Cheap eats: White chilli chicken

2 minute noodles need not be the staple of the struggling, independant student. My little brother is the last of us three siblings to move out of home. He’s very tentatively spread his wings and moved into a share house in a very nice street near the city. He’s very excited but confided in me, from behind the supermarket deli counter where he works, that he’s a little bit hungry and sick of rotisseries chickens leftover at the end of his shift. Luckily he can cook, so while I drove home from my visit to the hills I thought up a few recipes for him.

The real secret to these recipes is cooking in bulk. Cooking for one is expensive. I suggested he might even be able to rope his friends into food swapping with him if they do a big cook up too. The other suggestion I had for him, is to to do what every struggling student does. Hit up the central markets at lunchtime on a Saturday. The bargains found there of slightly old veggies should ward of the scurvy. Grow some coriander and other herbs.

So my challenge was set. Use rotisserie chicken or other cheap cuts of meat to make the tasty meal my brother is accustomed to. I’ve guessed that most of these meals will come out to under $3 a serve. Lucky for him, he can follow a basic recipe and makes a mean muffin!

image courtesy of JefferyW

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freezes well


  • 15ml (1 tbsp) cooking oil, either olive or vegetable
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 400g (1 can) cannellini beans, do not drain
  • 800g shredded cooked chicken, skin removed, or 3 cooked chicken breasts
  • 250 (1 cup) chicken stock, made from stock powder
  • 1 pinch dried oregano
  • 1 handful coriander leaves


  1. Heat a large frying pan or saucepan to low-medium heat. 
  2. Add the oil and cook the onions on a low heat until they're soft. About 4 minutes.
  3. Add in the garlic, cumin, chilli and capsicum and cook for another few minutes.
  4. Chuck in everything else, except the coriander (DO NOT DRAIN THE BEANS, you want the bean liquid) and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Garnish with coriander.


Cheap eats: White chilli chicken

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Tips and Techniques

  • SeasIf you do not have any chicken cooked, grilled 2 chicken breasts for 7 minutes a side.
  • Buying spices in bulk from ethnic grocers can be much more cost effective.
  • Serve with jalapenos and sour cream if it fits your budget!