I've always wanted to do "once-a-month" cooking but haven't done it on a large scale. Time and organization were lacking for such a feat. I have, in the past, prepared a week's worth of freezer meals and I do, on occasion, make double, triple and even quadruple batches of meals, serving one and freezing the rest. I love having meals in the freezer for nights when I'm-not-hungry-so-nothing-sounds-good-but my-family-still-wants-to-eat. Last weekend I had the opportunity to join a few other ladies for a Freezer Meal Workshop in which we made 10 meals for the freezer. Making food for the family AND spending time with women....it was a WIN-WIN way to spend my time.
When I returned home from the workshop I added nine meals to the freezer and one in the refrigerator for the next night's meal. The Perfect Roast Chicken was the dinner I happened to randomly grab for the frig and it was a good choice! So yummy and it provided enough left overs to stretch over for two more meals (love it when that happens as it saves me $$ and time).
Perfect Roast Chicken
1 Whole Chicken (cut up) or package of chicken
- I used a package of chicken thighs (approximately 8 thighs) because that it was on sale.
1 T. minced garlic
2 T. Wildtree Hearty Spaghetti Blend
2 T. Rancher Steak Rub
Place all the ingredients in a large freezer bag, seal and shake to combine. Put in the freezer. Yep, it's that easy!
The night before the Perfect Roast Chicken Dinner (so you do have to think ahead a little bit), remove bag from freezer and place in the refrigerator. I'm thinking that adding the frozen chicken (in case you forget to take it out of the freezer the night before) to the crock pot in the morning would have it ready for dinner time....but I'm not sure.
To save time, I added red potatoes and carrots to the bag of chicken, shook the bag to distribute herbs and oil and then put chicken and veggies into my casserole dish.
Bake in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes.
Veggies were consumed however I had three thighs leftover. I cleaned the meat off the bones to use for dinner the following night. Another easy meal which created leftovers that would be eaten the next day for lunch.
I made a white sauce, added the leftover meat and tossed with rotini noodles. Served with steamed broccoli.
- 1/4 c. butter
- 1/4 c. flour
- pinch of salt
- Milk (approximately 1 cup....I don't know, I always eye-ball this)
- 1/2 cup of shredded cheese (my preference would have been Parmesan or parmigiano-reggiano however I was out of my favorite cheeses so I substituted cheddar).
Melt butter, add flour and stir to make a thick paste. Often times I use chicken broth and milk, unfortunately I was out of broth so I used milk. Stir in milk, heat, add cheese, stir until "just right". Keep an eye on this as it is very easy to forget about your sauce and it can scorch easily. Trust me, I know.
Once the sauce is the desired thickness I add the chicken. Toss in cooked noodles, stir well and serve.
Time spent preparing ten freezer meals was less than two hours - 30 minutes at the grocery store, 20 minutes dicing meats and vegetables, 30 minutes of assembly (this part could have possibly been done in much less time but, you know, I was with a group of women and chatting tends to slow me down). I haven't made all the meals yet but most of the prep is done so actual time spent in the kitchen should be minimal. Now if I spent one hour, every other week, making up ten freezer meals (which can often be stretched into 15 meals) my freezer would be well stocked! Hmmm.....another goal to work towards.