Every Wednesday Night is chicken night. We get our chicken from Save-A-Lot. We get leg quarters in a 10 lb bag for $5.80. Two months ago, it was $3.90 and the price crept up. It's still the best price I've seen, but I'm not happy about it.
Our default chicken is for when I don't have the time or energy to do anything special. I throw half the bag of chicken in the the crock pot on low all day. It comes out soft and versatile.
Chicken - $1.48
Chicken cooked this way makes great leftovers and provides a few days meals for my husband's lunch. However, 5 lbs of chicken is not necessary for one meal, even if it is quarters with the bone in. For the actual meal, we only use maybe half of what is cooked, so I listed the cost as a quarter of the bag.
Default chicken is usually served with a pound of potatoes, mashed. When I make potatoes with chicken, I put in some of the juice that cooked out of the chicken and mash the potatoes with that, omitting butter and milk. This chicken broth is extremely nutritious and would otherwise be lost. We used to let is congeal in the fridge and toss it. It is also good for gravy and broth for soup, so don't toss it like we did. Sometimes I throw oregano or rosemary in the potatoes to spice it up, but it's not necessary. By the way, I leave my skins on for nutritional value, even with mashed, but I scrub them thoroughly first.
I also make a pound of broccoli. I get my frozen broccoli at the Dollar Tree, 2 lbs for $1 of broccoli cuts. My family doesn't care that they are cuts and not florets. I don't see them at the Dollar Tree every time, so I am really hoping they don't discontinue them.
The most basic ways to spice up this meal is sprinkling something on top of the chicken. Cajun seasoning on the top makes the chicken on top spicy for adults, leaving the chicken on bottom mild for kids. We also throw on bread crumbs and spices to make something similar to shake and bake.
When I feel more creative with my chicken I do several other things, including a real spicy chicken and Chinese chicken. Even though I don't use the whole half bag of chicken with these recipes, I cook half the bag to make the leftover chicken, but it's not a good idea to cook half the bag if your family won't use the leftovers in a timely manner.