So a few times a year, I order chicken breasts from Zaycon Fresh and process 80 pounds of chicken into freezer meals. Why do I order that much chicken? Well let me tell you!
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Where do you get your chicken?
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There are a few cons to ordering from Zaycon Fresh but they can easily be overcome! The biggest for me is that I have to find room initially in my refrigerator for this much chicken. It comes 40 pounds to a box. Each box will fit on a totally clear shelf in my refrigerator.
Also, when you place your order it might be a few months before you will pick up your order. Waiting is hard but waiting is doable when the price is right!
Another con is that there is no way to change your pick up date and time after you order if you cannot make it. Not so great but I've been known to send my husband or a friend when I had a conflict and there was no problem with them picking up my order.
You do NOT need to have 80 pounds of chicken to tackle freezer cooking! Buy what is reasonable for you and your family! I like to do the work for several months all in one 2-3 day period but you can do this in smaller batches! Freezer meals are great when you know you will not be able to cook much. Big project coming up? Having a baby? Expecting lots of company? Make a plan and make it happen!
My freezer meal plan
- Make a list of all the chicken meals that we love! I actually already have that in my meal binder because well it KEEPS IT SIMPLE and why should I remake this over and over? I do add any new meals we’ve recently tried each time.
- Decide on around 6 meals that I want to make multiples of for this freezer prep session. Make a list of needed ingredients that I don’t have on hand.
- Look at my calendar for the week after the pick up and pick a few pockets of time(2-4 hours) to process my meals. I do NOT do it all at once unless I can plan to have my family helping. I highly recommend this! The work goes so much faster with more hands helping. Jobs my kids have done -label bags, chop vegetables, measure spices into bags, grate cheese and more!
- Shop for needed ingredients and pick up my chicken.
- Several of my meals call for cooked chicken so first thing I do is cut up enough chicken to fill my crockpot or large stockpot and fill it with water. I cook up a bunch while I’m working with the raw chicken. I also will use the “chicken broth” in some of my recipes.
- Label your bags(you can do this anytime but for me it is easier before the chicken is in the bag) with recipe name and cooking instructions. The instructions really helps when I need another family member to prepare the meal!
- The chicken breasts from Zaycon are HUGE. Much to big for one person. One of the jobs I give my teens so they are comfortable cutting up meat is to cut the breasts into serving size pieces and then fill freezer bags with meal portions for our family. Currently I have 4 adult eaters. Two guys and two ladies so I shoot to have 2-2.5 pounds in each bag.
- Add remaining ingredients for each meal to the freezer bags plus a little chicken broth. I like to add the broth so the herbs can swim around the bag easier and hit each piece of chicken. Otherwise after cooking this meal, I might get a piece that is supper flavorful while hubby gets one that is plain.
- Smoosh all the air out of the bag and seal it up. Lay the bag as flat as possible and freeze!
That’s it! The process is not hard but does take some thought. I have found that making 4-5 of a meal really doesn’t take much longer than making a single meal. The time saved is the thinking of “what to have” each night for dinner.
My brain is always tired by 5 p.m. and if my choices are ready to go with just a little prep that makes it simple for me!
Results of making 60 pounds of chicken into Freezer Meals
2 Low Carb Chicken Divan Casserole(make this in aluminum pans--uses cooked chicken)
4 Freezer Quesidillas (recipe coming in November--uses cooked chicken)
4 bags chicken breasts for non freezer meals and new recipes
4 bags diced chicken/tenderloin size pieces
28 meals ready to go! I spent 6-8 hours making these meals but I did it all this time around.
Normally my family is able to help and the time goes much faster! We eat chicken a few times a week so this should last us a while. Then I will just order more chicken and we will do it all again!
Favorite Freezer Meal recipes not in this freezer session
Chicken Bacon Salad (recipe coming in November--uses cooked chicken)
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