Thursday, November 29, 2012

Buy, Prep & Freeze!

I love to cook but I don't like spending hours in the kitchen. Well, sometimes I do.

I am all about tips and suggestions on how to make things easier and faster!

So with that being said, today I have a kitchen tip to share with you!

I'm sure you've seen these rotisserie chickens in your local grocery store and warehouse clubs. I've seen them at Giant Eagle, Sam's Club, Costco, Walmart and even the bigger Targets that have a bigger grocery section have them.

Have you ever tried them?

If not, go pick up one for dinner! They are yummy and cheap, cheap, cheap!

When I discovered these years ago, I may or may not have been known to bring it home, put it in my small roaster and throw it in the oven at a low temperature to keep warm while I buried the container in the trash. Then when Curtis came home, he may or may not have had the impression that I slaved over a delicious chicken just for him! I giving you any ideas?

Anyway, back to the kitchen tip. Not only does the rotisserie chicken make a quick dinner, it also can help you put a meal together rather quickly on any given night.

Sometimes I pick up a couple even when I am not planning on using them for dinner that night and this is what I do.

First, I debone the chicken. Hmm, that's a funny sounding word . . . debone. I think I'm going to use something else here.
Take two!
First, I remove all the meat from the chicken. You have to do this while the chicken is still warm. It's harder to do while it is cold. After I have done this, I cover it and put it into the refrigerator to cool.
After it's cooled, I chop it all up into bite size pieces.
And lastly, I divide it up equally and put the chicken into freezer bags (I get 2 bags per chicken) that I label with the contents and the date. When I put them into the freezer bags, I am sure to push all the air out of them before sealing. I also make them flat and lay them on a cookie sheet and put the whole cookie sheet in the freezer. Once they are frozen, I take out the cookie sheet and stack the frozen chicken nicely in my freezer.
As you can imagine, this makes life so easy!
  When I have a casserole, soup or pot pie to make, the chicken part is already done!

I also do this with ham and ground beef.

For the ham, I'll buy a quarter of a ham and get 2 portions out of it for scalloped potatoes and ham or breakfast casserole.

My Dad supplies me with beef from his cattle. So when I am back home visiting, I'll bring home 10 pounds of ground beef. I'll brown off 5 lbs. of it and package it in 1 pound portions. It is then ready for chili, meat sauce, lasagna, soups, shepherd's pie, etc. I also make some of it into taco meat before I freeze it so when it's taco/taco salad night, I'm ready to go!

Speaking of food and recipes, I tried a new one a couple of weeks ago for a Marsala Chicken Casserole. I'll put it up on my food blog in the next couple of days. I was a little hesitant when I tried it but the whole family loved it!

Do you have any kitchen tips you would like to share? Please feel free to leave them in the comments!

Have Fun

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