Five meals under four dollars

Want a delicious meal that won't take too much out of your pocket? Check out our easy budget recipes that are big on flavour.

By Victoria O'Meara
Recipes by The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Five meals under four dollars
Pepper-Braised Chicken Thigh
Photography by Jim Norton
These simple budget meals are both delicious and inexpensive, making them ideal for the money-conscious home chef on any busy weeknight. Try one tonight and see for yourself. Saving money has never tasted so good.

Pepper-Braised Chicken Thighs

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Makes: 4 to 6 servings

12 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper
2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 sweet green peppers, thinly sliced
1 tsp (5 mL) smoked paprika or
chili powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried thyme
1 tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
1 can (28 oz/796 mL) whole
tomatoes
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped fresh
parsley

Sprinkle chicken with half each of the salt and pepper. In large shallow Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat; brown chicken, in batches. Transfer to plate.

Add onion, garlic and green peppers to pan; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in paprika, thyme and remaining salt and pepper. Add 1/4 cup (50 mL) water and balsamic vinegar; cook, scraping up brown bits, until almost no liquid remains.

Add tomatoes, breaking up with spoon. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to pan, spooning sauce over top; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until juices run clear when chicken is pierced, about 25 minutes.

Using slotted spoon, transfer chicken and peppers to serving plate; keep warm. Stir parsley into sauce and bring to boil; cook until thickened. Spoon over chicken.

More budget meals under four dollars:

Korean-Style Chicken with Cucumber Pickles
For chicken that is cooked to perfection broil this dish until the onions are slightly charred and there is almost no soy sauce mixure left.

Piri-Piri Chicken Legs

This Piri-Piri Chicken is best when refrigerated for at least 8 hours. With 5 minutes of prep time why not prepare it before you head to work in the morning?

Rosemary Beef Burgers with Jalapeño Mayonnaise
Mix minced jalapeño pepper, parsley, pepper and garlic into mayonnaise for a spicy topping to these homemade burgers.

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