We eat pretty simple food most of the time, and it doesn’t cost that much to eat simply. But, as funny as this is going to sound coming from a food blogger, I often get slightly panicked when company is coming over. So many of my recipes are either unique or very simple. Neither option seemed appropriate to serve to a new friend or family.
I have been surprised, however, at what picky people don’t like. You can serve America’s favorite food, and it’s likely to be on their list of least favorites. But I have also been surprised at how much people like some of my “simple” food. It doesn’t always take much to please a guest. So I am getting more comfortable in my hospitality.
But I did want to expand my menu with frugal meals that would be nice enough to serve to company and that would also be familiar to most people. Because I was looking for “company” meals, this isn’t the cheapest of the cheap meals that I make. But I would definitely consider it a frugal company meal. It’s also a very nourishing, well rounded, tasty meal that looks beautiful.
Around here, we have a lot of Teriyaki joints. Many of which are quite good. My husband happens to love it, and I happen to have a old family recipe that I grew up adoring. It’s familiar to most people we know, nice enough to serve to guests (it’s so pretty with the veggies!), and, if you use drumsticks (a cheaper part of chicken), it’s not going to break your budget.
This sauce can be used for many different meat dishes, so it can be adapted as well!
Teriyaki Drumsticks with Rice and Veggies
You can marinate the chicken overnight, but a few hours will suffice as well. You can also play around with what type of sweetener you want to use. Growing up, we used brown sugar. But rapadura, maple sugar, honey -even maple syrup would work. Each sweetener will add it’s own unique flavor. If you don’t use agave syrup, up the amount you add (up to 1/2 cup). Agave is sweeter than honey or sugar. This will serve 4-6 people.
2 pounds of drumsticks
1/2 cup of soy sauce
1/2 cup of rice vinegar
1/4 cup of agave syrup
1/2 teaspoon ginger, dried
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
Wash off chicken drumsticks, and place in a dish to marinate in. Combine the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Pour over the meat, cover and place in fridge. Marinate for a couple of hours or overnight.
An hour before you want to serve your dinner, make brown rice according to the package’s directions. Or, here’s how we make it.
Place in a medium pot:
6 cups of water
3 cups of brown basmati rice
1 teaspoon salt
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered for 45 minutes
When rice is about half way through, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken with sauce in a small casserole dish, and cook (in middle to upper third of oven) for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through. To test, pierce one with a knife all the way to the bone, if it’s done the juices will run clear, it not, it will contain a little bit of blood.
After you get the chicken started, prep and cook the veggies.
Steamed Vegetable Side
4 cups of carrots,washed, peeled and sliced on a diagonal
3 celery sticks, washed, and sliced on a diagonal
1/4 head of purple (red) cabbage, thinly sliced
In a large pot place several inches of water, and a stainless steel steamer. Bring to a boil. Add veggies to steamer and steam, on low, for 8-10 minutes, just until tender.
To serve, you can keep everything separate, and serve the sauce on the side to pour over the veggies and rice. Or you can layer a casserole dish in this order, rice, veggies, meat, and then the sauce poured over everything. Enjoy!