Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Freezer cooking - January

In January, 40 lb boxes of chicken went on sale and I decided to do a big batch of freezer cooking. I actually got two boxes (one already frozen that went straight into the freezer). I had only planned on one but felt prompted to buy two. Who knows why, maybe chicken prices will go up soon. I didn't count on being sick while doing it, which dragged out the cooking through short bursts of energy. It's been wonderful though to pull out frozen meals for Nathan to cook when I'm working overtime.

I got two 9x13 metal pans at the thrift store so I could freeze more casseroles. I didn't want to use disposable pans because I'm trying to cut back on my use of foil and produce less trash. I used almost all of my casserole dishes, plus two ice cream buckets, a recycled #10 can, a few jars and recycled freezer ziploc bags.

I made:

Poulet de france x 2 (too salty, not sure we'll make again)
Chili verde x 1.5 (didn't even remotely follow the cooking instructions; served without any toppings; froze in pint jars which was perfect for lunches)
Mandarin chicken x 2 (luscious, recipe and picture below)
Almond chicken (used fresh mushrooms, haven't tried yet)
Caesar chicken x 2 (using up dressing Nathan didn't like; out of noodles, will make my own and add before cooking; haven't tried yet)
Chicken & noodles (using up the Swiss; Nathan liked, I didn't)
Mexican chicken lasagna x 3 (was recommended to me, we liked it okay, a copyrighted OAMC recipe)
Chicken enchiladas x 2 (one of my fave white enchiladas, hopefully it defrosts well; recipe below)
Chicken muffins (SO good, definite make-again, sorta-recipe below)
Diced, cooked chicken - an ice cream bucket full

Consumed fresh:

Chicken salad for sandwiches
Chicken rice soup (best I've ever made, if only I can duplicate it next time)
Something else chicken-y I can't recall, I'm sure it was good

Mandarin Chicken

2 C cooked, diced chicken
2 C sliced mushrooms
2 tsp flour
2/3 C chicken broth
6 oz OJ concentrate (half can)
1/2 C onion (recipe called for green onion, we used sauteed white onion)

Saute the mushrooms, sprinkle flour over the top, add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Add chicken and simmer for 3 minutes. Freeze. When ready to eat, defrost and add 1 can mandarin oranges. Heat until bubbly, then serve over rice.

I got wild rice at Winco so we enjoyed our second dinner with a nice mix of wild and white rice (really need to go pick up more brown rice but this white was free).

Chicken Enchiladas

1/2 C onion, chopped
1 4 oz. can diced green chiles
1 C cream of chicken soup
3/4 C sour cream
1/2 soup can water (or broth)
1 dozen corn tortillas, cut into quarters
3 chicken breast halves, cooked and shredded
1 1/2 C grated cheddar cheese

Combing onion, green chiles, soup, sour cream, and water in a bowl. Grease a 9x13 pan. Layer tortilla quarters, chicken, soup mixture and cheese in pan until all ingredients are used. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. If freezing, defrost and then bake until hot in the middle.

Chicken Muffins

You know this isn't really a recipe, but I'll do my best! I've done this with sloppy joe filling but the chicken filling is much better.

Take commercial or homemade baking powder biscuit dough and press it into muffin tins until you've made a thin cup. Multiplying my biscuit recipe by 1.5 (used about 3 C of flour) gave me 21 cups.

Mix together one can cream of chicken soup, about 1/2 C sour cream, onion powder, grated cheese, and cooked, diced chicken. It should be enough chicken to make a thick but creamy mixture, and I would guess about 1 C cheese (I used cojack).

Spoon the mixture into the biscuit cups. Don't fill any higher than the dough.

Bake at 375 degrees until biscuit dough is done (around 15 minutes).

These were scrumptious fresh but the biscuits can get a little chewy when re-heating. Just don't heat them too long in the microwave. Nathan devoured these in no time.


Jaime said...

You're so amazing. Way to be thrifty!!

Amy said...

The chicken muffins sound delicious and fun to eat. I think my boys would like them!