Having a Sunday roast is a real treat, but if you’re cooking for one, it can be difficult to get motivated – but you can put together a microwave chicken dinner for one that does almost the same job, without the waiting!
While it is possible to buy a ready meal frozen dinner for one they tend to be small, unappetising and quite pricey for what you get. By making your own frozen dinner for one, you control the portions and you choose what’s on the plate. You will get better value and a bigger dinner for your money! So what’s not to like?
Pin It!: Microwave Sunday Dinner for One
This week’s Sunday dinner for one has used the following ingredients from the freezer and cupboard:
- ~150 grams chicken slices, from a chicken I’d previously cooked in the slow cooker and frozen in individual portions – but you can buy ready-cooked chicken at any supermarket, or use frozen chicken pieces you’ve bought.
- 1-2-3 Yorkshire puddings – these I’d bought, frozen, from the supermarket; I chose to have three as they were the last three in the bag and I wanted to get that freezer space back!
- ½ a small packet stuffing mix: Whether a 20p box from the supermarket, or an organic brand you’ve bought from the farmer’s market, it’s your choice. Quantity is “by eye” of how much you want to make/eat.
- Instant mash: containing 99% potato, don’t assume that instant mash is “bad for you”. It’s easy to use. An alternative is to use frozen mashed potato, which you’ve bought or made yourself.
- 250 grams carrots: I bought this bag of carrots in Aldi, just a 500 gram bag for 27p, so have used half that packet. They were fresh, but you can use frozen carrots if that’s what you’ve got!
- Some frozen peas: I just used up the last of the bag of frozen peas I had in the freezer. Defrost them
- Instant gravy: a cupboard staple here; one jar tends to last a whole year.
- Knob of butter for the stuffing mix and the instant mash.
The Sunday dinner in the photo above was cooked entirely in a microwave oven, yes even the Yorkshire puddings!
- Boil the kettle. You’ll need boiling water to steam the carrots and peas, as well as to make the packet stuffing, the instant potato and the gravy. You’ll also use boiling water to defrost the peas.
- To cook raw carrots in the microwave, top and tail your carrots, slicing them in the size/shape you fancy – place these in a microwave steamer, with some boiling water, and microwave for 5 minutes, turn/test if they’re close to being cooked, possibly cooking them for a further 2-4 minutes if you’ve cut them large. The smaller the pieces, the quicker they are to cook.
- Make up your stuffing mix in a microwave safe dish/jug, with a knob of butter and boiling water. Stir it through and leave it to one side for 5-6 minutes for the hot water to plump up the stuffing.
- Defrost the peas in a mug of boiling water and, once the carrots are cooked, add the defrosted frozen peas to the carrots and microwave them together for 1 minute. Set aside until it’s time to serve up.
- If your chicken is defrosted, microwave it until it’s sizzling/hissing and super hot, for 2-3 minutes. If your chicken is frozen, then microwave it for longer. Chicken is safe to reheat, but you do have to ensure it’s hot, hot, hot …. it cooks better if you can spread the chicken out and give it room to cook, rather than packing it into a small container.
- Microwave the Yorkshire puddings for just 1-2 minutes. The shorter the time the better – you can feel when they’re done as it’s all about the heat… cook them too long they go rubbery. If you get the chance to defrost them before you microwave them, then you can microwave them for a shorter time and get a better result. They won’t go crispy, but they will be hot.
- Make up your instant mash with a knob of butter and boiling water in a mug or jug – this doesn’t need to be microwave safe as you’re not putting it into the microwave.
- Make up your instant gravy with boiling water in a tiny pot, I typically use just 1 heaped teaspoon of instant gravy granules.
- Microwave the stuffing mix for 1 minute; you’re just trying to get it hot at this stage. Once hot the stuffing is ready to eat. Some people might not even bother with this stage, but I like to just give the stuffing a blast to bring it up to temperature again and ensure the stuffing mix has been fully cooked/plumped up.
- Place the chicken, stuffing, Yorkshire puddings, carrots, peas and mashed potato on the plate – and pour the gravy where you fancy it. EAT!
Menu Cost £1.10:
It’s difficult to put a price on this, as prices can be quite variable. Cooking the chicken myself, in the slow cooker, I’d guesstimate that 150 grams probably cost me 60p. Three Yorkshire puddings (you’d only get one if you’d bought a frozen dinner!) can be as little as 5p each from a supermarket’s own basics brand, so that’s 15p. The carrots cost me 14p, the peas are about 3p worth. The instant mash is Lidl’s Harvest Basket brand, costing 7p/portion. The stuffing mix is a basics box, at 20p and using under half the box it’s about 8p. And, finally, a teaspoon of instant gravy, probably 2p max, and the knobs of butter, say 1p.
Total cost of this microwave Sunday dinner meal is £1.10 – you wouldn’t be able to buy a ready meal half the size for that price!