How to freeze quantity of chicken breasts?

bizzybeeDecember 26, 2001

We have a meat processor in the area that sells fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts at a very good price HOWEVER you must take a 40 lb carton of them. In the past I've laid them on cookie sheets and tried to quick freeze them before bagging them. I've been wondering about taking a bunch of them and cooking them in a roaster and then cubing them to freeze as pre-cooked cubes to add to stir frys, vegetable dishes, casseroles, etc. Would this work well? What would you do with 40 lbs of chicken breasts? By the way, I have a new Foodsaver (got for Christmas) that I'm itching to try out...possibly on this project.

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Michelle_MO

With that quantity of chicken, I'd do a little bit of everything! Freeze some on cookie sheets and then bag to use whole (grilled or for sandwiches or something). Some, I'd bag with italian salad dressing (or any other marinade) which you can then defrost and grill or broil for a quick dinner. For cooked, cubed chicken, here are a few things I'd make:

- chicken salad
- chef salad
- stir-fry
- chicken broccoli casserole (layer cubed, cooked chicken, fresh blanched broccoli, or use frozen, pepperidge farm stuffing in a 13x9 pan. Mix together 16 oz. sour cream, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1/2 c. milk and pour over the stuffing. Bake at 350 until heated through, about 30 min)
- homemade chicken soup
- chicken tacos (use a packet of taco seasoning as directed on package, refried beans, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream and your choice of soft tortillas or crunchy taco shells)
- chicken fajitas (packet of fajita mix, sliced green and red bell peppers, sliced onions, serve with soft flour tortillas, salsa and quacamole)
- Chicken Cordon Bleu - pound to about 1/4" thick and roll with a slice of ham and swiss cheese. When ready to cook, defrost, dip in egg and bread crumbs, bake at 350 about 40 min. Can serve with a white sauce such as hollandaise if desired.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2001 at 11:51AM
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bizzybee

Thanks Michelle for the wonderful ideas! I take it from your post that cooked diced chicken will freeze and reheat well. I guess that was the point of my original question....I've never tried cooking before freezing...BUT...you can do that with left over turkey, so I would guess that chicken is about the same.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2001 at 1:42PM
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Michelle_MO

Yes, the cooked, cubed chicken will freeze and reheat great! Just think of all the convenience foods available that already include the cooked chicken that you just reheat (they have fajita kits, stir fry kits, even salad kits with frozen chicken!) Just be sure to cook it *just* until done. You want it to be plenty juicy and tender so that it stands up to a little more cooking in the reheating process.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2001 at 4:21PM
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Shirley

Bizzybee...your Foodsaver will be perfect with this project! I haven't been able to get as much chicken at one time as you, but when it is on sale, I buy a lot. I then package into individual meal sizes, which for us is 1 lb. of meat. If I've cooked the chicken first, then I simply place a bag of frozen chicken in a pot or deep skillet of hot water to thaw and heat at the same time. A great time saver, believe me!

    Bookmark   December 30, 2001 at 11:28PM
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Agapeangel

you can even marinate your chicken and put in the foodsaver bags and just freeze with the marinate. take out the night before, put in fridge and bam you have your meal all ready to cook. the foodsaver is GREAT!!!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2002 at 7:59PM
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alison

Any suggestions on the best way to barely cook the chicken before freezing?

I've found that if I just put the chicken on a cookie sheet, it gets rather dried out. So I freeze a couple breasts in a single layer in a sealed freezer bag. Once there solid, I combine several bags in one.

I still have trouble with freezer burn, though. I already use good quality freezer bags, and I don't want to purchase one of those food-saver/vacuum things (I'm a single person with a tiny kitchen -- I don't think there's room nor need for it!), but I would aprreciate any suggestions on how to help the frozen chicken fare better.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2002 at 7:33PM
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Diane_from_NJ

on a related tangent, I can tell you that cooked chicken freezes really well...if I make a crock pot chicken, I'll pick the bones clean, put the chicken in a Ziplock baggie (I only use the brand names for freezing), and then use it in enchiladas, pot pie, etc. it makes the completion of the meal SO much easier!

Good luck! I wish I could find a deal like that! My family loves chicken!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2002 at 5:17PM
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Sunny3

I am the type of person to want to hurry up and get something cooked so I can have it on hand later when I need it, so my suggestion is for the fastest way to cook the chicken, but not necessarily the most flavorful. I would take my giant stock pot and just boil those chicken breasts 'til they're done. Then I would wrap each one individually in plastic wrap and freeze. That way I can just take one out at a time and reheat it for a sandwich or slice it for salads or stir frys. Of course it will be very bland, but you can always add to it later.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2002 at 10:41PM
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Shannon_MA

Allison, I've used several brands of the freezer bags (when I was feeling rich, they were on sale, and I had coupons), and found someting better (which I first used as a poor college student). LOL. I use the freezer wrap (right next to the aluminum foil, store brand is fine). I tear out a section and wrap the breasts very tightly. I use masking tape to seal, and have never gotten freezer burns with it. This way I can wrap one pound of meat for small recipes, two or more for larger recipes. And I don't have to worry about the bags being the right size or squeezing out all the air. Which I have yet to do, so I have to eat my bagged chicken rather quickly.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2002 at 8:28PM
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victoria38

Just to address freezer burn -- place whatever in ziplock, zip almost closed, insert common soda straw, draw out the air, seal. Who needs a machine?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 4:23PM
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