/4 c. chicken stock
- 1/4 c. cream or milk
- 1/2 t. dried rosemary, crushed
1. In a shallow dish, stir together the flour with the salt, black pepper and paprika. In a second shallow dish, briefly whisk together the eggs and water.
2. Heat olive oil and 2 T. butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. One by one, dip the chicken pieces first in the flour, then in the egg mixture and again in the flour. Place the breaded chicken in the hot skillet and cook until golden brown and crisp on both sides, about 3-5 minutes. Check to make sure chicken is fully cooked. (Note: If your chicken is not pounded very flat, it may take longer to cook completely. If that’s the case, you can finish the cooking in a 350 degree oven for about 10 – 15 minutes.)
3. Remove the chicken from the skillet and keep warm. When it is all cooked, add the remaining 2 T. of butter and the onion and portobello mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes, until mushrooms are browned. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in flour and cook an additional minute.
4. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a slow boil. Simmer over medium heat until slightly thickened and reduced by half, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in cream or milk and rosemary. Cook an additional 2 minutes.
5. Spoon the gravy on top of the chicken to serve.
This was so flavorful and delicious! Everyone licked their plates clean. I thought the flavor and texture combination of the mushrooms with the chicken was incredible too. My only complaint is that I never make enough chicken for our family. I also end up cutting some of mine up to hand out to the kids who beg for more. They can definitely each eat a whole breast themselves. (Maybe now that I put this in writing I’ll actually remember it next time. We shall see!)