Tip: Poaching and Freezing Chicken
Every so often I buy a bag of frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts, poach them, and then cut up the meat and freeze it for easy weekday meals. That’s the tip in a nutshell, but I’ll elaborate.
Poaching and Freezing Chicken and Chicken Stock
Bring water to boil in large pot. Add herbs and salt and pepper as desired. This time I added fresh parsley, fresh rosemary, fresh sage and fresh thyme and pepper. I think I had rosemary, but I can’t remember. I didn’t add salt, I try to keep it to a minimum. A bay leaf or two would be good.
So here’s the embarrassing part, that’s my chicken before it was cooked. Totally freezer burnt. Oh well. That’s life I guess! After chicken is fully cooked, remove from pan and place in refrigerator to cool.
Let liquid cool slightly in pan and then strain into a bowl–I used a fine mesh strainer.
Once fully cold, the (small amount of) fat will float to the top and you can skim it off prior to using the broth or freezing it. I froze mine in a zip-top bag. I refrigerated mine overnight before skimming the fat and putting it in a bag. I also have stock in my freezer. Stock = made with chicken bones/carcass (and veggies/herbs), broth = made only with chicken/veggies/herbs.
When the chicken is cool enough to handle, dice into cubes and place in freezer bags. I divided the chicken up into three bags. If you have a larger family, you might want to put more in the bags. If you live alone, put less in the bags. It is up to you!
If my chicken looks over cooked it is because I completely forgot about it for quite some time. It may look that way because it was freezer burnt too. It will taste fine mixed in with some maranara and veggies and piled on top of pasta.
Now that you have the pre-cooked chicken in your freezer, you are only steps away from a quick and easy dinner. I use it for stir-fry, spaghetti, white chili, enchiladas. Your imagination is the only limitation! The only thing that can make this Tuesday Tip better is if you have a helper like this:
Optional, but highly recommended!
Hope this helps you free up some time during the week. I know it helps me! Oh, and if you happen to be pregnant, this is a great thing to do when you’re stocking your freezer. It doesn’t take up as much room as a whole meal but it takes the most time consuming component out of the meal prep.