Chicken Challenge: Week 1
So I have completed the busiest week I’ve had since August and I’m thrilled that I’m on the other end of it! The Chicken Challenge has TOTALLY helped me out. As you know, I’m cooking big on one day and then, with minimal prep, we will be eating well the entire week. So here’s a recap of what I did this first week.
On Sunday, I prepared the chicken for the entire challenge. I mentioned before that I bought like 20ish pounds of chicken breast while it was on crazy sale, and so I had to package it out and prep it for freezing. I separated it out into saran wrap (for freshness), then covered by tin foil (to keep frost out) followed by a plastic bag with the challenge week # and the date I packaged it. Then I roasted week 1’s portion, and we ate a little for dinner that night. I also portioned out the remaining chicken into baggies and added their seasonings so they were ready to go each night. Finally, I made a pot of chili with the chicken because I think soups and sauces are better a day or two after they’re made since they’ve had time to let the flavors really meld together.
Monday rolled around and I wanted to bang out something quick since I had a rehearsal after work. I had 8 ounces of shredded chicken marinating in some taco seasoning and hot sauce. I threw that in a pan to simmer, and made some rice with diced tomatoes and a bit of hot sauce. I ended up throwing in some salsa at the last-minute and suddenly I had chicken tacos and mexican rice.
Tuesday was going to be another long day for me, so I prepared some bacon-roasted corn bread on Monday night for Tuesday’s meal of chili. The bread did not come out as planned – I think my addition of corn made the texture a little less crumbly than I would have liked – but we threw it into the chili like croutons and it was yummy! By the way, the recipe for my BBQ Chicken Chili is:
|4-8 oz.||Shredded Cooked Chicken|
|3 c||Chicken Stock|
|1- 28 oz. can||Diced Tomatoes|
|1 c||Red Kidney Beans (canned or pre-cooked) *Rinse if using canned.|
|1 c||Fat-free Refried Beans|
|1 c||Frozen Peppers & Onions Mix (Look for stir fry or fajita mixes)|
|½ c||Frozen Corn|
|¼- ½ c||Barbecue Sauce (to taste)|
|2 Tbsp||Frank’s Red Hot Sweet Heat BBQ Wing Sauce|
|1 ½ tsp||Cumin|
|1 ½ tsp||Garlic Powder|
1. Combine chicken stock and refried beans in 2 quart pot, stirring over medium heat until beans have dissolved.
2. Add Diced Tomatoes, Barbecue Sauce, Frank’s Wing Sauce and spices. Stir until incorporated.
3. Add remaining ingredients. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil.
4. Once boiling, reduce heat and allow chili to simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Makes 8-10 Cups, or approximately 2 quarts. For thicker chili, double amount of refried beans.
|4 oz.||Shredded Cooked Chicken||130|
|3 c||Chicken Stock||30|
|1- 28 oz. can||Diced Tomatoes||210|
|1 c||Red Kidney Beans (canned or pre-cooked)
*Rinse if using canned.
|1 c||Fat-free Refried Beans||200|
|1 c||Frozen Peppers & Onions Mix
(Look for stir fry or fajita mixes)
|½ c||Frozen Corn||120|
|¼- ½ c||Barbecue Sauce (to taste)||100|
|2 Tbsp||Frank’s Red Hot Sweet Heat BBQ Wing Sauce||40|
|1 ½ tsp||Cumin||0|
|1 ½ tsp||Garlic Powder||0|
Per 1 c Serving:
Wednesday was another rehearsal, so I quickly threw down some pasta and whipped up a cream sauce using skim milk. I added in shredded chicken I had marinating in hot sauce, a little cayenne pepper, garlic and finished it with chopped fresh celery, and we had Buffalo Wing Pasta.
Thursday was yet another long rehearsal night, so I let the pulled chicken marinating in barbecue sauce simmer down on the stove with some water. I threw some potatoes in the microwave to “bake” and made some corn for a BBQ chicken sandwich meal.
Friday was a long work day. My schedule has changed a bit and Monday, Wednesday and Fridays are SUPER long for me now. I had a football game to attend, but by the time I would have gotten there I would have missed my kids performance and sat in the cold for the final quarter of the game so it really wasn’t worth the stress of trying to get there to be late. Still, I was SUPER tired when I got home so I was glad that I saved the easiest meal for that day. I opened a bag of salad mix, tossed the cubed chicken I had prepared on top, and the world’s easiest Chicken Caesar Salad was born.
All in all, I’m really happy with how this week turned out. It was nice knowing what I was having for dinner that night, I knew I didn’t have to do a lot of work to get good food, and in the end I didn’t end up eating a lot of trash in a bad decision that was brought on by stress and hunger. Yesterday, Sunday, marked the beginning of week 2, though I had a 15 hour work day and ultimately could not commit to baking my chicken. But the beauty of this whole thing is that I can roast it up tonight and my week is just shifted by a day. I’ll let you know how week two turns out!
Thanks for reading! – A