$10 buck dinners!

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arroz_con_pollo y chorizo

This dish started with a great deal on Chorizo. I bought two packages and used one on a traditional style breakfast. Awesome, as usual. But…the other package was still sitting in the fridge and begging for something new. Figuring I’d treat it like andouille or spicy Italian sausage, I decided to piggy back off my dirty rice recipe and make a simplified version of Arroz con Pollo. With the help of Tyler Florence (his recipe is one that doesn’t call for Saffron threads), I stayed on budget and even made the dish a pretty healthy version by substituting a whole chicken with chicken breast and lean chorizo. The chorizo is so flavorful, you don’t even miss the expensive and hard to find Saffron! Ok, maybe you will miss it, but, give this version a try and see what you think. It may not be completely authentic, but it sure is tasty!

Arroz con Pollo Y Chorizo:

2 Chicken Breast, cut into 2″ cubes (1 cut up whole chicken or thighs could substitute) – $3.19
1 package (1 lb or so) Pork Chorizo sausage – $.97
2 Tbsp Olive Oil – pantry
1 medium yellow onion, diced – $.45
1 Large Red bell pepper, diced – $.77
2 cups uncooked white, long grain rice – $.40
1 can Diced Tomato – $.69
2 tsps Cumin – pantry
1 Tbsp Minced/Crushed Garlic
1 tsp dried Oregano – pantry
1 Tbsp Paprika – pantry
2 tsps cayenne (less if you prefer more mild) – pantry
1 to 2 tsps Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to your taste) – pantry
3 cups chicken stock, or water (I add 1 Tbsp bouillon to my water, it’s cheaper) – pantry
Optional: 1 Cup Green Olives

COST: $6.47

In a medium bowl, mix olive oil, 1 tsp  salt, fresh ground pepper, cumin, oregano, paprika and cayenne. Toss in cubed chicken and mix, making sure all pieces are coated with the spice rub. Refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes.

In a 5 qt, deep saute pan with lid (I love my Paula Dean pan), fry pork chorizo over medium heat until half way cooked, then add marinated chicken breast. Continue cooking till chicken is browned and chorizo is cooked. Remove meat and set aside.

In same deep saute pan, cook diced onion and bell pepper till soft. Add garlic and cook a minute more. Stir in rice so that the grains are well coated with the sofrito (sauted veggies). Add canned tomatoes (with liquid) and broth or water with bouillon, season again with salt and pepper to taste and return chicken and chorizo as well. Give a good stir, bring to boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. No peaking!

Optional: Once dish is done, scatter stuffed green or spanish olives on top of the Arroz con Pollo before serving. We left them off as not everyone is a fan, but had some on the side for those that do like olives. Worked perfect!


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Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

My father is law is the master at gumbo, so I’m in no way trying to compete. But my kiddo asked for gumbo over jambalaya the other day and I figured, why not? Chicken and Andouille gumbo has got to taste delicious, even if it’s not the authentic version. And boy was I right! Great flavor, pretty healthy and perfect for the crockpot or dutch oven meal that no one has to watch. That’s exactly what I did. Prepared it and left. A few hours later, we came back to a house smelling oh so yummy. Perfect!

Chicken and Andouille Gumbo:

1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts (they’ve been on sale lately) – $3.97
1/2 to 1 lb Andouille sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces – $1.59 (Mgrs special. Make sure and check for those)
2-3 Tbsp lard or Olive oil (your preference) – pantry
1 medium onion, diced – $.35
1 cup largely diced zucchini (or substitute with Okra. You could even add both!) – $.60
2-3 stalks celery, diced – $.40
1/4 cup chopped green onions – $.30
1 can diced tomato (14oz) – $.69
1 small can tomato sauce (8oz) – $.29
1/4 cup flour – pantry
4 cups chicken stock (I add chicken bouillon to water, it’s cheaper) – pantry
2 tsp Salt – pantry
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper – pantry
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce – pantry
2 tsp crushed garlic – pantry
2 bay leaves – pantry
1/2 tsp fresh thyme – pantry
1 tsp cayenne and a few dashes of Louisiana Hot sause (hot sauce optional)- pantry
1 1/2 cups uncooked white rice – $.30

COST: $8.19

In a large pot or dutch oven, brown Andouille over medium heat. Once cooked, remove the sausage, but leave the fat. Add additional lard or oil to the fat. My butcher makes their own sausage and I buy them on Manager special. They are very lean. If I use packaged, I notice it renders a lot more fat. So, for lean meat, I add 3 Tbsps oil and for fattier meats, only 2 Tbsps additional oil.

Next, heat the fat and oil up to medium/medium high heat and add flour, stirring constantly and until flour becomes brown in color. Once brown, turn heat down to low and add zucchini, onion, garlic, celery and okra.

Give a quick stir and slowly pour in chicken stock. Once stock is in the pot, give a nice, good stir to make sure the roux is incorporated with the liquid. Now add the tomatoes and tomato sauce, green onions, bay leaves, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, salt, Cayenne, black and hot sauce. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Cut chicken into large chunks and add to boiling mixture. Give a good stir, then add back the browned Andouille and reduce gumbo to slow simmer. Cover and cook for 2 1/2 hours.

After cooking is complete, you can remove chicken from gumbo and shred, then return to pot or just use the back of your ladle to break apart the chicken while it’s in the gumbo. Continue simmering while you prepare your rice and don’t forget to adjust the seasoning if necessary.


Pour rice into pot. Make sure your pot has a good lid. Add water to pot until it’s above the rice, precisely to your first finger tip knuckle line. Cover and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to slow simmer. Cook 20 mins and leave covered. DO NOT LIFT LID BEFORE 20 MINS!

GRAND TOTAL: $8.19 (I also made some quick corn bread muffins to accompany the meal. You could add a salad or french bread. It’s your choice! Add $1.53 if you do corn bread.

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