Chicken Breasts – Cook Up a Batch For Frugal Convenience Food

Chicken breasts are one of those foods that look expensive at first glance, but are actually thrifty. Buy a family size bag of them and cook them all up at once. And there you have convenience food!

Watch for boneless, skinless chicken breasts to go on sale. It doesn't matter if they are frozen or from the fresh meat case. You'll usually find them in three to ten pound bags. The bag may say they include rib meat, and that's fine, as long as it is boneless and skinless, it should all be usable, white meat. And, if you find chicken strips, chicken planks, or chicken fillets, that's okay, too, just make sure they are the plain ones, not coated with breading.

If you get the frozen ones, thaw them at least partially before cooking.

Cook up the entire bag at once. In the long run, it will save you a lot of time for both cooking and cleaning up.

If you have the large chicken breasts, slice each one into two or three pieces. They'll cook faster and more evenly that way. They'll slice easier if you do it when they are partly frozen.

Sauté them in a little vegetable oil. You can salt and pepper them as they are cooking. Saute them until they have lost their pinkness and are opaque all the way through.

Divide them into Tupperware type containers and freeze them. If you freeze them all in one container, they'll likely stick together and it will be hard to take out just what you need for a meal or two. So, use several containers so it is more convenient when it comes time to use them.

These cooked chicken breast pieces make a great convenience food. They don't take but a minute or two to defrost in the microwave.

Here are some suggested ways to use them:

• Heat and serve with buttered rice, potatoes, or pasta and a vegetable.
• Heat and with spaghetti and spaghetti sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese for an easy version of Chicken Parmesan.
• Dice and use in casseroles.
• Lay them on top of a bed of stuffing and bake.
• Cut into strips and use in stir fries.
• Heat in BBQ sauce and use for BBQ chicken sandwiches.
• Slice and use for cold chicken sandwiches.
• Shred for easy burritos, chicken enchiladas, or tacos.
• Add to any homemade chicken soup or chowder.
• Dice and add to Ramon noodles for a quick, almost instant soup.
• Dice into gravy or a white sauce, and add to sautéed onion, celery, and green or red bell pepper and serve over toast or biscuits for a chicken a la king type dish.
• Cube and use in macaroni salad.
• Cube rather fine and mix with mayo and onion for chicken salad to serve on lettuce leaves as a main dish or as a sandwich filling, or to stuff tomatoes or cantaloupe for a summer supper.
• Slice and use to top frozen or homemade pizza.

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