Chicken and Beans – 82p per serving

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I know I say this about a lot of dishes, but this one is really one of my favourites. It’s comforting, easy and quick to make. It tastes wholesome, earthy and is the perfect fodder to come in to after a long spring walk. In the past, I’ve been known to chop an onion and garlic, freeze it with a pack of chicken pieces and throw the lot in the freezer as a sort of ‘meal pack’. Then I know I’ve always got something filling and hearty to put in the slow cooker that involves no ‘fresh’ ingredients (obv. the onion and garlic were originally fresh but… you know…) This is perfect for when you’re coming back from a trip, or on those days when you’re tempted by takeaways.

Anyway, the prices below are from Tesco via Mysupermarket. You could easily do this cheaper by shopping in Aldi/Lidl, using dried beans instead of canned, making the chicken stock yourself from bones, or by buying lower welfare chicken.

2 cloves of garlic 8p
1 onion 16p
200g frozen sweetcorn 20p
1 can of interesting beans i.e. flageolet (these are best!), pinto, black eyed beans etc. 52p (or four cans for £2.00, cutting the price to 50p per can)
250mls rice (because I am odd and measure rice this way… I would estimate 200g, making it 8p)
1 value stock cube and 750mls-1litre of boiling water 2p
OR 750mls-1litre of chicken stock from leftover bones
1 piece of chicken per person from a pack of Tesco free range chicken thighs, £4.25 (or befriend your local butcher, buy lower welfare meat, use leftovers from a Sunday roast or check out the chicken thigh selection at Muscle Foods) As I use just over half a pack for this recipe, I’m writing the cost as £2.25,but give or take as you will.

Method: Put everything but the rice and sweetcorn (onion and garlic finely chopped, beans drained) in the slow cooker on high for 2 hours, or cook on the hob for 45 minutes. Cook the rice – either by adding it to the . When the rice is done and the water/stock absorbed, add the sweetcorn, stir through and serve.

Total cost: £3.29 or 82p per serving.

Using the prices above, this is at the more expensive end of the £1 per day spectrum. You can still come in on budget though – having a bowl of 10p porridge for breakfast puts you at 92p for the day, then follow this up by a couple of slices of the 12p loaf, buttered, for lunch and you’re just around the 95p mark. This gives you a little leeway for toppings – jam is cheap but not particularly healthy, whilst homemade hummus is a great alternative to butter and much better for you. You could make a bone broth from the leftovers of a whole chicken and add some veg peelings/nettles for a totally free soup (nettle soup is wonderful, by the way. I’ll cover that another day, I promise).

And if you’re wondering, the green in the pic is some celery I added, just to use it up.

Which are your favourite bean dishes?

— Farn ❤

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