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Mommy's Corner: Frugal Family Meals

Hey! My name is Jessica! I'm a PennyDonna and a married mother of four children. Feeding my family on a budget is a must! But our meals don’t have to be boring or unappetizing!  In this post I will share with you a meal that my family loves.

Breaded Chicken Alfredo is a dish that seems difficult and fancy if you’re making it from scratch, but it isn’t! I start by making my list. You are going to need:

3 Chicken Breasts
1 Pint of Heavy Whipping Cream
1 Cup of Italian Bread Crumbs
2 tbsp of butter
1/4 cup of milk
Olive Oil
2 Eggs
2 Cups of Italian Cheese (shredded melts are the best & you may not need all of the 2 cups
A few cloves of garlic (depends on how much YOU like)
  1 box of Bow Tie Pasta (or pasta of your choice)

I start by boiling the water for the Pasta. While the water is getting ready I wash my chicken breast and slice them in half. So now I have 6 thin slices of chicken. There is no need to spend the extra money for the prepackaged thin sliced chicken when I can do it myself! You can spend up to $8 buying that prepackaged thin sliced chicken and it’s usually 1lb or less! Instead I opt for the economy packaged chicken and I get about 5lbs of chicken, which is usually about 7 breasts for less than $10. <----PennyDonna Tip :)

Okay so back to the recipe. After you have sliced your chicken, go get two containers. In one container beat your eggs and add your milk. Dump your bread crumbs in your second container. Now take your chicken and dip one at time, first in the egg mixture, then in the bread crumbs. Bread all of your chicken and set it to the side. At this point your water should be boiling, so add your pasta. Today I used Mini
Bowties, they were too cute to resist!

On to the sauce! Get your sauté pan warm on medium heat; add your butter and garlic. Sauté for a maybe two minutes, then add the whole pint of heavy whipping cream. Heat through for about 5 minutes and allow the garlic, butter and cream to come together. After five minutes, you can add your cheese. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese until it melts and you have a smooth sauce. At this point, you can add more cheese if you would like the sauce to be thicker. If you found that you may have added too much cheese, DON’T WORRY! You can just add a little bit of milk at a time to thin it out.

Your pasta should be ready, so go ahead and drain it. I like to return it to the pot after I drain it and I add a little butter and or olive oil to keep it from sticking.

So now all you have is your chicken. Now, I use to pan fry my chicken. When you do that, you take just enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan and you fry each side of the chicken until the juices run clear. These days I have learned and easier approach. I DEEP fry my chicken! The two things I like about deep frying my chicken are:

1. Less mess and less clean up
2. The breading sticks better

When you pan fry, sometimes the chicken can sweat after its done cooking and the breading hasn’t adhered so well to the breast so it can tend flake off. Never the less it still tastes good!

Alright, now that your chicken is cooked, take some of the pasta and plate it, spoon on your homemade Alfredo sauce over it and top it with a crispy piece of that chicken! You may garnish with some fresh parsley & grated Parmesan cheese if you would like.

And there you have it, a meal for 6 that will taste better than that fancy Italian restaurant up the street and you didn’t have to spend $14 per plate!

Here are some ideas to switch the dish up:
1. Grill your chicken instead of frying
2. Season your chicken with Cajun Seasoning and pan sauté, then add some fresh sliced Roma Tomatoes as garnish
3. Use different pasta
4. Try different cheeses

Baking is a science, cooking is what you want it to be, don’t be afraid to experiment!

14 Comments to Mommy's Corner: Frugal Family Meals:

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Hi Jessica, outstanding post, enjoy reading your wonderful frugal meal idea. Thanks
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