This is for all the people who want to have more healthy meals but don’t have the time or money to keep up. This is how I prepare boneless skinless chicken breasts. FYI, this looks VERY unappetizing. You will think I am disgusting, and that’s okay. You just have to trust me on this one.
1.) Get yourself some chicken breasts of the frozen variety. It’s cheaper than fresh and can be kept better until you’re ready to cook them. This is a giant 6lb bag that I bought from Sam’s Club. I do NOT recommend the Wal-Mart Great Value brand. They used to be good, but the “whole” chicken breasts are totally cut up. Kroger’s store brand is pretty good. I’m too cheap to shop at Publix but I assume they are pretty good, too. But I hate defrosting! Me, too. Keep reading.
2.) Get a ginormous pot, preferably of the stock variety. Put all of the frozen chicken breasts in. Put in enough water to cover. Do not throw your back out putting this pot on the stove. It will be heavy.
Note that if you do want to add salt you don’t need to put too-too much –most frozen meats have a certain amount of sodium added in the freezing process. In fact, 4 oz (a serving) of this chicken has 210 mg of sodium or 9% of your daily recommended amount. Now, turn the stove on high. Go watch Pokemon.
3. Yay, Pokemon is done! Now you can see that nothing is happening. There was 6lbs of rock hard frozen chicken in that pot.
It’s not boiling, but it has thawed. Go watch something else for a while until it’s cooked; about 10 or 15 more minutes. If you’re cooking a smaller amount of frozen chicken, you’ll need to adjust tv watching time.
4. When the chicken is done, it will not be floppy, pink, bloody or covered in feathers. It will be firm, but not rock hard. That would mean it’s still frozen. Or possibly burnt. I don’t know what your skill level is. The juices will run clear. If you’re not sure, go ahead and cut through the thickest piece to check. The more you do it, the more you’ll know when it’s done and versus when to feed it to your enemies. Do your best not to overcook the chicken; just because it’s being boiled doesn’t mean you can’t dry it out.
5. Pull the chicken out of the pot and allow to rest. Do not use your bare hands to do this unless you’re Superman. I recommend tongs or slotted spoon or small spear. Let the chicken rest until you can comfortably handle them with your bare hands. Don’t let it sit out all day. That’s gross. 10-15 minutes should do it.
6. Bonus use! If you’re really in a cooking mood, skim the yuck off and use the water to cook something else like pasta. Since you only cooked the chicken breasts (no bones or vegetables), the cooking liquid will be only slightly flavored and not even close to broth or stock. Or just throw it out, I don’t really care. If I’m doing a lot of cooking I’ll use it. If I’m only cooking chicken I’ll probably just leave it there until I do dishes.
7. Slice your chicken breasts against the grain. If you have a kitchen scale, now is the time to use it. You can weigh out individual portions (like if you’re dieting or really OCD) or you can plan ahead for family portions (about a pound for chicken helper) and package them and freeze them. If you freeze it well (I have a fancy pants vacuum sealer) it will last just fine and you can throw it in the microwave easy peasy.
Now, as it sits on the cutting board it’s pretty sad. Just a plain chicken breast. Boiled, no less. But it’s just waiting to be cooked and flavored. One thing I like to do is chop it up, throw it in a pan and make chicken tacos. It’s cooked through but at this point you can add more flavor however you like. Chicken salad, stir fry, etc. Hell, just throw it in a pan with butter and garlic and add a creamy Alfredo sauce and fettuccine that you may or may not have just cooked in the chicken water. Just because it started healthy doesn’t mean it has to end healthy.
You can also use this strategy for ground beef or turkey. You might think this is a strange way to prepare chicken but it makes my life so much easier. Ta-dah!