What Would You Do with 30 lbs of Chicken?

During my first week of beginning my 10 Minute Dinners blog (with all five of you reading), I shared this post. As I began writing up my next C.O.S.T Cooking post for this series, I realized this really gives you a glimpse into simplifying our meal time so that we can enjoy our minutes connecting, so here it is revisited. Plus, I realized I never posted some of these recipes, so they are on the docket for next week.

Since the concept of 10 minute dinners is not just one “recipe,” it’s a journey towards understanding the mind set behind being able to whip up ten minute dinners, I thought I would share my real live shopping experience just last night and what came as a result of this.

For those of you who are new to my blogs, one thing you will quickly realize is that much of my writing is done “on the spot.”  Many of you read my facebook update just hours ago when I scored this amazing chicken deal. Yes, pecked out on my iphone I shared,

…from there, I stopped in at Aldi’s to stock up on the boneless, skinless chicken breast that was going off sale today. Due to overstock and needing to move it out quickly, the manager marked it down and it wasn’t even short dated.

I may or may not have just purchased 30 pounds of chicken breast for $24. (Do you know how incredibly cheap that is per pound?)

And I may or may not have just gone into “teacher” mode by telling all those around me why they too should stock up. :) I have now walked in the front door, and am going into Ten Minute Dinners mode trying to think of all the ways I can cook this up tonight since I do not have room for all the packages like this. That post will be on 10minutedinners.com momentarily.  It’s been an all around fabulously frugal afternoon.

I readily admit that I was pretty close to hugging that store manger ( I restrained), but did gush as I shared how the 75 people I was hosting at our home  this weekend would now be served chicken (said in my best “Let them eat cake” tone.)

I also admit to giving those poor unsuspecting by-standards around me a small tutorial on why they should add more than one package of chicken to their cart because they can cook ahead, shred it, and then freeze the chicken in ziplock bags for varying meals to come.

After my tutelage commenced, I am encouraged to say they all increased their selection to THREE packages (and I didn’t even think to tell them about my blog.) ;)

By the time I arrived home, this euphoria brought on by large quantities of chicken purchasing, had worn off. I walked in after an exhausting work day, and the last thing I wanted to do was figure out how to deal with over 30 lbs of chicken, but I went for it.

My fridge and freezer were quite full, so I didn’t have storage options to put all these store bought packages on shelves. This forced me to do some quick thinking.

Again, just like how I pre-cooked all my ground beef in bulk, I knew that an hour (or less) of time spent prepping this chicken now would save me hours and hours throughout the week, so it was worth the hassle.

Again, it’s just a slight change in how we think about meal time. Just like all those people I encountered in the store, they would have passed on that amazing chicken deal because they didn’t know what to do with it, now they do.

Many times when I share recipes here, it will call for pre-cooked chicken. That is how we can keep the “hands on” preparation time to ten minutes or less.

Everyone has a choice. You can buy the pre-cooked chicken that many brands are offering,  or purchase the already cooked rotisserie chickens served in the deli and then just cut off the meat. Both are great options in a pinch.

Since this site is about guaranteeing meals with only ten minutes of prep, and not necessarily the least expensive route, those will be “Go To” options, but I always want to give the best route for the budget, and this is it.

So what did I do with 30 pounds of chicken?

I took a deep breath and devised a plan.

It was 8 pm, and I wasn’t up to grilling. At any other time, this would have been the first thing I turned too. Earlier in the week, I had already grilled up a ton of chicken in bulk, and had sliced and diced grilled chicken ready for salads and Quesadillas.

I got out my skillet, and started a large pan of my Simple Sesame Chicken. I streamlined this process even more because I did not bread the chicken at all, nor did I take the chicken out to add the sauce. I just fried up the chicken in the Sesame Oil and then added the sauce right in for a one pan meal. Much to my wonderful surprise, it was a great option and got gobbled up immediately.

While the chicken was in the skillet, I got my crock pot ready to fill it with as much chicken as I could.

Easy Crock pot BBQ Chicken  or Oven Baked Barbeque Chicken Thighs is always a quick meal plan option.  It’s so incredibly easy to just throw chicken in the crock pot, add some homemade BBQ sauce or store bought, and let it cook all day (or all night). It’s a brainless meal option that gives you many meal solutions for multiple days.

My favorite C.O.S.T. Cooking meals with the BBQ Chicken is to serve it over rice the first day, and then depending on how many pounds you make, you have additional for BBQ sandwiches, Easy BBQ Chicken pizza, BBQ Quesidillas etc. I could go on and on.

With ten pounds of the chicken, I created some  “4 Meals in 4 Minutes” packets, which includes putting the chicken in the freezer bag raw, and adding all the ingredients right into the bag.  By adding all the ingredients, along with the spices immediately, it marinates and then is completely ready to just dump in the crockpot or oven.

I will be doing a detailed tutorial with a new video on this process, along with many C.O.S.T cooking recipes, but until those posts are live, see my “Power Cooking” video that I did years ago. It’s incredibly helpful for those new to this technique.

Featured here is my Southwest Chicken, as well as a simplistic Italian Chicken using Italian Dressing. For those with freezer storage issues, one of the great things about this is that the meal packets take up a very small amount of space.

So right now, 30 pounds of chicken are distributed throughout a crock pot, skillet, the freezer, and oven.

I put five pounds in baking dishes drizzled with garlic, onion powder and then drenched in Italian dressing.  I will be using this to shred up my chicken effortlessly.

In less than an hour, I had over 20 pounds completely ready to go.

Do you know how satisfying that is? With my freezer and fridge now full of ready to go taco meat, seasoned ground beef and variety of chicken flavors, I am set for many many meals.

The remainder I stuck in my fridge, and today I will be making up a pan of my 3 Ingredient Cheesey Cracker Chicken Recipe, and the rest I will just poach on the stove and shred for White Chicken Chili (that will be served to my guests.)

So that is the long winded story of how I tackled over 30 pounds of chicken in less than an hour.

Don’t shy away from a challenge.

Why don’t you join me? There’s no need to start with 30 pounds, but can you double or triple the amount that you typically make?

It’s all about taking that first baby step of preparation.

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Comments

  1. OMG!

  2. Wow! Not only was that the frugal find of the week (possibly year), you processed it all in a VERY short amount of time. How inspiring! Thanks for making the reality of ten minute meals more attainable for me :)

  3. I was at Kroger recently eyeing the whole Perdue fryers on sale for $1.19/lb when a Kroger employee came out with a big cart and said, “Ladies, I’ve got boneless skinless chicken breasts over here marked down to $1.00/lb!” You can bet I scurried over to her! I did ask why they were marked down (just in case it was for some weird reason), but it was simply an overstock situation. She said they had so many she was even tired of labeling them! I was only able to buy about 5 packages, and a couple of them are just in my freezer whole. But I baked and shredded the rest and made chicken tetrazzini with some and a batch of chicken salad with the rest, serving 3 dinners and multiple lunches for my husband and me. What a find! You have definitely changed the way I think about cooking ahead and cooking in bulk. It does not have to be intimidating at all!

  4. Now I am hungry for chicken. :)

  5. What a great post…especially since I’m picking up my Zaycon Foods chicken tonight.
    40 lbs, here I come!

  6. This is awesome! I cooked like this for years but had drifted away from it or any kind of planning, sale shopping etc. Boy did my grocery budget double, triple or even more real quick! I’m working on getting back to it and doing lots of frugal/quick/crock/freezer food posts while playing along with the 31 dayers using pinterest as my resource. I’m going to pin this and then feature your blog on one of my upcoming posts :)

  7. I can hear you now in my mind, schooling all those shoppers about buying chicken. Love it!

    • Yes, I am laughing at myself now, but I just couldn’t help myself. They just had no idea what they were about to miss. They went from wondering who this weird stalker lady was talking to them, to asking questions and thanking me. haha

  8. I am thrilled that you got that great deal on the chicken. I also received my Zaycon chicken order today so it was also perfect timing for me . I am so glad that you share your experience on this blog but also with others while you were in the store. Thanks so much for your willingness to share with others your frugal advice!!!!

  9. My poor husband. I only find deals like this on chicken quarters…and because they are skin on and bone-in, and I have no idea how to debone raw chicken (nor do I care to learn at this time…I refuse to touch raw chicken with my hands), I tend to just make plain old roasted chicken. My husband won’t eat it any more…though last time I shredded a bunch of it up and reheated it with bbq sauce, put it on a hamburger bun and serve it to him that way, and he enjoyed it. I love your ideas for the boneless/skinless chicken breasts. Next time I find a good deal, I will stock up and use some of these ideas, and maybe my hubby will actually eat what I cook.

  10. Perfect timing, i just ordered 40 pounds online (only 76 dollars, not as good a deal as yours though!) And was wondering how i was going to deal with it….

  11. Love it when I find this kind of bargain. I usually re-package into quart size, which also will lay flat in the freezer. I make large quantities of soup and other cooked dinners for freezing. Also most Kroger’s have mark down counters, I buy a lot there and freeze. I too get funny looks from people. Good luck!

  12. This is absolutely fantastic. I am in awe…. so grateful to have found this! I recently had cancer surgery and have felt so guilty about not “having the time” to cook very much. Now? Problemo solved. No more crying about letting my family down!! THANK YOU!

  13. Amanda Yoder says:

    Wow! That is amazing–I have never found chicken breast for less than $1.79/lb!

  14. Wow… I’d have loved to have found 30# of boneless chicken breast like that.. I’d have canned 2/3′s of it. I’d have just cut it in chunks with my kitchen scissors and filled my jars & into the canner they would have gone.

    I dont know if I’ve ever shared this but a fantastic recipe that all my kids loved is to make a paste of real mayonnaise, brown mustard, garlic puree, & lots of black pepper ( or I cheat and use Montreal Seasoning Salt instead of garlic & pepper) and then brush this on chicken breasts and (half cooked microwave) 1/4ed sliced potatoes and bake at 400° for about 25 minutes on foil covered jelly roll pan.
    Top with chives the last 10 minutes.

    I wonder what would happen if you made the spread paste ahead of time & put it in a baggie with the chicken and froze it. I’ll have to try it sometime. :)

    • Oh Kim -you are on to something. :) I make something similar but not with the potatoes. I’d love to have you share the exact recipe. Definitely sounds like something I need to put on here for a 10 minute dinner.

  15. I stumbled onto this way of cooking accidentally when my “extra” freezer quit working. Since it was full of partially thawed meat the only thing to do was to cook it all up. (45 lbs of turkeys, and 30 lbs of beef) It took about 4 hours of oven time and maybe an hour to cut up and place in bags. What a time saver it was to have pre-cooked family sized portions of the meat I wanted ready to go in zip top bags. I have been doing this ever since and love it. Now if I can figure out the “meals in 4 minutes thing” I’m good.

    Thank you for inspiring me to keep it up. You have taught me some new tricks about freezer cooking
    along the way..

  16. I am beyond jealous of your amazing score of chicken at Aldi’s. I am beyond in love with that store, and probably would have bought 50 lbs, then later begged to use my parents super large freezer :)

  17. I am glad that I am not the only person who does this. You just have more years of cooking experience ahead of me and can think through all the different uses in marinades. We have our four favorite ones and I appreciate the ideas for some new ones.

    • So glad it could help. I’d love to hear your four favorite marinades. I’m always on the look out for new ones to share with my readers. :)

  18. I’m jealous of that price! Chicken goes on sale here for $3.99/lb!

  19. I’d stock up just like you did. That’s an incredible price! And I’ve been known to point out deals to my fellow shoppers, too, because I think everyone should appreciate a good bargain! :-)

  20. Michelle K says:

    No joke…I brought home 20 pounds of chicken yesterday. I sent a text to hubby as I was leaving the store to get the freezer bags ready! We do have room in our extra freezer for all of it. It’s so nice to get a great deal, but to also have it on hand to be used whenever!

    • If you want to share how you end up prepping it or any original recipes/pictures, I know my readers would love to hear about it. I always love knowing what others do. :)

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