In my effort to save money and time (as so many of us moms need to do), I have learned a few tricks that work wonders for me. I just finished a big one.
A client emailed and asked if I am available for a couple of months of work coming up. I may be swamped with work. (YAY!) So I am getting prepared. I buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts when they are on sale. Lots of them. If they are on sale for less than $2 a pound, I try to go each day and buy the limit of 2 packs. Then I bake them all, cut them into small pieces and freeze them 2 cups at a time in Ziploc vacuum bags. I wanted a foodsaver for a long time, but couldn’t justify the price. This system is CHEAP and works so well. I have been using it for about 3 years. The bags can be reused several times (I wouldn’t reuse them if the chicken wasn’t cooked first).
First, I bake the chicken, covered with aluminum foil. Then I cut it into small chunks and measure it into 2 cups portions. I found that many of my recipes call for 2 cups of chicken, so this portioning works for me.
Then I use the Ziploc vacuum bags and seal all the bags up to be frozen.
So I now have a BIG stash of cooked and cubed chicken in my freezer (and some in my mom’s). This time, I ended up with 19 2 cup bags. It is so easy to pull it out, thaw overnight and throw it into whatever recipe I am making. I use it for my daughter’s favorite food (chicken pockets), chicken divon, quesadillas, etc. Really cuts down on my cooking time when I need it most.
Trust me, she eats her share of chicken nuggets and mac ‘n cheese. But I would much rather give her homemade meals whenever I can.