Maximise your meat: 4 people, 2 pots, 25 minutes and under $20

Maximise your meat: 4 people, 2 pots, 25 minutes and under $20

So today we kicked off the very first Christmas Special in our 24 days of Christmas.  What better way to also kick off our Maximise Your Meat series, where we will give you recipes and tips to get the best value out of your meat and your cooking.  Today we will feed the family for $20.

Here’s one that is always a quick go to for me, it’s quick, easy and cheap and depending on how healthy the appetites at your table are, it may even get you lunches the next day.  Have it on the table in under 30 minutes with only 2 pans to wash at the end.  Plus Maximise your Meat and pull it all together for no more than $20!!

This recipe uses pasta, but I make it with zoodles (zucchini noodles).   If you choose to use zoodles of course just skip the boiling the pasta bit and see my variation tips tips at the end of the recipe.

Chicken Breast Fillet Pasta

Maximise Your Meat Chicken Pesto

What to buy:

1kg chicken fillets

500gm pack of pasta (spaghetti, penne or spirals all work)

1 tub of cherry tomatoes (don’t forget to wash them – and use them whole or halved whatever you prefer)

1 jar of pesto (about 200gms works well)

some olive oil (or garlic infused oil)

1/2 cup water

a splash of white wine, a dash of cream, some parmesan and a sprinkle of tasted pine nuts are all optional extras

What to do:

Take the skin off the chicken fillets (if they have it) and either dice it or cut into strips

Put a pot of water on the stove to boil for the pasta

Splash some oil in a frying pan (coconut, olive, garlic whatever fits in your world of eating)

Throw in your cherry tomatoes and turn down the heat.  Let them cook a bit until they start to soften and put in the water.  Once they are soft take them out of the pan and set aside.

Your pot should be boiling by now, so put in your pasta with a good sprinkle of salt.  Don’t underestimate what a good sprinkle of salt does to enhancing the flavour of your pasta and give it a good stir.

Wipe or rinse the frying pan out

Splash some more oil in your frying pan (again whatever fits in your world of eating).  Fry up your chicken strips, until they start to brown, add in a good couple tablespoons of pesto until chicken is well coated (if you want to add a splash of white wine do that now) and simmer on low heat so the flavour infuses.

Your pasta should be cooked – so strain it really well and then toss it back in the pot you just cooked it in.  The residual heat of the pot takes the excess water off the pasta.  Stir through a good tablespoon of pesto until the pasta is coated.   If you would like to add a splash of cream, now is the time, then turn the heat on and mix the cream through the pasta for no more than a minute. Put the chicken and the cherry tomatoes into the pasta and stir through.  If you need a little more pesto feel free to add it.

Serve into bowl or plates and sprinkle some toasted pine nuts and parmesan if you fancy.

 

Zoodle Variation 

Take the skin off the chicken fillets (if they have it) and either dice it or cut into strips

Splash some oil in a frying pan (coconut, olive, garlic whatever fits in your world of eating)

Throw in your cherry tomatoes and turn down the heat.  Let them cook a bit until they start to soften and put in the water.  Once they are soft take them out of the pan and set aside.

Wipe or rinse the frying pan out

Splash some more oil in your frying pan (again whatever fits in your world of eating and I find a deep fry pan is good with zoodles).  Fry up your chicken strips, until they start to brown, throw in a good couple tablespoons of pesto until chicken is well coated (if you want to add a splash of white wine do that now) and simmer on low heat so the flavour infuses.  Put your zoodles in the pan and fry off some of the moisture – keep the heat low though.

Add some more pesto and if you would like to add a splash of cream, now is the time, then turn the heat on and mix the cream through the pasta for no more than a minute. Put the chicken and the cherry tomatoes into the pasta and stir through.  If you need a little more pesto feel free to add it.

Serve into bowl or plates and sprinkle some tasted pine nuts and parmesan if you fancy.

 

What it Cost

Here’s how I costed it using average supermarket prices at the time.  You can make it even cheaper depending on specials you might find at the time or brands you choose.  Today you can save another $3 when you buy our chicken fillets at $6.99 as part of our 24 days of Christmas specials.  What a fantastic way to maximise your meat!  Check out todays special here and keep an eye on our facebook page for daily updates.

1kg chicken fillet – $9.00

1 punnet cherry tomatoes $3.50

1 jar of pesto $4.00

1 pack of 500gm pasta $2.50

Total of $19.00