Monday, September 12, 2011

It's Fah-reezing!!

In an ongoing attempt to save my money, time, and sanity...I've been really getting into freezer meals.  By that I mean that I've pinned a couple things and read a couple blog posts and said to myself "hmmm...that looks interesting."  So this weekend I decided to actually do something about all those pins and posts and hmmmms.

My Shoprite was having a really good sale on chicken breasts...I think like 1.50 a I decided that it would be a perfect time to try out some tips I've read.  The first thing I decided to do was to create a bunch of shredded chicken.  To do boil your chicken in water until cooked through...then shred away.  But I thought I'd try to get a little more flavor...and a little more for my money out of doing that.  I decided to first saute some onions, carrots, celery and garlic (enough to get the flavas out)..and then fill the stock pot with water and drop the chicken in.  This way....I'm making some awesome chicken stock to freeze too!  Genius!!

I used one whole pack of chicken for this...and then I did some other stuff with the other pack that we'll get to later.  Oh...and because Heather always calls me "weird" for not liking to touch raw meat...let me demonstrate my method.'s just that easy.  And then very easy to run and grab a cup for someone when they start whining that you've been cooking to long and they need a snack.  So...not "weird"  Pleh.  That was for Heather....miss you love you!  Anyway...this ended up making about 6 cups of shredded chicken that I just divided into 2 bags for freezing.  Only 2....because I figure when I defrost I can make 2 meals out of one chicken tortilla soup and chicken quesadillas or tacos or burritos or chicken salad sammies...really the possibilities are endless!

Oh yeah...and this made about 16 cups of stock!  Wahoo!  I wasn't sure how I was going to store this all so I started with plastic containers...which I clearly had the wrong stuff...and then I used a Ziploc gallon bag for the remaining 4 or so cups I had.  I ended up freezing it flat...which is genius because it saves so much dang space! 

So with the remaining chickens...I soaked 2 in a store bought marinade, and made parmesan chicken tenders with the last 4.

A good tip for when you are pre making strips or nuggets or meatballs or anything bite size is to freeze them on a cookie tray...and then after they are frozen, toss them in a bag.  This way, you can take out only what you need.  I love these parmesan strips because they are quick and easy to make and are such a better alternative to the chicken nugget.  And by freezing them like this I can just grab a couple out for the kiddos' lunch and not have to defrost the whole bag! 

So let's re-cap y'all...for 2 packs of chicken at $1.50/lb (I think total is was bout $12)....I got:

16 cups of chicken stock for making soups, sauces, lower fat mac and cheese, and other such yummies
8 lunches (or 2 dinners) of parmesan chicken strips
1 dinner of teriyaki chicken
4-6 dinners, depending on how I use it, of shredded chicken.

NOT BAD!  And the best part??  It's all ready for me in my freezer!!  And it only took me about an hour and a half one morning to get it all done!  Fabulous!

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