Friday, November 18, 2011

Freezer Cooking: Chicken

First off, I'm so sorry I haven't posted in a while and that my posts have been scarce. My life has been pretty crazy, but hopefully I can keep up with the blog a little better in the future!

So I did my first ever freezer cooking day a few weeks ago! It has made sticking to my menu SO much easier!

I bought 20lbs of chicken breast and made all chicken meals, I thought it'd be better for me if I focused on one main thing.

I spent the night before cutting all of the fat and nasty stuff off and stuck it all into 2 gallon size freezer bags. That always takes me forever because I'm so picky about getting every little thing off, so I wanted to get it done so I could just focus on cooking the next day.

Everything I bought:
20 lbs Chicken
1 lb Bacon
25-30 thin slices of ham
flour tortillas (10 pack)
sour cream
Chicken Bouillon
1 head of broccoli
1 can of Green enchilada sauce

I had a some stuff already I'll try to remember all of it so you aren't missing something if you want to make these same meals

Basic Ingredients for bread- Bread flour, sugar, rapid rise yeast, salt
Provolone cheese - at least 6 slices
Shredded Cheddar cheese (for enchiladas and a little bit for the stromboli)
Cream Cheese
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Shredded Parmesan/Romano cheese (or just Parmesan)
Mr. Yoshida's Marinade (or any other Teryaki sauce/marinade)
Cajun seasoning
Dry Italian dressing mix packet
Butter (about a stick and a half should be enough)
salt and pepper
Freezer bags- I have a lot of qt sized so I mostly used those, probably 12-15 of them, plus 6 gallon sized ones and a few regular storage bags for the pizza ingredients that go inside the gallon bags)

Here is what I finished with:

2 Chicken Alfredo Pizza Kits
4 Stromboli
3 meals of stuffed chicken for Cordon Bleu
2 bags of cubed (raw) chicken to use for Orange Chicken
3 bags of marinated chicken tenders (Italian, Cajun, and Teriyaki)
2 dishes of chicken enchiladas
I also had 4 bags of plain shredded chicken to use for other random meals

So far we've tried the Stromboli and chicken Alfredo pizza... YUMMY! I also used both of the bags of cubed chicken for orange chicken... I love that stuff!!

I put 8 lbs in the crock pot on low and let that cook for 5 hours or so, flipping pieces around ever 1.5 hrs.

Find the 6 largest chicken breasts, stuff with ham and cheese, rub salt and pepper on the outsides and put 2 in each freezer bag.

Cut the rest of the breasts into tenders and cubes.

I put 7-9 tenders (I cut them kinda too small on accident) into each bag (total of 3 bags). One with Mr. Yoshida's marinade, one with an Italian dressing packet mixed with 2 TBS butter, and the last with some Cajun seasoning mixed with 2 TBS butter... we'll see how those turn out I've never tried this before!

For the cubes just cut it into 1-2 inch cubes and do 1-2lbs in each bag.

When Chicken in the crock pot is done take out and put directly into the kitchen aid with a whisk attachment (I do a few breasts at a time) and turn it on high for 7-10 seconds, until it is all shredded. Pour into a big bowl.

Mix up 6 batches of pizza dough, separate and put 2 balls directly into freezer bags and freeze. I used the Pantry Secrets Bread Recipe that can be purchased here but I can't share... sorry! A basic Pizza dough recipe will work!

I made up a cream of chicken sauce to go in the enchiladas and Stromboli so I mixed that up as follows:

6 TBS butter
7-8 TBS flour
1 1/2 C Chicken broth (I used water mixed with bouillon)
3 C Milk
a dash of salt (only if needed mine was pretty salty from the chicken bouillon)

Melt the butter in a large sauce pan, using a wire whisk, mix in the flour until it is thickened but not clumping, you need to put enough though so that it will thicken up enough with all of the liquid you are going to add. Let it brown over med-high heat (you want it browned just slightly... don't burn it! ). Whisk in the Chicken broth (have the milk ready also) slowly but consistently, giving it time to thicken up but before it has the chance to clump up you want to keep pouring. When you've used up the broth start with the milk, same thing keep pouring it in until it stops clumping and it is a nice consistency, you want it thick like gravy. Taste it and add a little salt if needed.
Set aside to use later.

Wash and cut the broccoli put a little water in the bottom of a container and steam it in the microwave for 2 minutes, until mostly done. Divide it into 4 equal amounts.

Roll out one of the dough balls into approx. 10x12. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Put a handful (don't need a lot) of shredded chicken in a strip down the middle, topped with 3-4 pieces of ham, you can break it up a little to make it easier to eat. Then put some broccoli in with a handful of shredded cheese. Last ladle some of the cream of chicken sauce over it. take the ends and fold them in and fold one side over and bring the other side all the way over and seal as best as you can. Put it seam side down on a large cookie sheet. Repeat that 3 more times with the other Stromboli. Use 2 separate cookie sheets because you don't want them to touch at all... I put all of mine on the same one and it was a disaster trying to separate them to freeze.. luckily I salvaged them but learn from my mistake and make sure they aren't touching when you bake them!
Cut 3 large slits in the top (see picture above) and bake them for 15 minutes or so... until the bread is pretty much done, let them cool, then freeze separately in gallon size freezer bags. (I took mine out and let it thaw for like 2 hours then baked it at 350 until the middle was warm... it took a while like 30 minutes or so and the bread got a little hard but it was still really good!)

While those are cooking you can start on the pizza kits by making Alfredo sauce, pretty much the same technique as the sauce we just made but different ingredients. Divide it between 2 bags and put into a gallon size bag to start the pizza kit.

Put enough mozzarella for one pizza into a bag x2 and mix in some Parmesan/Romano. Put 8 slices of uncooked bacon into 2 little Ziploc (4 in each) and add to the gallon bags.

Put some shredded chicken (I put a big handful in each) into 2 Ziplocs and add that to the bag and then your pizza kits are ready for the freezer!

Lastly do the chicken enchiladas. I just did 2 8x8 pans with 5 enchiladas each!

If you have shredded chicken leftover put 1-2 cups in freezer bags to add into casseroles or tacos!!

1 comment:

  1. Searching for ideas for feeding my freezer this week. Love your chicken plan! Thanks for sharing!