Friday, May 26, 2017

How to cook once and eat 4 times from one cooking session.

I HATE COOKING EVERY DAY! Wait what? Really? Yes really, I would much rather be in my art studio dreaming up my next watercolor project. And who has time for cooking a meal every single day… I get burned out on it! SOOO I don’t. I Cheat. And no one knows about it… sometimes my kids are so hungry and they say so are you going to feed us sometime tonight…. (laser eyes from their mother beams at them) at which point I say if your that hungry make some mac and cheese, but we are having some chicken and _________ to go with our chicken, and supper will be ready in about 30 mins.

MY Friends, it’s all about the prep work… I feel like I have this down to a complete science. (but I am sure someone has found an easier way to prep) if so send that info my way.  

Grocery shopping Tuesday morning at Hy-Vee can feel like a magical place. They usually have meat markdowns up to 70% off, that’s when I feel like a scavenger for the best deals on chicken. No joke, I have gotten a 5lb bag of marinated boneless chicken for $5 all I have to do is sous vide these chicken breasts and add a side to my chicken and dinner is done. It’s that simple. Although those opportunities don’t happen all the time here is what I really do:

When whole chickens are a sale, (about every other month I buy about 4-6 chickens. I know that will get us through the next sale. (this way I am never buying chicken at the full price)

Since I don’t want to waste valuable freezer space with a whole chicken I plan that day or the day after to roast the 4-6 chicken, usually a morning or afternoon… but that’s ok, it’s saving me money and time later.  I usually add some spices, I like to do a rub with Italian seasoning on the inside of the skin to penetrate to the meat.  When I take out the chicken and let it cool I discard the skin, which means all the spices would go with it, and I don’t want that.

Note that since I have gotten a Sous Vide, I use that too for an alternative for roasting.

After I am done roasting the chicken I save the last chicken for supper that night, after all I have been roasting all afternoon the house smells like I am a fabulous cook, and everyone especially my dog wants some chicken.

I shred the chicken. I use it for bbq chicken, or for bbq chicken pizza, stews, soups, chicken pot pie, a creamy tortellini casserole, or I use it for salads. After all the chicken is shredded I place about 2-3 cups of shredded chicken into a bag and have about 4 -6 bags of shredded chicken ready to go… and that is one way I save time in the kitchen.

If you are like me and are like there is no way you are getting me to debone a chicken, DONT I have yet to see it worth my time… or if I do debone a chicken it’s after the cooking process, because I really don’t like handling the raw meat aspect of any cooking.

I BUY BONELESS CHICKEN BREASTS when I am on the hunt for Chicken. I will buy sometimes 20lbs of this good stuff. The time savings is in the prep work of freezing. I like to season with a rub and then freeze the chicken breasts, if you have a Sous Vide then it’s all ready to go if not, thawing it and then roasting or grilling it is a snap.  Usually, an extra hour is worth getting 5 meals ready to go is worth it. DO not put a marinade or salad dressing in the bag before you freeze it, it doesn’t taste good and it’s not great for the meat. Stick with just seasoning. That way when you are ready to grill or roast all you do is get it thawed onto a pan and into the heat! Super simple stuff!

I like preparing my chicken this way because I don’t have to think about what is for supper, if I already know what is ready to go in my freezer, I just need some forethought as to what I want to make for supper that morning so I can get it out of my freezer.

Utilize your kitchen for the best Chicken

If you have a convect oven please use the convect roast option while roasting your chicken, you will be glad you did, it does an amazing job with making the outside chicken crispy and the inside of the chicken tender and moist, it’s my new best friend when it comes to roasting a chicken.

Sous vide and chicken were a match made in heaven! Seriously it’s changed the way I view cooking chicken. I love sous vide chicken for a roasted preparation but without the crunchy skin which can be done by searing the chicken, but who has time for that when sous vide is enough to make your pallet happy with the moist tenderness it brings to the table?

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