How to Cut Down Prep Time for Your Chicken Recipes


I'm a pretty good cook. My family (except my oldest daughter) usually likes whatever I make. Guests usually enjoy my cooking and take seconds. I know my way around the kitchen.

In the past, when I made chicken noodle soup, I boiled a chicken, let it cool down, de-boned it and made my soup. For Layered Chicken Nachos or Poppyseed Chicken, I'd boil a few chicken breasts, let them cool and cut them up. For BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, I'd cook boneless chicken thighs in the crock pot and then shred the meat. So many chicken recipes require cooked chicken.

One day, as I walked through Costco and saw the $4.99 rotisserie chickens, I made a startling realization. Those chickens were just like the chickens I often bought for $5 to $7 and then took home and cooked myself for use in my recipes. Purchasing these already cooked rotisserie chickens would save me time AND money, and since time IS money, this was a financially sound shortcut.

I'd never thought of this before and that day marked a change in the way I prepare most chicken dishes.

Now when I go to Costco with my two-week menu in hand (sometimes it's just my evening menu, but I really try to plan ahead), I buy three or four rotisserie chickens. At home, I de-bone them and divide them into freezer bags. I can usually get six meals out of four chickens. Then when I'm making one of our chicken recipes, I just pull a bag of chicken out of the freezer and I'm ready to go.

This how-to has actually changed my life. If you're smarter than me and you've been doing this forever, give yourself a little shout-out from me.

(Image from restaurantwidow.com)

9 comments:

Christie said...

Okay, I love this. I would never have thought to buy them and freeze them. I buy them to use that day, but what a time saver!

Donna said...

Clever!

Kristi said...

I also have only used them the day that I buy them, but freezing them would be a great time saver for the next time I needed chicken.
By the way, I love Costco's chickens, they have such great flavor. Sometimes I will bring home a chicken and that is what we will have for dinner.

Suzanne said...

Wow, who knew? I've never even thought to check the price, because I guess I just assumed that less work is more money. =J I'm going to have to totally start using this idea...and couple it with Christie's pita bread. I'm so drooling right now. Thank you!

Shannon Martin said...

Hey one other idea that I have loved, I will also bottle chicken and shredded beef with my pressure cooker. I love it, does the same sort of thing but you don't have to put it in the fridge or freezer which I always seem to be lacking in room.

missy said...

Man, I wish we had a Costco right now! This is such a good idea. I'm going to price rotisserie chickens at my little grocery store because you never know. Thanks for the great tip!

Cares and Mimi said...

I had this same realization a few years back when walking into my Costco too! $4.99 chicken - you just can't beat that price! I have never deboned and frozen mine - great idea and great savings. I usually debone the same day and boil down the bones and much of the flavorful skin (along with some veggies) to make lots of chicken stock. That has been a huge savings for us too!

brooke said...

Brilliant!

Essa said...

This is such a useful resource. For chicken recipes loves like me it's a must read. Thanks for sharing...