As my kids get older, they are participating in more activities and for some reason they happen around our normal dinner time. I am looking for meal prep short cuts that do not sacrifice the quality of our meals, but still save myself time and maybe even some money.
I stock up on chicken breasts when the large 3 lb packages are on sale. $1.99 is my buy and stock up price. The best price I have gotten to date is $1.59/lb, but I doubt I’ll see that price again, it was during a store’s Grand Re-Opening.
To save myself some time I have been batch cooking the chicken breasts and freezing in 2 cups portions. Chicken in the main component in many of my dishes and eliminating the cooking part of chicken during meal prep should save me some time.
I place all of the chicken breasts from a 3 lb package in a 6-Quart crock-pot. I pour about 32 oz of homemade chicken stock on top and cooked on low for about 6-7 hours, or until it is done. (You could also use store bought chicken broth.) It is important not to over-cook, because the chicken dries out. The stock should be discarded; it will be full of foamy, fatty stuff.
When chicken is cooked all the way through, remove the chicken from the crock-pot and allow to cool slightly to the point where you can handle the chicken. You can then dice or shred into small bite-size pieces. I prefer to shred and honestly, I think it is easier to do with my clean hands than two forks. It is also much easier to shred when the chicken is still slightly warm.
Place in freezer containers and store in the freezer until future use. I like to freeze in 2 cup portions.
Another way to batch cook chicken is to Roast a Whole Chicken.
Easy meal ideas for your cooked chicken:
- Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Muffins
- Chicken Cornbread Potpie
- Pulled Chicken BBQ Sandwiches
- Chicken, Black Bean & Sweet Potato Quesadillas
- Chicken Corn Soup
- Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
Do you pre-cook chicken for the freezer and future meals? If you have a recipe that includes already cooked chicken, feel free to include the link in the comments.