This was last year’s picture, but it pretty much looked exactly the same this year too 🙂 I just didn’t get the pictures in this time, it was already enough to cook this much!
Earlier this month, we mentioned a company called Zaycon foods that was offering their chicken sale. We shared why were were excited to try out this chicken and this company. Well, yesterday we picked up our two 40lb boxes of chicken. Now as we mentioned, this chicken was hormone free, antibiotic free natural chicken. It is not certified organic, but a good step towards a better chicken option without the high price tag. It was only $1.69 each lb. for plump natural chicken breasts.
We decided to get 80 lbs of chicken. So this meant that we spent about $135 for 80 lbs of chicken. But the better news is that we have a more natural chicken option to eat from for the next 6-8 months and no need to buy anymore chicken for a while. We have purchased chicken breasts in cases before from our local grocery stores, but they were not a good quality chicken.
So we were really excited to have this option before us! Pick-up of the chicken was so super easy! It literally took 1 min and 30 seconds to pick up our two 40lb. boxes.
But then the fun just began….. that part may have been super simple. But when we came home, we had to rebag as it comes in a box with a sealed thick bag and then inside of this is four 10 lb bags of chicken breasts. We cleaned, trimmed (with very little trimming needed compared to the other places we have been getting it), cut and even cooked 40 lbs.
We froze 40lbs. cooked and 40 lbs raw. The reason we cooked half was that this is something we have done each year for a while. In fact, we shared about it one of the times we did this. I love to have cooked chicken on hand for dinner/lunch emergencies. With the chicken already cooked, I can make thousands of things in just a few minutes. So when I didn’t hit my “dinner by 10” plan, I have cooked chicken, which is my personal biggest stumbling block in making dinner/lunch/breakfast.
We are not a freezer meal family. I have tried it before and my family was not a fan of reheated anything – no matter how well you try, cook or plan, a previously frozen meal never tastes the same. So I thought, sure it helps me to have freezer meals, but if my family doesn’t like it, then I am sure I can come up with another way. So I have cooked chicken, cooked beef and cooked breakfast meats that I just have to heat up in any dish and it is very quick. It makes meal prep very easy for me. So that is how I came to that compromise. My family cannot tell or have every complained about “re-heated” meats 🙂
So I also froze the other 40 lbs raw for the days that I actually do have a plan and stick to it 🙂
We were very impressed with this chicken! They were plump and looked like great quality chicken. And ultimately a great deal.
So the process of cooking and freezing 40 lbs. of chicken was an all day job. I am not going to lie – it is one of the worst days of the year when I have to cook and prepare chicken like this. It is hard work, your house smells terribly of chicken, and you will probably not want chicken for at least a week after that – but once you get through all of that, you will love having it already cooked for you. It is totally worth it, it just doesn’t feel like it at the time!
We didn’t take pictures this time as it was already everything I had in me to cook this much, but it looked exactly like the last time we shared (even the same bowls – LOL). This time we ended up with 35 1-lb bags. We probably trimmed 2-3 lbs in total and then we reserved a couple of pounds for dinner (YES, I did make a chicken casserole for dinner and although the chicken was amazing, fresh, plump and good I have to be honest and say I did not enjoy it after being elbow deep in it all day – it should have been pizza night last night 🙂
After it was all said and done, we had a successful chicken day and my kitchen got a super scrub down (I do not like the thought of raw chicken juices anywhere!) and so all of the tough day’s work will be enjoyed for many days and months to come!
What this will do is save us time and money! Why not save ourselves a little time alongside these great savings? We’ll be able to use this over the next four months easily taking out what we need, defrosting and then either using the cooked chicken directly in salads, in casseroles, or on pasta dishes as the most popular and common uses for pre-cooked chicken! For these dishes, we have no need to defrost, rinse, cook, and chop because it has already been done.
As a side note: The USDA website states our cooked chicken will maintain its quality in the freezer for four months, whereas the frozen uncooked chicken will do so for nine months. What we were shocked by is the following statement: Note: Freezer storage is for quality only. Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely. That is when the item is stored at a consistent 0 degrees Fahrenheit! WOW! Good thing we’ll be eating this soon – I’m not sure if I could stomach 10 yr old chicken. 🙂
We want to hear from you! Did you order from Zaycon foods and if so, your thoughts on quality? What recipes would you use this chicken for? We would love to hear and try your ideas!