Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: Chicken and Grits

If you would like to participate in Thrifty Thursday on your blog just post a recipe on your blog that costs $10 or less for a family of four. Then, link back to my blog. Also, enter your link and information at the bottom of this post.

Those of you that are my friends, know that I have never eaten shrimp, fish, or anything for that matter that lived in the water. Here in the last year, I have really been trying to make myself like all seafood. It was my dear sweet husband that triggered this desire in me. See, I have been talking about going to culinary school once all of our kids are in school. Chris' response to that was (in a joking manner), "You think you can go to culinary school if you don't eat any seafood. What would Bobby Flay think about that?" He is really hilarious to me. Even though it was a joke, I am glad he said it. He really inspired me to get over my dislike/fear of seafood and branch out. As of now, I have eaten and enjoyed: tilapia, salmon, sushi, mussels, and baby shrimp (still can't do large shrimp but will work up to it).

Today, however, I am going to share a recipe with you that I came up with to satisfy my desire to like shrimp and grits. Chris loves shrimp and grits but, of course, I would never make it for him. So, I came up with a recipe for chicken and grits. It is SO comforting and yummy! This meal comes out to be approximately $7.72 and that is using a good quality cornmeal. However, the price is figured by using water instead of chicken stock. I highly recommend spending the extra dollar or two and getting the stock. It adds a wonderful flavor to the grits! The flour, salt, pepper and oil are not figured into the cost as I think these are things that you already have in your pantry.

Chicken and Grits
1 pound chicken breasts (cut into small cubes)
3 tbsp flour
kosher salt
2 tbsp evoo (or any other oil you have on hand)
half onion
2 garlic cloves (minced or thin sliced...however you like it)
2 tbsp chicken stock/broth or water

2 cups milk (preferably whole milk if you have it)
2 cups chicken stock/broth or water
1.5 tsp kosher salt
1 cup coarse ground cornmeal
pepper to taste
4 tbsp unsalted butter (If you use salted butter then leave out the 1.5 tsp of salt until you have finished the dish. Then, taste to see if it needs anymore salt)
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese (You can experiment with other cheeses as well. I think that sharp white cheddar or smoked gouda would also be good in this.)

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Mix the flour, salt and pepper together (about 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper). Dust the flour over the chicken pieces. Add the chicken to the skillet and brown on all sides until done (about 7-8 minutes depending on how big you cut your pieces). When chicken is done, remove it to a plate and set aside.

Add the onions to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes and then add the garlic. Cook for a minute more or until you can smell the garlic (you don't want to brown the garlic because it will add a bitter taste to your food). Add the water or stock and return the chicken pieces to the skillet. Cook, stirring, until hot and there is not more water in the skillet.

While you are cooking the chicken, you can start the grits. In a medium saucepan, add the milk, water or chicken stock and salt. Bring it to a boil stirring often to make sure the milk is not burning on the bottom of the pan (Tip: rinse your saucepan in cold water before using it and dump out all of the water but do not wipe it out. This will prevent the milk from sticking). Once it is boiling, slowly add the cornmeal. Using a whisk, mix it into the milk. Once all of the cornmeal is well mixed into the milk, decrease the heat to low and cover with a lid. You must remove the lid and stir frequently (every 3-4 minutes) to keep the grits from sticking to the saucepan. Continue with this process for 20-25 minutes or until it is creamy.

Remove from heat and whisk in pepper and butter. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the cheese a little at a time. Place the grits in a shallow bowl and top with chicken. Enjoy!


beckygiggles said...

I can't believe you didn't like seafood at all! I could live on crab legs. And tilapia is one of the few meats that I can get Maddy to eat on a regular basis. I love to just pan fry it in a little olive and butter, with only salt and pepper on the fish itself. We eat it with broccoli and brown rice with lemon juice on top. Yum!

Talia said...

That is exactly the way we had tilapia the first time at home only Chris made lemon butter for me to dip it in. The brown rice with lemon sounds like a great match...yum!

Now, I love it and actually order seafood sometimes if we go out to eat. Isn't that crazy?! My family always gave me such a hard time cause they are definitely a seafood family. My mom would broil tons of shrimp when we would go to the beach and I would eat a baked potato...haha.

I think for longest time (when I was young) I didn't like it so I stopped trying it. I guess my tastebuds matured (as they say) and now I like it. Weird. Crab legs are next on my list! I'm just waiting on the $ to buy them ; ).

Talia said...

I made this tonight and I used more than 2 tbsp of water/stock with the onions. I used about 4-5 tbsp. And, after the onions and garlic are finished cooking, add the chicken back into the pan to finish cooking it through and to reheat it.

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