Taking advantage on meat specials and buying in bulk can pose a problem for the single person or someone cooking for 2 or 3. What do you do with all the chicken pieces? Was it such a good deal if some of it is going to go to waste?
Where to find the deals.
Most supermarkets like Fry’s have “manager’s specials” which are marked and discounted for quick sale. The meat is still good, but it’s been in the meat case for a certain amount of time and they need to sell it. Many times these are the “family packs”.
If you go to the Desert Mission Food Bank* and order the $15 meat packet, you get 5 pounds of chicken quarters. Sure you can freeze them, but first, follow these simple steps and you’ll save time, money and you’ll have some tasty chicken to boot!
I interviewed a chef once who told me his secret was marinading the meat overnight. The herbs and spices are absorbed by the meat and it cooks juicier and delicious.
Here’s what you do:
When you bring the chicken home, take out a bunch of quart-size freezer bags – the ones you can write on. Separate and rinse the chicken parts. Take out your favorite herbs and spices.
Let’s start with Italian seasonings. In a plastic bag sprinkle some oregano, basil, garlic powder or chopped garlic, onion powder or chopped onion, parsley, and any other Italian-style spices. Add a chicken breast and shake till the piece is fully coated. Mark the bag with the date and the type of flavoring.
Now let’s do Asian. Take another bag, add garlic, onion, ginger, sesame seeds, soy sauce or teriyaki then add the piece of chicken and shake till fully coated.
Next Mexican. (We’re in Phoenix, we can’t forget Mexican). Take cilantro, oregano, chili powder, garlic, onion, cumin and whatever else suits your fancy and do the same thing.
Another favorite of mine is curry.
Obviously if you’re cooking for more than one, use a gallon-size bag and add more than one piece of chicken.
Put them all in the freezer and pull one out and place in the fridge in the morning and it will be thawed by the time dinner comes around. Put a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet add chicken and your favorite vegetables – add frozen ones first, then fresh ones. Stir fry until the chicken is fully cooked. Serve over rice or pasta. Enjoy!
You’re eating healthy and frugally – Buen Provecho!
*The Desert Mission Food Bank serves only certain zip codes in the valley.
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Soli Deo Gloria