Introduction to Freezer Cooking: Garlic Chicken
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I just learned about freezer cooking a few months ago, and I am so excited about it! Basically, you cook a bunch of meals in one day, and freeze them for later use. This allows busy (or lazy) people to pull something out of the freezer and eat it, with little to no prep work. The greatest part is that these are not your average “Hungry Man” frozen dinners, but marinated carne asada, minestrone soup, balsamic glazed chicken, and other great, healthy meals. One of the biggest keys to freezer cooking is to put into the refrigerator any dish with raw meat the night before, and as the meal thaws, the meat will marinade for several hours, and become flavorful and juicy. I just tried freezer cooking for the first time, and I made 12 meals in 3 hours on a Sunday afternoon. Some meals were as easy as adding sauces and seasonings to frozen chicken, and some involved chopping a bunch of veggies up and using a slow cooker. I was amazed at how many recipes called for similar items. I chopped bell peppers for 4 recipes, onions for 6, and garlic for 8 (don’t judge my insane love for garlic). Because I was doing this all at once, it really was not a noticeable increase in the amount of work, and the cleanup was exactly the same. I plan on going over each of the GOOD recipes that I made, which either came from things I made up, online sources, books, magazines, etc. I would recommend making some items from the recipes you find here or in other sources before you begin to make up your own recipes, so that you can get a better feeling for how to make freezer meals. After that, you can introduce freezer cooking as a huge staple to your menu planning!
4 Skin-on boneless chicken breasts
2 T olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 heads of garlic, peeled and seperated
4 sprigs rosemary
2 T balsamic vinegar
Add all ingredients except the vinegar to a plastic freezer bag, and mush them around. Label the bag with a title and directions, and freeze.
Remove from freezer the night before, and allow to thaw in the refrigerator. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, or until done. Add juice and scrapings from the pan to 2 T balsamic vinegar and 2 T water, and allow to simmer for 2 minutes to create a sauce. Pour sauce over chicken.
I made this with bone-in chicken breast, so I increased the time to 40 minutes. Additionally, I wanted a crispier skin, so I broiled it for 5 minutes as well. This chicken had been marinating all day, and was such a welcome sight after a long day!