Monday, February 18, 2013

Shredded Chicken as a Meal Starter

I've been a stay-at-home-mom for years, and I've learned invaluable tips for easy, delicious, inexpensive meals. We, like any other family, are on the go a lot, so I need several go-to recipes on hand.

Four Days of Bentō
Photo by blair25

One of my favorite tricks involves bone-in chicken breasts and my crock pot. Around here, bone-in chicken breasts regularly go on sale for under $2.00 a pound, sometimes as low as $1.19 a pound. When I spot a good deal, I'll buy a family-size package. It usually contains five large breasts and costs between five and ten dollars.

I load all of the chicken in my crock pot, and I add a chicken bouillon cube, 1/4 cup of water, and a dash of salt and pepper. The chicken cooks on high all day, and later that evening, I remove the skins and all the bones before shredding the meat. Then I package the meat from each breast into an individual Ziploc baggie, and throw the baggies in the freezer. This gives me four to five meal starters.

Here are some of my favorite ways to use shredded chicken.

1. Homemade chicken noodle soup.
2. Homemade chicken pot pie (I used refrigerated pie crusts when I'm crunched for time.)
3. Chicken salad sandwiches
4. Chicken enchiladas
5. Chicken Tetrazzini
6. Chicken & stuffing casserole (This is super simple. Take a package of Stove Top stuffing mix, prepare it according to directions, stir in a can of cream of mushroom soup and a package of shredded chicken, throw the whole thing in a casserole, top with cheddar cheese, and bake at 375 for 20 minutes.)
7. Chicken over biscuits
8. Buffalo chicken dip (with tortilla chips)
9. Barbecue chicken sandwiches

It's amazing how easy it is to put dinner together when you already have cooked meat prepared!

Do you have any meal starters you can share? I'm always on the lookout for easy, inexpensive meals!

Thanks!

18 comments:

  1. Brilliant idea! I never do this, but I fix several meals that call for shredded chicken. I'm having a "duh" moment right now! :)

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    1. I know, Jessica! I started doing this about ten years ago, and it made my life sooo much easier!

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  2. What a great idea! One of my favorite go to recipes came from Erica Vetsch. Taco Soup. Brown ground beef, open cans and dump everything in the crock pot.

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  3. I'm with Jess, this is brilliant! I'm SO stealing this idea. YAY!

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    1. It takes so little time (15 minutes?) to debone/deskin and shred the crock-pot chicken. Meal-making is a cinch!

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  4. Yum. That's so smart! I always have stuff on hand for spaghetti. It's my go-to meal if I haven't been to the grocery store or don't know what I'm going to make for dinner.

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    1. We love spaghetti--I keep the stuff on hand too! Yum!!

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  5. THANK you! I am always looking for ideas, and this was right up my alley. I dislike meal planning and cooking, but I dislike always eating out even more!

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    1. I know. Meal planning can be a real chore. I usually come up with a week's worth of meals on Sunday night or Monday morning. It prevents us from eating out all the time!

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  6. Great post, Jill. I use chicken a lot as a starter too. I bake chicken breasts, and make several meals during the week. Hubby loves chicken tacos.

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    1. Baking chicken breasts gives them a lot of flavor--my mom does this and the house smells amazing!

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  7. This is a great idea. I love how one session in the kitchen yields many easy dinners later on. The pot pie sounds very good.

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    1. I love it too, Nancy. Before I started using this method, we rarely had the meals I listed. They took too long! Now they whip up in a snap!

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  8. We make chicken tacos or enchiladas with shredded chicken. (even use canned chicken sometimes in a pinch). I love chicken salad sandwiches though with leftover shredded chicken from a chickan dinner the night before!

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    1. I'm with you, Kelly, canned chicken works too! Chicken salad is one of my fave meals!

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  9. this really sounds like something I need to consider trying. We get tired of the same things every night.

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    1. So do we! I have a little "cheat sheet" in a recipe binder with meal ideas. It makes meal time less boring!

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