Have you ever bought pre-cooked chicken strips to help prepare your meal quicker? When I worked full-time and part-time, I’ve bought these handy bags of chicken. Did you know you can make your own much cheaper and healthier in less than an hour?
Here’s how. You purchase a family pack of boneless chicken breasts on sale, $2 or less per pound is a good price. Bring 5-6 chicken breasts, 2 quarts of water, an onion quartered, 2 celery stalks, 2 carrots (no need to peel), 2 garlic cloves, salt and pepper and a bay leaf if you have one, to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
I check one of the breasts by cutting in open to see if the meat is white and the juices run clear. You don’t want to overcook it.
Shred , dice or mix with your kitchen aid paddle into bite-size pieces.
Use a measuring spoon and dip into your broth and pour about a tablespoon or two on top of the meat after it’s cut, to keep it moist. Store in labeled and dated quart size freezer bags. I bag approximately 1 cup portions because they thaw quicker and I can always grab two if I need more. These don’t necessarily have to thaw for 24 hours. You can use these on the whim.
Another alternative to writing diced, sliced or shredded chicken is to designate what your chicken will be used for if you are a real planner. For example, I know I’m planning to make chicken and spinach enchiladas with one bag of the shredded chicken, I could indicate it on the bag so I don’t forget.
Strain your broth like I do when I make sticky chicken and proceed to bag the broth. See the photos here. You can also freeze broth in ice cube trays. Remove broth cubes when frozen and put them in a labeled quart size bag. 2 cubes equals 1/4 cup or 8 cubes is equivalent to 1 cup. You may want to write this on your bag for quick measuring when you add to recipes. It’s very handy.
Boiled Convenience Chicken
- 6 chicken breasts (about a family size package or 4 pounds)
- 2 quarts water
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 2 celery stalks, chopped into 2 inch pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 bay leaf, optional
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a Dutch oven or stock pot. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 30 to 40 minutes or until done. Remove chicken and place on large cutting board, cool slightly. Chop, shred or dice chicken. Pour a tablespoon or two of broth on top of the meat to keep it moist. Store completely cooled chicken in labeled quart size bags. Roll air out of bag and seal tightly. Add this to your freezer inventory. Strain and/or ladle broth to use fresh or frozen if desired. Broth can be frozen in quart size bags.
What kind of chicken entrees/meals would you use your chicken for?