This week: Chicken
Kroger has bone-in chicken breasts for .98/lb. This is my "buy price" (the most I would pay for chicken breasts), so it is time to stock up!
(If chicken is not on sale in your area, don't fret! Check out my Pages on the right side of the blog, where I have a ton of freezer cooking recipes listed by meat type!)
Before you begin, please be sure to read my Freezer Cooking Tips. These recipes are for a single batch that feeds my family of 5 people. I always double these recipes to have two batches of each for my freezer. Feel free to substitute, add, and change where you want! My kids are "purists", so they don't like a lot of spices.
NOTE: Red denotes a recipe for the slow cooker or crock pot.
I have already done a post recently about chicken recipes, but most of those use boneless skinless chicken breasts. I typically don't buy bone-in chicken breasts except when I want to cook them all ahead of time to shred. The beauty of this is that shredded chicken freezes nicely and is a great addition to many super fast and easy meals. You can buy a bunch of them and boil them or cook them in the slow-cooker, then strip the meat off. I Shred the meat and then freeze it in ziploc bags (one shredded chicken per bag). Squeeze out all of the air and stack in your freezer. They defrost quickly in the microwave. Rather than posting a bunch of recipes, here are the different ways I would use fully cooked and shredded chicken:
Spaghetti (add to sauce rather than ground beef)
Tacos/fajitas (prepare with some taco seasoning)
BBQ chicken sandwiches (2 or 3 bags of shredded chicken and a bottle of on-sale BBQ sauce)
Soups, stews, etc.
Here are a couple of recipes that you could use your shredded chicken in. These go right in the freezer, and the already shredded chicken makes your prep time even easier!
Chicken Black Bean Chili (already doubled) (revised fromhere)
4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 28 oz can of tomato sauce
2 15 oz can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
2 15 oz can of corn (drained)
2 diced onions
3 T garlic powder
4 stalks of celery, chopped4 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
red pepper flakes (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a big bowl. Divide between 2 ziploc bags.
Prepare Instructions:Reheat on stovetop or in crock pot.
12 large tortillas
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 onion, diced
large can enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Make-ahead Instructions:Mix chicken, black beans, and onion in a bowl. Add about 1/4 can of enchilada sauce and stir. Place a couple of of the mixture in the center of one tortilla, add shredded cheese, and fold up. Place on a baking sheet and top with enchilada sauce and more cheese. (If you are going to freeze these, leave off toppings and freeze them separately). If freezing: Wrap each enchilada in aluminum foil and place in a ziploc bag.
If frozen, defrost for several hours. Remove from foil, place on baking sheet, top with reserved cheese and enchilada sauce, and cook at 350 for about 20 minutes.
Chicken Pot Pie
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
Frozen mixed veggies
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp celery salt
Make ahead instructions:
You have two options: either make the pie completely and freeze that way (which will take longer to defrost), or mix all ingredients in Ziploc bag, seal, and lay flat to freeze (you can then thaw the bag and add it to a pie crust when you are ready to bake).
Place thawed mixture into prepared pie crust. Cover with another pie crust, seal edges, and cut several slits in top crust to allow steam to escape. Bake for one hour at 350. (I typically make my pie crust from scratch because I like it better. I like to brush the top of my pie crust with butter if it is a store-bought crust.)