Wednesday, November 9, 2011

chicken for everything

Here's the first recipe post! Enjoy! 

(My recipe posts won't have photos. I know! I'm sorry. But I cook at night. And we have those lame energy efficient light bulbs, that make everything look terrible. So use your imagination!) 

I'm grossed out by raw meat. But who isn't? I use vinyl gloves when handling it, I put it in the sink so the gooey gross juice won't get on my counters.

I used to cook chicken breasts for dinner- and I carved the hell out of them, searching for veins and fat and pretty much anything that looked gross- I'd chop it off. And then be left with almost nothing. Then, since I was so grossed out by what I cut off, I would only eat half of it.

Ridiculous. Right?

Then I'd just unconsciously start cooking vegetarian, since I used to be a veggie and that is how I learned to cook for myself, so it's second nature for me. And then a month would go by and Danny would say "Um, sweetheart? Could we please have some meat for dinner?" And I'd be all "What are you talking about I made, um, last week, wait, oh dear. Sorry. And yes."

So I started cooking not only chicken, but all meat in huge batches, shredding it, then freezing it. It cuts prep time down, and I actually eat what I cook, with minimal waste. (I'll elaborate on that part later.) Plus I have no excuse not to add meat to what I'm making. It's already cooked! The gross part is done!

I get that package of chicken breasts from Costco in the refrigerated section that has 6 packets with 2 breasts per pack. Usually $18-20.

I dump the gross juice out, then plop them into my crockpot. I like to vary my seasoning options, but currently I'm loving a recipe that I found here.

I like to do this the night before, so I pour on the seasonings, cover it with plastic wrap, and stick it in the fridge.

I cook it on low in the crockpot for 8 hours. Then I let the pot cool down, put the plastic back on and stick it back in the fridge.

I discovered this wonderful way out of pure laziness. It makes juicy chicken thats so easy to shred. One late night I decided just to stick the pot full of cooked chicken in the fridge and deal with it later. 2 days later, (like I said, I'm lazy)- I snapped my gloves on and pulled a breast out to shred, and it just fell apart in my hands. And it was so juicy!

I used to shred it while it was hot, burning my fingers and using forks and whatever still looking for the veins. And then you have to pull them out... gag! But once they are cooled- they will just fall apart with your fingers. It's SO easy it's crazy. And its easy to find the gross disgusting veins, without carving the crap out of it and grossing yourself out. Easy. I love easy.

I shred the chicken into a huge bowl, then portion it into 2 cup portions and into Foodsaver bags. Then I freeze them, then vacuum seal them, and put them back in the freezer. I'll take one out the night  before I use it, and let it defrost in the fridge. It makes a TON. Like 2 whole months worth for us. It's awesome!

I use it for everything- tacos, soups, enchiladas, pasta, burritos. You could even use it for chicken salad. But cold chicken makes me want to die, so I don't do that.

I do have to note that my husband misses the meals I used to make using whole chicken breasts. I have some great recipes for breading and coating and whathaveyou, I just can't bring myself to cooking them again. But he is getting fed delicious food regardless, so he's just fine.

 (P.S. get a decent crockpot. I got a cheapo one on sale at Target once, and it quit in the middle of making roast one day, so Danny and I got food poisoning. Good thing we had two bathrooms at the time. Ewwwww.)

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