I love having a well stocked freezer. Since I’m not the type of person who is going to stop at the grocery store every night to pick something up for dinner, stocking the freezer makes my life so much simpler. Well, that and meal planning but that’s another post for another day. Besides, like I said in my Mom Guilt post, it lets me have more time to spend with Lucas.
In my opinion, shredded chicken and ground beef are two of the best things to have in the freezer. A pasta dish or casserole can be whipped up in a matter of minutes if you have either of those on hand.
Here is how I did mine in the crockpot. The 10 lbs of chicken leg quarters fit perfectly in my large crockpot. A printable version of the recipe is at the bottom of this post. I also made Chicken Broth with the leftover juice in the crockpot, I’ll post that recipe next within the next few weeks.
You can use any cut of chicken you want for this. I’m too cheap to buy boneless skinless chicken breasts, and they end up a little on the dry side anyway so I opted for something with bones to keep the moisture. Chicken leg quarters were on sale for $0.59/lb so I got 10 lbs of those. In hindsight, I would prefer not to use dark meat, so I’ll probably stick to Split Chicken Breasts with bones from now on, just a personal preference though. You could also just use a whole chicken which I’ve done before, but this was so much easier to pick apart when it was done.
Anyhow, here’s my chicken stuffed in the crockpot:
I know, these pictures won’t be very glamorous, but it’s chicken people!
By the way, I removed the skin from each quarter before I put them in the crockpot. I could’ve added some Mexican spices/herbs or Italian, but I wanted to be able to use the meat in whatever so I just did some pepper, a little garlic powder, and about 2 cups of liquid (water or chicken broth). Cook that on low for 8 hours.
When the chicken was finished, I turned it off and let them sit, to cool down a little, to make pulling the meat off easier on my fingers. I normally do whole chickens, so I was so surprised at how much easier these were to pick the meat off.
I set up a little station with my cutting board to do the work and two bowls: one bowl for meat, and the other for bones and such.
That’s how much I got from 10 lbs of leg quarters. Do not throw your bones away or dump out the crockpot yet, though.. you’ll use those to make your broth. I like my meat a little more broken up than pictured, so I put it in the food processor. I’ve heard you can use a stand up mixer with the bread attachment, but I don’t have one so I can’t give you my experience.
Once that was finished, I packaged them up into 2 cup bags and got 4 bags total.
That’s it! Just throw them in the freezer and pull them out to defrost for a few hours or in the microwave when you’re ready to use them.
Do you keep your freezer stocked? Do you freeze any of your meat pre-cooked or only raw? Do you have any other tips to share?
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