Yesterday we picked up 40 lbs. of chicken breasts from Zaycon Foods. It was the 7th or 8th time we have purchased bulk chicken through them. We are always very pleased with the freshness, quality and taste.
Well, we take the opportunity to prep the chicken for freezing for a few months for meals for the next few months.
Basically, we freeze half of it raw and the other half cooked and chopped.
I wanted to share our process of how we go about cooking, freezing and storing for those of you that either get chicken in bulk from Zaycon Foods or another source.
Here’s that simple process – unlike the beef (which I can do in 1-hour), the chicken takes me more like 2 hours to prep 40 lbs.
First, for those of you that do get your chicken from Zaycon foods, we wanted to show how it comes packaged when you pick it up!
This is what the 40 lb. box of chicken breasts come as
Then inside is a sealed heavy duty bag.
Inside of that bag you will find 4 bags containing 10lbs. each of chicken breasts
So that is how they come pacakge! They come as 2 butterflied breasts and they so need some trimming and need to be separated into single breasts.
That is where my first favorite kitchen tool comes into play!
These kitchen shears are sold at Dollar Tree stores for only $1 each. These are a LIFESAVER in the kitchen! I use them for EVERYTHING! I personally get frustrated cutting raw chicken with a knife. It’s cumbersome, tedious, and time consuming. If you don’t already have kitchen shears, purchasing for this project alone will be worth it!
Here’s how I prep 40lb.s of chicken in a little less than 2 hours:
- I get a big stock pot of water boiling on the stove. I have 2 of them, so I get both going. I can boil (to cook) 5 lbs. of chicken at time in each pot.
- While the water is heating up, I start trimming the chicken. I literally trim the breasts in 2 of the 4 bags for boiling.
- Now while the chicken is boiling (about 30 minutes – so two rounds with 2 stock pots), this is when I trim and package the other 2 10lb. bags of chicken.
- I can trim and package the second half of the box in the amount of time that it takes to boil the first half.
- We lose about 4 lbs. of the weight in trimmings.
- I then package in Ziplocs with 2 breasts in each bag. I will make 2 chicken breasts work in my meals for a family of 7 no matter what 🙂 They go a very long way in casseroles, but even a pan fried version means every one gets a bit of chicken and we have hearty sides so that we don’t have to eat as much chicken. NOTE: I have had a lot of people question the small amount of chicken I feed my family at a meal. We always have tummy fillers with our meals and most of the time it is a protein filled filler like beans, quinoa, etc. We don’t need all of our protein from meat. Every once in a while, we will use more than one package for a meal depending on the recipe. In addition, my kids are very young and so they don’t eat much anyway. This amount will most likely change as they get older. Families have meatless meals all of the time, but this is an alternative we do to get a bit of meat most every meal.
- I then stick these in the freezer. I had 19 raw breasts, I kept three out for cooking for dinner the next 2 nights, so I froze 8 bags worth.
Now here’s where my next handy dandy tool comes in! A KitchenAid Mixer!
If you do not have one of these, no worries! I actually didn’t for the past few years. Only the last 2 times of doing this have I had the Kitchenaid Mixer. You can chop by hand, but it takes longer – about 20-30 minutes longer.
The KitchenAid is SO helpful for this next process of shredding/chopping the chicken.
- I will cut 4 breasts in 3rds for each round of chopping (using the kitchen shears – but cleaned as they were used on raw chicken previously!)
- I then turn the mixer on and it will shred/chop in less than 1 minute!
- Now I have two full bowls of shredded/chopped chicken and it is time for bagging.
- For these ones, I use sandwich size bags. I put 1.5 scoops of chicken in each bag.
This amount of chicken is perfect for last minute dinners and I can make almost any recipe (other than a panfried chicken recipe) out of this pre-cooked chicken. Because it is a lot smaller amount, it will go much further! I ended up with 41 bags of cooked chicken! We use 2-3 per week, so I am looking at several months worth of chicken in just these!
And that’s it! I do dread chicken day, but it is so worth the effort for both the budget and my time!
In 2-hours, you have 41 pre-cooked bags of chicken and 8 bags of 2 raw chicken breasts per bag for 49 meals total! This will last our family for several months as we usually have a chicken meal 3 times per week.
By the way, clean-up is a breeze. I use latex gloves (grocery bags over the hands works well too!) and keep a garbage bag close to put the old used packaging in and the stock-pots keep the spillage and grease inside the pot and I keep my Homemade Antibacterial Wipes and Kitchen Surfaces Disinfectant close by to quickly wipe up!
How do you prepare your chicken for future cooking/storage? Have you bought Zaycon Chicken before?
If you would like to find out about the affordable, more natural meats available in your area (it’s nationwide), visit this site HERE.