While I know that several of you will be picking up your Zaycon Foods chicken here in a few days, I still have plenty in my freezer. I thought I would mock up a quick and VERY basic freezer cooking plan for you and put it into action myself.
This will by no means use your entire 40 pounds of chicken, you will have to either have a secondary plan or just individually freeze the remaining breasts. This will just give you a basic jump start on getting that chicken ready for your family. I like to freeze most of mine individually to use as we please, but I also like to have a few easy dinners made that can supplement when we have busy days, nights or even weeks.
I’ve had several people ask me recently how we manage cooking for the freezer and keep the recipes on the healthier side. While it’s true that there are tons of freezer recipes and casseroles out there that call for pounds and pounds of cheese, butter, milk and cream of something soup, there are also tons of great options. I deliberately chose recipes that were leaning more towards the lighter side this time. However, not one of these recipes contains ingredients that are too out of the ordinary. I would venture to guess you have everything in your pantry right now.
For the following recipes, I used approximately 7-8 pounds of chicken. The only thing I really prepped ahead of time was chopping up a few large onions to use throughout the recipes. Most everything else (and there wasn’t much), I did on the fly. My plan was to get all this done in one day, as they are all fairly straight-forward recipes, but ear infections, dental surgery and nasty coughs got in the way. I ended up spreading this out over 2 days and was able to complete everything easily with my kids underfoot.
With minimal effort, I now have 4 full meals in the freezer, 2 made for this week’s dinner and 2 lunches for my husband to take to work.
White Chicken Chili x 2 – This takes very little prep and really can simmer as long as you want it to. It’s a great recipe to start out with, as you can get it going on the stove top, set it to low and forget about it. We ate some for dinner and I froze an additional meals worth.
Honey Sauced Soy Chicken x 2 – You could either start this before or after the White Chicken Chili. Very little prep, everything basically gets thrown in the crock pot and you forget about it until you have to chop up the chicken. I made two rice bowls for my husband to take to work with this on top and then froze the rest in two quart-sized freezer bags. Don’t dump the sauce, it’s the best part!
Slow Cook Thai Chicken x 2 – Again, very little prep. I threw this in the crock pot in the morning and was able to divvy it up during nap time. I ended up using frozen chicken breasts for this and only cooked for about 2 hours on low, which was more than enough in my crock pot. I pulled out enough for two nights worth of dinner and threw another dinner’s worth in the freezer.
Pumpkin Enchiladas – I’ve said it before, you MUST try these. They really taste nothing like pumpkin, it just adds to the complexity of the flavors. These can easily be prepped while the Slow Cook Thai Chicken is in the crock pot.
If you are interested in trying out these or other recipes, I’ll list what I think are the most important steps in planning.
- Quickly browse through the ingredients for each recipe BEFORE you start. You can make substitutions, but you don’t want to find out half way through that you’re out of something crucial.
- Prep any like ingredients at the same time. For example, chop onions, grate cheese, mince garlic for all recipes at once, not just one at a time.
- Try to stick with one recipe per cooking element (stove top, oven, no-bake, crock pot). This way you can have multiple recipes cooking/marinating at once.
You can also check out my Zaycon Foods Pinterest board for more recipe ideas.
Let me know if you have any questions. This is a very basic set-up, if you’re looking for something a little more time-intensive that will guarantee you more dishes in the freezer, check out my last Freezer Cooking Day.
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