A post over on Fabulous and Frugal about chicken got me thinking – all the ways to use a chicken. Whether you’re a fan of boneless, skinless or you’d rather grab a whole bird – nothing says lovin’ like chicken in the oven! Little can compare with the sheer versatility of chicken – not to mention price per pound versus other, less healthy meat alternatives.

When I hear the word chicken, I instantly think of fried chicken. Since my mama is from down South, I can’t help but have it pop into my brain, though I confess I’ve never been brave enough to make it. That doesn’t mean I’ll never make, but I may have to wait til I’m in Georgia to give it a try.

Other chicken-lickin’ thoughts that pop into my head (and boy, can I think of some!) are chicken tacos and enchiladas, chicken tortilla soup, chicken pot pie, chicken in dumplings, chicken sammies, Mongolian chicken, chicken strips, chicken salad – ah, the list could easily go on. And on and on and on. But, before I move on – let me mention this last, dear favorite: roasted chicken stuffed with chicken rice.
I’m a big fan of stretching a dollar, and chicken (maybe more than any other meat) helps me do this. When I do my batch cooking for the week, chicken is always on my radar – sometimes each week. I was once accused by DH of serving “prison rations” of chicken. (Apparently, prison rations are when I serve so little of something, DH feels like I’m a prison warden, carefully measuring out portions.) I would make a whole chicken last the two of us for a week – easily. And that included lunches, too!

While my stinginess has gradually worn off (proportionally to the freezer filling up), my love of that tasty bird has not. I love how easy it is to find on sale, I love how well it complements a charcoal grill, I simply adore the rice/pasta/tortilla/potato/etc. that I eat it with. There is just no substitute for a moist, tender, juicy piece of that white or dark meat. Wars have been fought over less.

There are few places I have been afraid to take chicken, but I will profess a love of T.G.I. Fridays Dragonfire chicken. Since my main reason for eating there is centered around that particular dish, I’ve been hunting for an easy to make substitute, so I have my chicken, and eat my heart out, too! This month, my goal is to learn how to make that dish, not just so I can enjoy, but so I can post that recipe here for all to drool over and covet. After all, isn’t that half the fun of learning something new?
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