Thursday, April 13, 2017

A Little Bulk Freezer Cooking

Since I am trying to get caught up around here with things like washing windows, I am trying to cook really easy meals. Hubby and I can pretty much make our own breakfast and lunch but dinner usually is my meal of the day to make. So for the next few weeks, with the exception of Easter, I will be making meals that only take a few minutes.

I do have some ground turkey all cooked up in the freezer that I will be using but I wanted to do up some chicken. So when the chicken breasts went on sale for $1.88 a lb. this week I purchased a large package.

Yesterday, I baked that chicken. After lining my roasting pan with foil, I cleaned some bits of skin off of the chicken and then washed and drained it all.

While that was draining, I mixed up some oil, basil, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Then I dipped each chicken breast in the mixture and coated them and put each one in the pan. I then baked them in my convection oven at 325. Normally I cook them for 20 minutes because I have cut them in 1/2 lengthwise. However yesterday I was rushing around here and just baked them whole so they took about 35-40 minutes to reach a temperature of 165. The oil keeps the chicken really, really moist. I hate dryed out chicken. 

When I took them out of the oven, I put them on a plate to rest for a while. 

After they cooled, I cut them up into chunks and put them in freezer bags. I cut up one for each bag since they were huge breasts. There are only two of us and this amount is plenty for a meal. I will be using one for a meal tonight. The rest are frozen for other quick meals.

Usually for long term storage, I food saver them. However since they will be used in the next 6 - 7 weeks, I just used the freezer ziplocs.

I had just enough room in my freezer to put these bags in. That huge package would have never fit so that was another reason that I cooked them up. 

I have been doing this with chicken for a couple of years. I first saw it done this way somewhere on the internet but I can't remember where so I can't link it.

Tonight's dinner will be chicken teriyaki stir fry using a bag of the chicken, onions, three colors of peppers and the sauce. I will serve it on rice or quinoa. I can do the rice or quinoa in the pressure cooker so that is easy too.

Sometimes when you have lots to do you just have to give yourself some grace and do easy meals. I may even have Hubby grill a strip steak from our freezer one night and make a tossed salad to go with it. I still have lots of strip steaks in the freezer from buying a whole strip loin last fall. I love grilled food so this week he is getting the grill out and ready to go.

I would love some help from all of you on what easy meals that I can throw this chicken in. What is your favorite way to use up chunks of chicken besides stir fry and soup?
   

8 comments:

  1. Chicken is so versatile, so it can be used in so many ways. A few of my favourites with cooked chicken are:
    chicken ranch pizza. (Homemade or pizza crust, ranch dressing spread over the pizza crust, bits of chicken placed all over the dressing, add small bits of ham or bacon, then shredded mozzarella. Bake in a 450 degree oven for about 15 minutes.
    I also sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over the mozzarella when I have it. It creates a more authentic pizza look.

    Quiche, either with a crust or without. Scramble 4-6 eggs, add a bit of water or milk, add chopped cooked chicken, and any veggies you have handy, add a cup or so of whatever cheers you have handy and bake in the oven for about 30-45 minutes (or until done ... no longer jiggly)

    Add chicken to a pasta dish, like chicken tetrazzini, or a simple pesto or cream sauce with chicken, etc, there are also recipes for chicken lasagna. Hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jayne,
      YUM! I am going to try that pizza. Thanks for sharing all of your recipes.

      Delete
  2. Hi AD this is Chris. Here are a few things I make with leftover chicken:

    1. Chicken quesadillas. With chicken and cheese on the stove top. Spray the fry pan with Pam.
    2. Chicken tacos. Put the chicken in the crock pot. Add salsa and some chicken taco season. If the chicken is already cooked, you just need to cook on low a few hours. Then 1/2 hour or so before you eat, add a block of cream cheese. Serve with taco fixings that you like.
    3. Chicken casserole: Mix the leftover chicken with either cooked noodles or rice. Add some cooked broccoli. I use a can of cream of chicken soup, 1/2 can of milk and some cheese for the sauce, but you could make a white sauce doctored up just as easily, which I do sometimes. Sprinkle some cheese on top and bake 350 degrees for 20-30 min.
    4. Chicken barley soup. Put chicken in the crock pot with some carrots, onion, celery, and chicken broth. I add 1/3 of a 1 lb bag of barley. Season how you want, I usually just use a little salt and some pepper.
    5. Chicken Tortellini Soup. Add Chicken to 4 cans or so of chicken broth, 1 can of cream of chicken soup, 1 can of water, and a bag of frozen spinach. I cook on the stove for awhile and then add the bag of tortellini about 10 min before we eat. Sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on top.
    6. If you have a Kroger store near by, or if your Tops store may have this, look in the Indian section for a sauce called Tikka Masala. I add the leftover chicken to this with a bag of frozen spinach and some cooked onions. Serve over rice.
    7. Roast some veggies in the oven. We like chopped zucchini and yellow squash and tomatoes with Italian dressing on them and roast 400 degrees for about 10-15 min. Then add the veggies to the chicken and some cooked couscous. Sprinkle with parmesan on top. Can be served hot or cold. I make this a lot in the summer b/c you can grill veggies on the grill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chris,

      Thanks for sharing all of your recipes with all of us. I am going to make the chicken barley soup before it gets too warm outside for soup. I also didn't know that you could buy Tikka Masala sauce. I will be trying that.

      Delete
  3. We do something very similar. My husband grills the giant Costco sized packages of chicken tenderloins. I then freeze them into individual sized bags. Our favorite recipes include: oven baked chicken risotto (so easy), chicken soft tacos, chicken over salad, chicken panninis with basil & mozzarella, chicken taquitos (for the freezer), etc. I love having prepared protein for quick dinners!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Hawaii Planner,

      As soon as our grill is hooked up again and I can use it, I will grill a huge package. How do you make your chicken risotto? That sounds interesting. So do the chicken paninnis. Thanks for sharing all of your recipes.

      Delete
    2. You bet! The risotto is a favorite. Super easy, no stirring! :-) http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/oven-chicken-risotto

      The chicken taquitos are http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-black-bean-taquitos-with-adobo-sour-cream (except, obviously skip all of the chicken prep/cooking steps, as your chicken is already cooked). I freeze these & then bake them for yummy lunches.

      For the chicken panninis, I typically use up whatever I hav eon hand, but here's a good start recipe. http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/chicken-panini-with-pesto-and-mozzarella.html

      Enjoy!

      Delete
    3. Hi Hawaii Planner,

      Thanks so much for these recipes. I have printed them all out.

      Delete