Hey there! I hope you’re having a great day today. I’m feeling pretty good because it’s Friday(!!). We have reservations for Charlotte Restaurant Week this weekend, so I’m pretty excited about that. I’m also hoping to spend some time outside if the weather cooperates. Is anyone doing anything fun this weekend?
Today, I wanted to share with you some of the bulk food prep I’ve been doing lately. I’ve found that I have a harder time preparing healthy meals when my schedule is busy and I’m short on time. I enjoy cooking and like the thought of eating food made from scratch, but sometimes it’s hard to make this happen after a long day at work.
Bulk food prep has become my new best friend in this area. With a little bit of planning and time on the weekend, I can stock my freezer with basic ingredients that are ready to use during the week. I also try to incorporate my slow cooker in bulk food prep whenever possible. I like that I can let things cook without being tied to the kitchen, and it also minimizes dirty dishes. Both of those are major wins in my book
I recently prepped chicken breasts in bulk using my slow cooker and this slow cooker chicken has been awesome for meals during the week!
Here’s what I did:
1. Filled my crock pot with 5# frozen chicken breasts (pretty much to the top of my crock pot) and cooked them on high for 4 hours. I stirred the breasts around after 2 hours to make sure everything got cooked evenly.
2. When they were done, I removed the chicken from the crock pot and saved the liquid left in the slow cooker… need that for later!
3. I divided the chicken in half, shredding the first half (using my stand mixer and the beater attachment) and dicing the second half.
4. I separated the shredded and diced chicken into 1-lb. bags. I added ~1/4 c liquid to each bag to prevent the meat from getting dried out during the freezing/thawing/reheating process.
5. I stuck all 5 bags in the freezer. Pretty simple!
It took me less than 30 minutes to shred/dice, prepare and freeze the chicken. Now I have enough chicken for K and I to prepare 5 meals. I pull a bag out in the morning and stick it in the fridge, and it’s thawed by the time I’m ready to make dinner.
Here are some ideas for using up slow cooker chicken…
- Chicken salad
- Topping for chef salads
- Soups: chicken noodle, chicken chili, chowder, etc.
- Chicken pot pie
- Chicken casseroles
- Chicken BBQ
- Mexican dishes: burritos, enchiladas, tacos, etc.
- Asian dishes: chicken teriyaki, sesame chicken, etc.
- Topping for pizza
- Southwest chicken salad
My favorites from these lists are BBQ chicken and any of the Mexican dishes.
If you are looking for a slow cooker recommendation, then I highly recommend the Crock-Pot Programmable one. I love that you can set the cooking time digitally and it turns to warm when time is up!
I hope this bulk prep will be as useful to you as it has been for me! Have a great weekend!!
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How long did it take for those frozen chicken breasts to get to 140 degrees? Hopefully less than two hours or you could get unlucky with bacterial growth. Food safety first!
Phoebe Brown says
Do you add any water to the chicken when you cook it or is it just put in dry?
If it’s frozen then I put them in dry. If I use raw breasts then I do put a little bit of chicken broth or water. Just enough to coat the bottom of the slow cooker. The key is to not let them overcook, or else they get dry (regardless of the liquid)
Great idea! I will definitely be trying this as I always find myself in need of already cooked chicken for s bunch of my recipes. I was wondering- how many chicken breasts did you put into your crockpot? Also what size were they (like the super thick ones or more on the thinner side) just because I thought I read five but it looks like more than that in the picture above. Thanks!
They are super thin
Did you had any water or anything to crockpot to keep chicken moist while cooking?
I don’t with the frozen ones because of the moisture from when they thaw. If I use fresh then I do cover the bottom of the crock pot with chicken broth.
Sorry if this is a dumb question..but you said that you thaw in the fridge and then how do you heat when you are ready to use them for a meal? over, microwave etc..Does it depend on what dish you are making?
Hi Allison- it really depends on what I’m making. Once you thaw them in the fridge, it will basically be a cold bag of plain shredded chicken. I usually use it in another dish so it gets heated up in that process.
How many meals are you able to make with this amount of chicken? My sister and I are going to do this together this week!
I.cooked it on low I forgot to check your blog first. So how long do you think I should cook it on low ?
I can’t believe that I have never thought of using my crock pot for bulk cooking my chicken! Never. Not once has it crossed my mind until I found your blog post about it. Thank you so much for sharing your great idea! I greatly appreciate it and the time you have just saved me during my week!
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