Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mexican Chicken Hodge Podge Cost Breakdown

This recipe came from another recipe that has been modified to include the black beans & rice and the extra salsa and sour cream for garnishment, because I think it takes the meal another notch up. It's just a whole bunch of food all mixed up together in a bowl with Mexican-style spices.

Cost Breakdown:
  • 2 large chicken breasts (about 1lb.) -- $2.00
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil, divided -- 10 cents
  • 1 tsp. each chili powder, cumin and garlic powder -- 9 cents
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped -- 80 cents
  • 1 small onion, chopped -- 32 cents
  • 1 C black beans -- 17 cents
  • 1 C corn, thawed from freezer or canned -- 25 cents
  • 1 C instant brown rice, cooked -- 18 cents There will be leftover rice as you are only using 1 C of the rice once it's cooked.
  • 1 C salsa -- 50 cents
  • 1/2 C salsa for garnish -- 25 cents
  • 1/4 C sour cream for garnish -- 13 cents
Total Cost: $4.79

This made about 5 servings, but you could easily stretch it by adding more black beans & brown rice. Three servings were eaten that night for dinner. Two 1/2 sized servings were served up with other foods on leftovers night. And a final serving was my lunch one day. That brings each serving to 96 cents.

How I Made It:
  1. Trim both chicken breasts if necessary and cut into bite size pieces. Chicken cuts more easily when partially frozen.
  2. Heat up 1/2 of the oil in a large skillet and brown chicken. Add in spices and continue cooking until done.
  3. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside. Heat remaining oil and cook bell pepper & onion until tender crisp. Add chicken back to skillet. Add in black beans and corn and let heat for a minute.
  4. Now add the brown rice and salsa. Mix well and cook until everything is heated through.
  5. Serve in bowls and top with additional salsa and sour cream.
  6. Enjoy!
  • I freeze my black beans in 2 C increments and I only used 1 C in this recipe. With my leftover black beans and corn and rice, I'll make quesadillas with some cheese and top them with sour cream and salsa.
  • My green bell pepper was also in the freezer. I pulled it out ahead of time and thawed it. To equal 1 bell pepper I used 1 cup chopped.
  • To increase the chicken and spices add an additional 1/2 tsp of each spice for each piece of chicken you add. So 3 pieces of chicken would mean using 1 1/2 tsp each chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin.
  • To increase the spice use medium or hot salsa. I used mild in the recipe so the whole family can enjoy it. I used medium salsa in my garnish to give me the kick I like.
  • I think my favorite thing about this recipe is that it's so easy to add more of the stuff you like and less of the stuff you don't like. It's really about the mixture and the spices that get used and less about the exact specifics. If you have 1/2 cup of leftover rice from another meal and don't want to cook more, then don't. The flavor won't change. If you're a vegetarian, skip the chicken altogether and use more black beans and extra veggies. Just add the spices to the black beans and mix well to evenly distribute.


  1. Sounds delish. Great pics, did you have to stand on a chair to get those?;)

  2. I think I may have to try this as finals week seems as though it would be quick and easy to throw together during a study break! :)