The $10 Dinner Challenge #1

by Cate on November 18, 2008

Chicken in Lemon White Wine SauceSo we’re kicking off the new week with the reincarnation of our Dinner Challenge.  We expanded the rules just a tad, but perhaps just as important, expanded the dollars as well.   With chicken recently for $1/lb, I knew exactly what I was making when it came time to tonight’s challenge … Chicken in White Wine Lemon Sauce with a side of Roasted Broccoli.  In the immortal words of Rachael Ray, yum-o.

The Sister-In-Law made this recipe a few weeks ago for us, and when I say the sauce is good, I mean it in a just-get-a-spoon-and-who-the-heck-cares-who’s-looking-dig-in kinda way.  Nicholas‘ school had a Mom’s Night Out dinner event tonight, so I made it for the boys to eat, and I couldn’t resist slurping up one a few spoonfuls of the sauce while I was plating it up.

One of the keys, at least for me, in making this challenge work is keeping an eye on sales.  When I saw the chicken on sale, although I wasn’t planning on using it at the time, I snapped it up and froze it.  Between keeping an eye on sales and a running mind on what’s a good price for something, coupled with avid couponing, we keep our grocery budget at about $300 a month, sometimes less, and that’s even with regular entertaining.

So now, the chicken … make it.  If for nothing else, then make it for the sauce.  It’s that good.  And as for the broccoli… roasted broccoli is one of those things that really could be a whole post on its own, and I was tempted to do just that.  Love.the.stuff.  I put the florets on a baking tray and drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle with some fresh-cracked black pepper and kosher salt.  In the oven it goes for about half an hour.  When it came out, I honestly couldn’t stop eating it.  So yeah, I had spoonfuls of white wine lemon sauce along with handfuls of roasted broccoli before I went off to dinner.  Standing up in the kitchen.  Sharing the broccoli with Madeline.  ‘Twas a good eating night.  Now that I’m thinking of it, I bet the broccoli would taste fabulous dipped in the sauce.  Ahhh, tomorrow’s lunch.

Cost breakdown:

butter – 0.50 ($7.99 for four boxes at Costco)
chicken breasts – $2.00 (was $1/lb at A&P two weeks ago)
dry white wine – 0.50 (was a $10 bottle)
lemon juice – 0.50 ($3.99 bottle from Costco)
heavy cream – $1.00 (third of $2.99 container from Costco)
grated Parmesan cheese – $1.00 ($7.99 for monster size from Costco)
broccoli – 0.99/lb at A&P last week

Total cost: $6.00 for dinner for four – whoo hoo!

Did you join Sarah and I in the challenge this week?  Leave us your link below – we’d love to see what you’re cooking up.  And hey, make the chicken.

Chicken in White Wine Lemon Sauce

1/4 cup butter
4 whole chicken breasts
2 tablespoons dry white wine (or whatever you have on hand)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel (I skipped)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 up grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup sliced mushrooms (I omitted ’cause the boys won’t eat ’em)

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat.  Add chicken.  Cook, turning, about 10 minutes or until chicken is brown and tender.  Remove chicken to ovenproof serving dish.  Discard butter from skillet.  Add wine, lemon peel and lemon juice to skillet; cook and stir over medium heat 1 minute.  Stir in salt and pepper.  Gradually pour in cream, stirring constantly, until hot; do not boil.  Pour cream sauce over chicken, sprinkle with cheese and mushrooms.  Broil chicken about 2-3 inches from heat source until lightly browned.  Serve.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

emkenton November 18, 2008 at 9:58 am

Cate, I have been following your blog for months now after continually seeing such great suggestions from you on the CL Bulletin Board. (I also have a baby who was born in January so it’s been fun reading about all of Madeline’s exploits!) I just wondered if you thought there would be a decent substitute for the heavy cream in this recipe? Since I love to eat sauces straight out of the pan and am still trying to lose the baby weight, I might just feel better if it weren’t “heavy”! Thanks!


jan November 18, 2008 at 10:58 am

about ‘subbing’ for heavy cream… can’t you use evaporated skim (or 2%) milk? (evap, NOT sweetened condensed because you’re not making dulce de leche here) Especially since it’ll be on sale because of pumpkin pie baking season. I’ve used evap skim successfully before as a heavy cream sub. Not ‘perfect,’ but with enough taste distractions, it works.


Cate November 18, 2008 at 12:59 pm

Hey Emily – always nice to hear from a fellow CLBBer – I haven’t been there in ages, need to get back and pop in, especially with the holidays nearly here. When my SIL made it, she used light cream, and it tasted just as good. It also makes a fair amount of sauce, so I think it would work out just as well with reducing the amount of cream/milk/whichever way you go to 3/4 cup, perhaps even a bit less. Liek Jan said (thanks, Jan!), 2% milk would probably work just as well. Only thing is, because it’s a bit thinner you might want to cook it a smidge longer to let it thicken up a bit more (if I used milk, I’d probably add a 1/2 teaspoon of 1/3 less fat sour cream just to get it to the thicker consistency). Hope that helps!


Patsy November 18, 2008 at 1:34 pm

With a recommendation like that… I’m going to have to put that on the menu soon! I also need to try roasting broccoli… just discovered roasting butternut squash (oh, yeah – total YUM!).

Patsys last blog post..Faux Chocolate Eclair Dessert


Judith in Umbria November 18, 2008 at 2:04 pm

All I have to do is write down prices at the supermarket, is that so hard? No! So why am I not doing it?


Bethany November 18, 2008 at 6:46 pm

Thanks for the lovely looking recipe! I found your blog a few weeks ago and have enjoyed the recipes you’ve shared. I’m making your Two Cheese Chicken Chowder for dinner tonight in fact! That brings me to the subject of cream. I just wanted to add that I have often substituted regular milk (whole, 2%, or otherwise) for heavy cream in recipes with much success. If there is any problem with thickening, I suggest cooking it a bit longer with the lid off – it always seems to work for me!


emkenton November 18, 2008 at 7:27 pm

Thanks for the suggestions! And I just reread my comment and realized I have a misplaced modifier– I know that Madeline wasn’t born in January! I just meant that I also have a 2008 baby and HE was born in January! Argh! :-)


ttfn300 November 19, 2008 at 12:53 am

ah, roasting anything makes it divine :) yum-o, indeed!!

ttfn300s last blog post..It’s not just for oatmeal anymore!


Kaitlin November 21, 2008 at 1:54 pm

yummie – that chicken looks so good!

Kaitlins last blog post..Peanut Butter Coffee Cake


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