You’ve heard of engagement chicken, but what about newlywed chicken? Did you envision preparing elaborate and elegant meals when you got married? Thought you’d give Martha a run for her money? Me too. In reality, it can be very stressful to figure out what you and your spouse will eat every night all week/all month/all year. Here’s an idea that can jump-start your planning this week or rescue you when you feel uninspired or overwhelmed.
A chicken is my solution. Yes, a whole roaster chicken cooked on Sunday so you have time to prepare it.
Meal 1: Roasted Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Veggies
Roast* your chicken in the oven for the amount of time specified on the label. I suggest liberally shaking kosher salt on the inside and outside first. You can also mix crushed garlic and herbs ,such as sage and thyme, with a tablespoon of butter and slide this under the upper skin of the chicken (it’s sort of like giving it implants). This ensure a moist well-flavored chicken. While it roasts you can whip up mashed potatoes and any vegetable you have on hand. Have you heard the expression “winner winner chicken dinner”? That is how your spouse is going to feel about this classic home cooked meal!
*If you’re too busy to roast a chicken, you can put it in your crockpot for 4 hours. Just add 1 cup of chicken broth so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
Meal 2: Layered Chicken Enchilada Bake
Shred ½ of the remaining chicken and make this quick layered chicken three cheese enchilada recipe. It takes 10 minutes to assemble and 30 minutes to bake. Blend some margaritas while it’s cooking and you’ll have an instant fiesta dinner!
Meal 3: Spicy Asian Chicken Noodle Soup
Shred the remaining chicken and use it to make Asian chicken noodle soup. If your spouse is like mine, soup doesn’t count as dinner, so you may want to make this for both of you for lunch. Here’s the recipe adapted from The Londoner Blog:
Splash of sesame oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 spring onions, chopped
2 handfuls of shredded chicken
2.5 cups chicken stock
1 cup boiling water
Piece of ginger about the size of your thumb, thickly sliced
3/4 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp of soy sauce
1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
1 red chili, chopped
1 can of sweet corn
1 big handful of thin noodles (I use somen noodles..but any will work)
Put a saucepan onto medium heat and add a few splashes of sesame oil, add your garlic until it starts to sizzle. Stir it around a bit & add your spring onions. Fry until they start to soften.
Toss in the chicken and stir to make sure it gets nicely coated in the oil & garlic. Pour in your stock & boiling water. Add your ginger slices, fish sauce, soy sauce, coriander & chili. Just before it comes to the boil add your sweet corn & noodles. Boil 2 more minutes and serve immediately.
So, from one chicken on Sunday you ended up with 3 completely diffent meals for the two of you. Not a bad way to begin the week! It took me longer than I care to admit to figure out how to utilize one ingredient a few different ways to make quick and interesting dinners for 2. I also thew out a lot of leftovers and felt badly about it. I hope you and your spouse enjoy these dishes and that he washes them!