Freezer Cooking – Chicken
Freezer cooking is something I’m fairly new to doing. About eight months to be exact. At first, I was really timid to try and didn’t think things would turn out well after being frozen. But after reading a lot about freezer cooking and actually doing it, I’ve found three things to be true.
#1. Use recipes that are tried and true.
#2. It makes meal planning easier.
#3. It saves money and time.
Over the next 4 weeks (on Wednesdays), I’ll be sharing with you some of my favorite foods I love to have readily available in the freezer at all times. Lets get started. How many meals can you think of that require diced or shredded chicken? Take a quick moment to jot down 5 of your families favorites. Still need a little help, here is a list of a few ideas: casseroles, enchiladas, tacos, chicken salad, sandwiches, and soup.
When chicken is on sale for $0.99 per pound, this is when I plan my meals around chicken. This chicken is Foster Farm’s chicken and it does have the skin on and bone in. Which is great when you roast chicken. It helps keep the chicken moist and adds flavor. I know it’s not the fun to debone and peal the skin off, but after it cook it is easy. I’ve found that it takes me roughly 15 to 20 minutes to remove the skin, debone and shred 6 pounds of meat. I add this into my schedule, typically I make it durning lunch time (kitchen is already a mess) and after Little Buddy goes down for his nap I dice it and bag it up! Find a time that it works well into your schedule, it doesn’t have be planned just to do it. Streamline it!
Here is my process:
Pre-Heat oven to 400 Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Place one flat of chicken on baking sheet.
Using 1/4 cup of oil (use Grapeseed or Olive Oil) and pour over chicken.
Liberally season favorite spices and herbs(I typically use: oregano, garlic, salt, pepper and basil.) Then rub all the ingredients on chicken.
Place in oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until cooked.
After chicken is cooked, let it cool for at least 20 minutes (that way you don’t burn your hands).
Remove the skin and bones.
When I cook chicken this way I tend to dice it up. For me I find it to be fast, but you can totally shredded it if you’d like.
Then, place 2 cup portions in a freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible and spread chicken out so the bag is as flat as possible. This will save lots of space!
Lastly, place in the freezer until you are ready to use it.
When you are ready to use the chicken, remove it from the freezer the night before or the morning of and let it defrost. I have on occasion removed it from the freezer an hour before I needed to make something and just tossed it in a casserole.
How much chicken do you use in a one month period? Would having diced chicken on hand make it easier for you to meal plan? Share your thoughts in the comments!