Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Wallet Friendly Foods: Spicy Tortilla Chip Chicken

The first of the month is bill paying time for me: rent is due, the credit card needs to get paid and it's around the time that my utility payments are due. And with the wonderful news that we are officially in a recession and that we have been in one for over a year, well, I'm trying to cut back a bit (oh yeah, and there's that big holiday coming up that will take a bite out of my bank account).

I'm almost ashamed to admit that I spend close to $400 a month on groceries -- and that's just for me. Mind you, I rarely eat out, often buy organic and free range and make a lot of my food from scratch. My main problem is that I often can't help picking up that new gluten-free food, or trying that funny looking vegetable I've never heard of before. I guess you could say playing with food is my vice. Though, I'd say it's a better vice to have than clothes shopping (which some might argue that it used to be my vice).

Regardless, I need to cut back a bit on the monthly grocery bill, so in an attempt to do so, I've got a recipe to share that's easy on the wallet, uses foods that you might already have and is darn tasty to boot. It's inspired by the recent copy of Cooking Light's recipe for a spicy and crispy chicken sandwich. I omitted the sandwich part and made it gluten and dairy free.

Spicy Tortilla Chip Chicken (gluten-free, dairy-free)

serves 4 for dinner (or me and one A-man)

4 chicken breasts sliced in half lengthwise
1 cup almond milk (or rice, hemp...)
1/4 cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce (or your favorite gluten-free hot sauce)
3/4 cup tortilla chip crumbs (take about 3 cups of gluten-free tortilla chips and ground in a food processor)
2+ tablespoons of olive oil

Place the chicken, almond milk and hot sauce in a plastic bag and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours. Then, in a pan on medium heat, add the olive oil. Place the tortilla chip crumbs in a wide bowl and coat each chicken breast with the crumbs. Then, add to the pan, making sure not to crowd, and cook on each side for about three minutes each. Place the chicken on a paper towel to drain excess oil and serve.

The chicken is tasty on or with a salad, or make a sandwich out of it with red onion and spicy mayonnaise.


Ricki said...

Wallet-friendly is such a great idea--and, as you mentioned, we're trying to keep that wallet stuffed for other purposes coming up soon! These look really good. I don't think great food needs to cost a lot (and you've proven that).

Jack said...

Some of us GFers like food that at least looks like the good ol' days. And that chick dish looks alot like real fried chicken!

Carrie said...

I've made something similar to this and I think it's delicious too! thanks for sharing!! Looks really good!!

Kate said...

Yum! And I like the idea of making your own tortilla crumbs -- I bet it ends up being cheaper than buying those GF ones. I'm definitely trying this.

Kate said...

By the way... have you ever tried making crispy tofu? I wasn't sure if you were back on soy or were trying it at all, but I thought I might try this with extra firm, drained tofu some time.

I made chili earlier this week and wanted to make it healthier so I was going to buy soy crumbles -- turns out they have gluten in them. But I made it with ground buffalo instead and thought of you :).

Sally said...

That looks amazing and I'll be trying it this weekend, for sure! Thanks!

Liz said...

Thanks Ricki! I'm hoping to have some more of these wallet-friendly posts.

Jack, I know for sure you'd like this dish. Give it a whirl!

Thanks Carrie! I've seen similar recipes too and without the marinating step -- just dunking the chicken in a egg/milk mixture, then the chips -- so this could be a really fast dish too.

I was actually thinking about attempting this with tofu for my vegan friends Kate! I experiment with soy, though I like to keep it out of my main diet -- it doesn't sit terribly well with me.

Thanks Sally! It's so simple to put together. I hope you like it!

Marlow said...

This looks awesome!

Sally said...

So I tried this the other night, but used bone-in chicken breasts. I had to get them brown in a cast iron skillet and then transfer them into the oven, but they were great! Tasted a lot like what my grandma used to make! Thanks again!