If you are never in a hurry,
have all the time in the world to get a great meal on the table for dinner each nigh,
eat great lunches everyday
and make all your kids favorites each day…
don’t bother reading this….you are free to go about living perfectly.
If you wish some of the above was happening…this post is for YOU!
I’ve been preparing chicken for the week this was for about a year now, before then I tried to plan meals and have a grasp on what I was making for dinners for the week, but I’ve never been a big planner. I like to eat what I’m in the mood for more than what I scheduled to make.
With the chicken cooked, I can now whip up many meals quickly.
With a few tools and some chicken you can have delicious chicken for the whole week prepared.
I heat my cast iron grill pan and cast iron press until it’s hot.
I have oil in a squeeze bottle as it’s easy to add just the right amount I need without over doing it with a large opening on most oil containers.
I use a silicone brush to spread the oil on the grill pan and in between the grooves, as well as the press, so the chicken won’t stick.
I purchase a 6lb package of boneless skinless chicken breasts at a warehouse store at $1.97 a pound. We are a family of 4 and that amount of chicken is the amount we eat each week. If you family differs from the amount of chicken you will eat, adjust accordingly.
To cook all 6lbs of chicken on the size grill pan shown it takes me just under 45 minutes. While I have that going I usually cook a pound of pasta, rice or quinoa so that all week there is food to eat any time of the day, which is really helpful when everyones schedules don’t line up.
I filet each piece of chicken in half. It makes it easier to cook the chicken evenly as there is usually one thick end that would usually take a lot longer to cook if it’s left whole. I place my left hand on top of the chicken breast and with the knife in my right hand I slice the chicken breast through the middle, making two even pieces of chicken.
I place two to three pieces of chicken onto the heated grill pan and turn it after a few minutes, then put the press on top and use a meat thermometer to check the temperature. I remove the chicken precisely when the temperature is 165 degrees. As this insures the chicken isn’t overcooked and won’t become dry.
I place all the cooked chicken on a tray to cool before placing it into containers to go in the fridge.
Now what do I do with all this chicken.
1) I add it to salads for lunch, I slice and heat it for 30 seconds in the microwave to take the chill off of it from the fridge.
2) I make easy after school snacks for the kids, like chicken and cheese quesadillas or chicken, bean and cheese burritos.
3) Since my kids love mac and cheese, I find it’s great to add chicken to the top as they are heating it and hopefully through some veggies on top as well.
4) with the chicken portion of the meal all prepared, it only takes about 15 minutes to get some great meals on the table. Chicken isn’t the only thing that is great to make ahead so is rice and pasta…. Then chicken fried rice, orange chicken, chicken teriyaki along with delicious pasta dishes like alfredo with chicken, spicy chicken fra diavolo can be on the table in minutes. Soup is so easy with cooked chicken and adding chicken to salads makes them a more complete meal, for lunch or dinner. With some fresh rolls and your favorite sauce you can enjoy a delicious sandwich any time of day.
the possibilities are endless for you to have a great meal in minutes, here are a few more ideas:
I package the chicken in plastic containers with no liquid. I wear food service gloves or use tongs each time I go into the container and when I’m packing it. This helps the chicken to stay fresh. I place the chicken (6 lbs) in two containers normally. I put it in the fridge with it’s completely cooled. If you put it in warm, more condensation will form in the container and the liquid is what I find is what makes the chicken not stay fresh for the longest period of time. I have it last 7 days. There is no odor, or sliminess on the chicken.
In regards to food safety, I am only giving my opinion. You do what you feel is right.
Another post all about CHICKEN is my post on Cooking Chicken for the week in 22 Minutes