One "organizational" tool I use is a weekly menu. Each week I "try" to plan out my meals for the week. Sometimes is works, sometimes it doesn't. That's why I write it out in pencil. Last week I was planning out my meals for the week and everything I came up with had chicken in it. I thought, "Wouldn't it be funny to see how long I could go serving chicken to my family before they noticed or complained?" And thus "The Great Chicken Experiment" was born. These were the rules: I would serve chicken every night we were home and I would only stop when someone either 1.- asked why we were having chicken all the time or 2.- complained about having chicken all the time. Either way the word "chicken" had to be in the sentence. I have to have standards when it comes to my experiments or else they are completely useless. I mean what kind of experiment would it be if I just stopped when someone gave a general complaint about what I had fixed for dinner. Then it wouldn't be an experiment; it would just be part of the normal daily pre-dinner conversation.
I was telling a friend about my little experiment and she asked, "Are you doing this because you found a great deal on chicken?"
"No." I responded
Then she asked, "Is it because of the health benefits of chicken over red meat?"
"No." I said,"This is just how I amuse myself."
So in an effort to have accurate documentation of my experiment, here is a list of what we had each night. If there is an online recipe I used with chicken in it, I provided a link.
Day One: Chicken Fried Rice
Day Two: Chicken Parmesan
Day Three: Chicken Tortilla SoupAt this point I did start to get a few complaints, but it was things like "How come we never have Bacon Pasta?"- one of our family's favorites that Eric made up. Or "Why can't we have spaghetti?" But alas the word "chicken" was not included so I treaded on with my experiement.
Day Four: Italian Crock-Pot Chicken
To be honest in all my dealings, I do have to admit that on Day Five Eric and Finn were at a Father and Son's Campout so I had no control over what they had to eat and desiring a day off I took the girls out to eat. So day five was an unforeseen sabbatical in my "Chicken Experiment."
Day Six: Amber's Training BBQ Chicken Salad- There isn't a link for this one but I do think Amber should post it on Tried and True. It is an awesome salad for the summer that even my kids will eat.
Day Seven: JJ Loves my Rosemary Chicken
Day Eight: BBQ Chicken Pizza
Day Nine: Coconut Chicken Strips- The only thing I did different with this recipe is I dipped my chicken strips in coconut milk before I dipped them in flour and the rest of the steps shown in the recipe. These was the first time we had tried them and they were very good.
So as I was pulling the Coconut Chicken Strips out of the oven, Finn said to me "Why can't we just have spaghetti? I'm tired of all this fish and chicken." Oh, no! Does that count? I mean he did say "chicken" in his complaint but he included "fish" too. I decided to ignore it for the moment and decide what to do later. But Finn didn't disappoint. About 10 minutes into dinner he said, "We've had chicken for like 3 days. I'm tired of chicken." Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! I smiled and at him and said, "Finn you won my game. We've actually had chicken for about 10 days." Annie said, "No we haven't" and Eric looked skeptical. I listed everything we had eaten over the past week and a half. He said, "I didn't even notice!" This was a surprise to both of us because I thought for sure Eric would be the first to protest. He is usually quite particular about what we eat and how often we eat it. I think the genius of my experiment was the fact that I mixed up the flavors and styles of chicken dishes... bbq, grilled, salads, italian, chinese, coconut, etc.
And honestly making dinner has been a bit boring since my experiment ended. Does anyone have a new ingredient I can try to serve my family everyday without them noticing? The only one I've come up with so far is zucchini, but that will have to wait until mid-July. At least I have something to look forward to...