Chicken

Chicken was recently on sale at our local grocery...so I decided to stock up a little.
I usually watch the prices on the boneless skinless chicken breasts and the whole chickens. A sale for the local grocery store is usually .99/lb. for a whole chicken and 1.99/lb for boneless skinless breasts. (Which makes it very comparable to a bag of frozen breasts, only these are fresh...and much better quality)
I thought I would share with you what I do when I stock up and my favorite way to cook a whole chicken.
Breasts
  • 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:

Master Brine

After it's done brining I use this recipe to roast it for 5 hours! I really think it's worth it!

Roast Sticky Chicken

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!

Enjoy!

The Mackeys  – (March 3, 2010 at 8:51 AM)  

oh.... I want to eat that chicken...

ljk  – (March 6, 2010 at 6:08 PM)  

When I cook a bunch of chicken breasts in the crockpot I add some chicken bouillion, carrots, celery, and onion into the water and make chicken stock that way. (I'm too lazy to cook a whole chicken!) The chicken gets so much more flavor that way too! Then I shred and freeze as you do!

Appleseed Gifts  – (March 12, 2010 at 11:19 AM)  

Just wanted to let you and your readers know about the Appleseed St. Patty's 20% off sale! Check it out! Talk to you soon!

Ginger
http://appleseed-gifts.blogspot.com
(click on the clover for details)

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