Every “now and then” I get halfway through our day and realize I forgot to 1. prep the meat for the crock-pot and 2. It's 2 p.m. and there's no time for the crock-pot. Which is just so frustrating after laboring over menu planning and grocery shopping for the week. But one time, in the history of all the times I’ve forgotten such a thing, I thought...what could possibly go wrong with putting this chicken in the oven with a little salt and a lot of butter?
And the answer is nothing. Nothing can go wrong between you, a chicken and a stick of butter.
From that fateful [read: awesome] night, that deliciously simple chicken has been introduced into our trusty cycle of family meals. And if you’re looking for a little menu inspiration after all the fluff and frill from Thanksgiving, look no further. Here is a simple, reusable, and shiftable menu for the week (if you’re like me and make it to Thursday and think “I cannot possibly wash another dish in this house someone order takeout puh-lease”).
Monday: Crock-Pot Chicken* (or Dutch Oven Chicken), mashed potatoes, roasted broccoli and cauliflower
Tuesday: Tacos/Fajitas/quesadillas with the world’s best homemade queso* Tacos/Fajitas/quesadillas are pretty self explanatory, right?
Wednesday: lemon & herb fish*, green salad*, boxed risotto because it’s 2017.
Friday: Eat out
Saturday: pizza + salad - the four pack of frozen pizzas from Costco saves my week on the regular.
Sunday: homemade chicken noodle soup (with that leftover whole chicken and broth you so stealthily and accidentally made on Monday), loaded grilled cheese (avocado and bacon, anyone?), side salad
*recipes listed below
1 whole chicken
1 stick of butter
If you’re feeling really crazy, add a few slices of lemon on top.
**If you happen to forget to get that crock pot going, don't worry! There's still time!
Step 1: rinse Chicken, take out innards and place in crock pot.
*I avoided Crock-Pot Liners for the longest time because it seemed so silly and frivolous. But I am here to tell you I’ve converted and I’m never looking back.
Step 2: Salt and pepper your chicken generously
Step 3: Thinly slice the stick of butter and use slices to cover the chicken.
*1 stick tends to add a lot of fat to the broth that needs to be skimmed at a later, so it is ok if you go with a little less butter.
Step 4: Cover and turn crock-pot to low for 5ish hours. If you're going the "It's 2 p.m. and I forgot to turn the crock-pot on" route, just throw that sucker in a Dutch Oven with a lid on, put it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
Step 5: Drain broth into separate container and remove thighs, breasts and wings on to plate for serving. Chicken will be tender and may fall apart.
BILLY GRIMME’S QUESO
1 lb white american cheese (from the deli, one solid chunk or very thick slices)
½ cup milk
2 tbsp butter
1 small can of green chilis
Pinch of cumin
Pinch of garlic salt
Step 1: cut cheese into small cubes
Step 2: Melt cheese in a pot with milk over medium-low heat
Step 3: Stir continuously so it doesn’t burn
Step 4: Add in green chilis and pinch of cumin and garlic salt
LEMON & HERB FISH:
Fish of your choice, rinsed and patted dry
Salt, Pepper, oregano & basil
Step 1: Line that pan with foil
Step 2: Generously season fish with salt and cracked pepper, drizzle a little olive oil on each piece and then sprinkle with basil & oregano.
Step 3: Broil for about 8-10 minutes per inch of thickness or until fork-flaky
SIMPLE GREEN SALAD & DRESSING:
Salad - baby romaine leaves (or other leafy green lettuce) & cherry tomatoes cut in half
Combine 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, ¼ cup olive oil. Pour over salad and serve!
And just for fun...the loaded grilled cheese sandwich.