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Cheap Eats: Roasted Chicken, Green Beans and Potatoes Feeds 4 for $10



Cheap Eats: Roast Chicken, Potatoes, Green Beans feed 4 for $10 (with leftovers!)


I’ve made a decision. I am going to redefine the word "rich".

When I was a kid, we didn’t have a lot of money, on our best months we lived pay check to pay check. I vividly remember standing in line at a Stater Brothers Market as my mother rapidly added the groceries in her head, factoring in coupons, putting back items and trying to feed ten mouths for the month with a thin envelope of cash. I remember thinking I would be rich if I could go to the grocery store and buy anything I wanted.

As I got older I though this was funny, how small my definition of rich was. But why not? Why is rich defined by excess, yachts and handbags that cost 10 grand? I’m going back to my 10 year old definition. We are rich. We have a refidgerator full of groceries, warm beds, we can turn on the heat and air on a whim, and our kids have several pairs of shoes. In many, many, parts of the world, that is rich. Who cares about billon dollar Hampton Hideaways, Rolls Royce and Hermes bags, we have well fed families!

So, in honor of our new found wealth, I have decided to start a Cheap Eats category as a way to expand the limited resource that is our grocery dollars. I’m in the process of making the switch from Director at my previous company, to freelance stay at home mom and I’ve had to adjust the budget, but I still want to eat great food. I don’t want to add two jars and some meat to a crock pot, I want to eat well, but I want it well priced.

Cheap Eats will be food that’ll be fancy enough for company, cheap enough for a budget, and include real-life ingredients with minimally processed foods. I hope you love these Rich People Dishes as much as I do, and never forget to be grateful for all that we have. Check us out, we 're rich!

Cheap Eats: Roast Chicken, Potatoes, Green Beans feed 4 for $10 (with leftovers!)


Roasted Chicken, Green Beans and Potatoes Feeds 4 for $10


For The Chicken:

  • 1 4.5 lb whole chicken
  • 3 tbs softened butter
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

For The Potatoes:

  • 1 lbs red potatoes (cut into quarters)
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

For The Green Beans:

  • 1 lb Green Beans, trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 tbs oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. In a small bowl mix together the lemon juice, butter, salt and pepper.
  3. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry.
  4. Rub the chicken all over with the butter (under the skin as well as over).
  5. Place chicken in a roasting rack inside a roasting pan.
  6. Roast in a 425 oven for about 1 ½ or until the internal temperature reaches 165.
  7. About 10 minutes before the chicken is finished, start the potatoes.
  8. Add 2 tbs olive oil to cast iron skillet over medium high heat until hot but not smoking.
  9. Add the potatoes, one of the cut sides down.
  10. Cook until browned, about 3 minutes.
  11. Push each piece of potato over, toggling it onto its un-browned cut side.
  12. Cook for about one minute, remove from heat.
  13. Once the chicken is cooked, remove from oven and allow to rest.
  14. Transfer the potatoes to the oven, reduce heat to 375, allow to cook until fork tender, about 10 minutes.
  15. For the Green beans, heat a skillet over high heat with 1 tbs olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add the green beans, toss until starting to blister. Add the balsamic and cook until the balsamic has reduced and the green beans have softened, add the pepper.
  16. Once the chicken has rested (about 10 minutes) transfer to a cutting board and carve.

Note about the chicken: If you have never roasted a chicken, you should start. It’s fairly easy to buy a whole roasting chicken for about $1 to $2 a pound. They are cheap, healthy and easy. For a step by step on how to roast a chicken, check out my How To Roast A Chicken post.

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Averie @ Averie Cooks March 28, 2013 um 2:14 am

God bless this post and your sentiments. I don’t eat meat but can 100% relate to this. I have made the transition you speak of…and have had to readjust the budget. And just in general, it’s very different when you’re 23 walking into WFs and seeing a tub of pre-cut mango and buying it for like $8.72 It’s about 4 bites worth. Fast forward a decade, and I can feed a whole family, with leftovers, for probably 2 days on 8.72 I love your 10 yr old definition of rich. I wish more people would get back to that. People today spend more on 1 coffee drink when they’re out than my mother did to feed a family dinner many nights over!


Jackie March 28, 2013 um 8:21 am

I know! When I was pregnant my office was above the Whole Foods in Beverly Hills. I think I spent more for lunch in those days than an entire days worth of food for my whole family these days!


Ali B. March 28, 2013 um 4:43 am

Great post! I just learned how to roast a chicken about a year ago. Guests always feel super special when you tell them you’re roasting a chicken, but it’s so easy!


Jackie March 28, 2013 um 8:22 am

It’s one of my favorite go-to meals for guests. I usually brine for 12 hours and dry the skin for 12 hours, but most people don’t plan meals that far ahead.


Cassie | Bake Your Day March 28, 2013 um 6:30 am

I simply LOVE this idea of cheap eats. By many standards all of us in the US are rich and I know I take it for granted. Great idea. And I love this roasted chicken!


claire @ the realistic nutritionist March 28, 2013 um 7:27 am

I’m rich, b****! 🙂 haha. But I agree. Loved talking with you about this when we met. Love your humble beginnings. This is a great great great idea!


Candice March 28, 2013 um 8:18 am

I love this idea and concept. I can’t wait to see more!


Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet March 28, 2013 um 8:49 am

I love this post. Your definition of rich is so spot on. I agree, why should rich be defined my handbags and yachts. I would rather have a fancy looking and festive meal like this on the table and know that it didn’t cost and arm and a leg. It always amazes me how cheap a whole chicken is and how easily you can turn it into a quite impressive dish. Looking forward to this series!


Jackie March 28, 2013 um 9:25 am

I saw a documentary years ago about third world countries and a woman was asked what she thought it would be like to be rich as she said, "Having a house so big that all of my kids could have their own bed" Not even their own room, just their own bed. Right out of college I worked with kids in inner city LA and at least half of them didn’t have their own beds, and sometimes the entire family slept in one bed because that’s all they could afford. Even though I was only making about $16 an hour at the time, it made me feel rich! Why do we let people with more than use make us feel poor, but we don’t see how much more we have than some other people and feel rich?


JulieD March 28, 2013 um 9:52 am

This is wonderful…we really forget sometimes how fortunate we are. I’m looking forward to seeing more of this great new series of yours!


Sara March 28, 2013 um 11:46 am

Dry the chicken? This wasn’t discussed in your other how to post you linked… Please explain if you can! I’ve been roasting birds for awhile but my results are always so meh… Maybe cause I’m not brining (recently did a buttermilk brine for fried chicken via guidance from smittenkitchen/CI and it was MONEY)


Jackie March 28, 2013 um 4:03 pm

Most of the time I brine it for 12 to 24 hours, then leave it uncovered in the fridge, inside a roasting pan, for another 12 to 24 hours so that the skin dries, but because of the brine the meat is still juicy. If I didn’t think about roasting a chicken three days ahead of time I just pat it dry with paper towels and rub it with butter.


Emily March 28, 2013 um 1:20 pm

This is truly wonderful! 5 years out of college and I’m still living pay check to pay check with no savings to speak of yet. My friends and I complain to each other about how "poor" we are, but I remind myself that I have heat, a roof over my head, cable and internet. As long as I am still DVRing Dance Moms, I have no right to complain about being poor.

I’ve had to give myself a crash course in eating inexpensively (my blog used to be full of expensive random ingredients, and now I’m posting more things that I’m cooking for myself for dinner, cheaply). Your posts will be very helpful!


Gerry @ Foodness Gracious March 28, 2013 um 5:21 pm

I often have this discussion with my wife. Her take is if things got tight here, then we’d be on hamburger helper and rice every night. I argue against it and tell her you can still eat well with the right shopping method. I’ll be looking forward to future posts. I roast a chicken at least once a week, the kids love to get all into it and eat with there hands!


Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry March 28, 2013 um 7:01 pm

I love this new feature! As a student on a budget, Im always on the look out for delicious recipes that don’t cost a kidney. I make a roasted chicken at least once a week.


Lisa March 28, 2013 um 8:35 pm

Great post, and I love the new cost-saving feature. I agree with your definition of wealth. Acquiring is just that – acquiring. The 'stuff' that we work so hard to buy becomes a burden of too much stuff later. Been there, done that. Not too long ago, I decided to retire from a senior exec job in my mid-40’s and, my husband and I decided that the house we’d bought as our future retirement home should be enjoyed now, and not just on weekends as a cottage. And those chicken carcasses withe vegetable scraps make great chicken stock to freeze for soups and risottos later.


RavieNomNoms March 29, 2013 um 10:33 am

I love roasted chicken, it is always so moist and delicious!


Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious March 29, 2013 um 2:04 pm

Such a great post. I work in Beverly Hills and you could imagine what the definition of "rich" is for these people. But really, I’m so grateful that I can eat what I want to eat (not calorie-wise unfortunately) and have a roof over my head.

Love this new category of cheap eats. Working full-time at an office job, I’m constantly ordering out so the leftovers from this meal would save me even more money!


Valerie @ From Valerie’s Kitchen March 30, 2013 um 6:44 pm

I love this Jackie. It’s always a good idea to slim things down now and then, including our grocery budget. I come from a big family too and now have my own home full of boys who eat a lot! This is a great, wholesome, family dinner.


addie | culicurious March 31, 2013 um 3:36 pm

Great idea, Jackie! And that chicken looks delicious!! 🙂

Congrats on being able to leave your job and go full time freelance. It’s a great place to be!!


ashley – baker by nature April 1, 2013 um 6:04 pm

You’re so inspiring, Jackie. My mom raised 5 kids as a single mother, so I can completely relate to this post. And the food looks like a feast fit for a king!


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