- I get my kitchen scissors out and cut away extra fat and lay them 3 split breasts to a freezer bag and place that bag in the freezer. That way I can just grab one bag to use in a recipe that feeds our family.
- You could also "flash freeze" the breasts by laying the individual breasts out on baking sheets (make sure the breasts are not touching) and placing the baking sheets in the freezer. Once the breasts are frozen, take the breasts off the sheets and place all the breasts in one big freezer bag...that way you can grab the number of breasts you need each time you cook.
- Also, when I return from the store after stocking up on chicken breasts, I fill my crockpot up with chicken breasts. I place a little water in the crockpot and then turn it on. 3-4 hours on high or 7-8 on low is a good guide. Once it's done cooking I shred the meat in the crockpot or on a plate with two forks. I then measure out 2 cups of shredded chicken (since this is a common measurement in a lot of my recipes) and fill quart freezer bags with my 2 cups of chicken and place those bags in the freezer. This simple step can really speed up meal prep time!
- Cooking a whole chicken or two ahead and de-boning and shredding is another way to do it...but I would only pick to do this if I was going to make my own chicken stock....I haven't done this enough to have a good recipe to recommend at this point, but maybe in the future I will!
I will share with you my absolute favorite way to cook a whole chicken for a meal...and it's a great recipe for company. It's actually a 2 part recipe and you will have to plan a little ahead. The first step is to brine the meat. Brining is simply a seasoned water solution that the chicken sits in (for 12-48 hours) While the chicken is sitting in the solution it absorbs the flavors of the seasonings and the moisture...giving the meat a flavor and juiciness that is tremendous! If I'm brining for a day or more, I will put the chicken in the solution frozen...it will have plenty of time to thaw.
Here's the brine recipe I use:
After it's done brining I use this recipe to roast it for 5 hours! I really think it's worth it!
I usually do the rub right before putting it in the oven. The other thing I've learned is to use a roaster that the chicken just fits into (touching the sides). I'm not sure why...it's just works! Sometimes I baste or spoon some of the pan drippings over the chicken a few times during the baking, but it's not necessary!