How To Freeze Chicken
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How to freeze chicken. Follow my super simple tips for buying cheap chicken and then batch freezing it for later so that you can have a freezer full of bargain freezer chicken. I will even share my top secret method for getting chicken for FREE.
I am sure that everyone that knows me best knows that I am obsessed with saving money on chicken and that I also know the exact contents of my freezer chicken produce at any one time.
You may think I am a nut case for being so knowledgeable over the contents of my freezer. But I didn’t always have my big chest freezer and it is still a novelty to me.
Before buying our house in the spring of 2015 we lived in an apartment and our freezer involved to tiny shelves at the top of our fridge.
I was lucky if I could fit my Thanksgiving leftovers between those 2 shelves. Then before that I lived in a caravan and didn’t have any freezer space at all and just had a fridge that was NEVER cold!
In my big fat chest freezer, you’re likely to find:
- Grated Cheese – I always bulk buy my cheese, grate it and put it into freezer bags for later.
- Frozen Peas – I always buy frozen peas when they are reduced in price. Then I can bulk up meals with them.
- Frozen Cooked Spinach – My hang up on fresh spinach is that you put it in the pan and suddenly you have 90% less. Frozen balls of cooked spinach are a life saver and perfect for dinner.
- Breadcrumbs – I love breadcrumbs on my dinner and will often use any leftover bread I have, put it into my blender and make breadcrumb bags for later.
- Leftover Meals – I have a range of meals made from when we cooked dinner and we have some leftover. It is then perfect served with some potatoes when you can’t be bothered to cook.
- Stocks – I will always have some spare stock in the freezer too. If I made a roast dinner there will be chicken or beef stock to freeze.
- Packaged Meat – I will always have a LOT of meat that I have packaged up ready to use later on.
There will of course be other things such as leftover sauces, ice cream in summer and of course ice packs for when we plan to hit the beach, but that is the general idea.
Our chest freezer is also only about 1/3 or 1/2 full so if we wanted to, we could collect a lot more meat if we felt the need.
I also want to point out that I am anti unhealthy processed foods. So, you will never see ready meals, premade stir fry sauces etc in my freezer.
Here is a sneak peek into my freezer:
2018 on RecipeThis.com is all about the recipes from Mrs Beetons recipe book and chicken played a HUGE part in it.
In The 1960’s was all about the chicken and looking through the index pages of Mrs Beeton, I am drowning in chicken ideas. You have Mrs Beeton style soup, pie, pasties, broth and so much more.
But to be able to pull of delicious Mrs Beeton recipes using chicken, there is no greater way to get value for money than learning how to freeze your chicken for later.
How To Freeze Chicken = Saving Money On Chicken
No matter where we live in the world there will always be the opportunity to save money on our grocery shopping and the easiest way to do that is bulk buying and then learning how to freeze chicken.
I am of course basing this on my regular grocery supermarket and not a membership run place. Its unfair to base it on Cosco (for US readers) or Makro (for business owners like me) as not everyone has access to them.
Instead I have done my chicken bulk buys in Continente which is a regular supermarket that would be similar in price to shopping at Walmart.
But there are always plenty of ways to save money on chicken in order to freeze them.
For example, here in Portugal we have 3 different ways that we can save money via our local Continente supermarket when buying chicken to freeze:
- 10% Deals – As a supermarket loyalty card member every month we get our discounts sent in the post. It has a variety of things like 20% off certain products, discounts on the kid’s clothes department and then either 10% or 15% off our entire grocery shop. We use the 10% to bulk buy what we need for the month such as canned food, cereal and pet food or even meat.
- Weekly Leaflet – There is also a weekly leaflet that you can get from the supermarket or they deliver it to the local area. We no longer live in the same town, so now there is an app online that I use for Portugal that gives you the info instead. Often you will find HUGE discounts off the chicken this way and when its discounted I will bulk buy and then freeze the chicken.
- Pink Stickers – Pink stickers (yellow stickers in the UK) is the clearance section. The food that must be sold by the day and that you can get for a fraction of the usual cost. We normally get it the day before it is due to expire with a 50% reduction.
Often when I am cooking lunch Kyle will be at school. This means that if we are having chicken from the freezer then it would just be the 2 of us and 2 small chicken to feed.
Under these circumstances one large chicken breast is enough to feed us as we will have it with pasta or potatoes along with vegetables.
Therefore, when chicken is on a reduced price from the supermarket we will batch freeze it in packs of one chicken breast a pack.
Then if it is for dinner and Kyle is about we can get two out instead of one.
Or let’s say it is chicken thighs on a special offer, we will make them into packs of 3 or 4 small chicken thighs and then get a pack out as we need them.
Or if its chicken legs then normally they come in packs of 2.
Though it depends on the size of YOUR family and how much chicken you need to fill you all up!
Because one thing to remember is that those on the Mediterranean are known for known for the smaller portion sizes compared to the US.
How To Freeze Chicken = Getting FREE Chicken
I decided the best way to show you how to freeze chicken was to do it as I bought it. To bulk buy chicken when it was on the deals (as I outlined above) and then you can watch me as I batch it up and freeze it for another day.
Its easy and simple and a great money saver. Plus, you can see first-hand, how much our chicken actually costs us.
When I went grocery shopping I managed to get the following:
- 2 Packs Chicken Thighs – Each pack has 8 small chicken thighs
- 1 Tray Chicken Wings – Just one pack that is perfect for a family dinner
- 1 Spatchcock Chicken – Just needs cooking
- 2 Packs Chicken Strips – Butterfly chicken breast that’s perfect for stir fry’s
- 2 Packs Chicken Breasts – perfect for freezing as they are
All of the items above fell under pink sticker deals. They were all reduced in price by either half or a third. If I had paid for them it would have cost me 18,41€.
The reason they are reduced is because they are close to their sell by date, but perfect for the freezer.
As well as this we also got:
- 3 Kilos Chicken Legs
- 3 Kilos Chicken Breast
These were from the Butchers counter and were heavily reduced. This was using the leaflet system that I outlined above. The chicken legs and the chicken breasts were reduced in price by half.
It gets even better:
We got to the tills and thanks to the fact that we had money on our Continente card which was from us using our 10% and 15% coupons, all of our chicken WAS FREE. Yes, EVERY last bit of chicken was FREE. And it shows it pays to have these loyalty cards that supermarkets offer.
There is easily enough chicken here (or should I call it free chicken) to feed our family of 5 for 22 different rounds of chicken meals.
We don’t even eat chicken everyday as we like to have some vegetarian and vegan days, so imagine how long this is going to last us???
How To Freeze Chicken = Step By Step
I have put together a You Tube video showing you how to batch freeze chicken and how we did it with our Butchers chicken:
#1 Get everything ready for freezing your chicken
First, I always have a big bag (think bags for life) that I store my chicken inside for my freezer. This is because when you have lots of different meats in your freezer it helps you find everything easily.
I also make sure I have:
- Freezer bags to hand
- Pens to write with
- Clean chopping board
#2 Bag it up!
Decide which freezer bags are the right size for each of your pieces of chicken, decide how many pieces of chicken you want to put in each and then bag it up.
If you hate touching chicken, then you can grab the chicken and place the bag inside out as you bag it and then you wont have to touch it.
#3 Remember chicken hygiene
Another thing to remember is chicken hygiene when you freeze your chicken. Make sure that you thoroughly wash you hands afterwards, that you don’t touch anything else in the process and wash your hands prior to writing the labels on the bags.
This is also why we use a chopping board for prepping our freezer chicken.
#4 Label up!
Always label up so that you remember what is in each bag, as sometimes you forget about food when you have a full freezer and it saves on the guessing job later.
Now You’re Done
You can of course marinade some of your chicken as you freeze it, but its up to you. I prefer to bag it up, freeze it, then decide on the day how I am going to eat it.
How To Freeze Chicken With Once A Month Batch Cooking
I decided I can do one better than just to show you how to freeze chicken.
I am sure what you really want is delicious chicken recipes that you can do once a month to save you money and to avoid spending hours in the kitchen.
There is such a thing as Once A Month Meals (I’m a member) and it teaches you how to grocery shop once a month and then do all your cooking in one go.
Forget spending hours in the kitchen with your defrosted chicken and give it a go. You can sign up for it here.
7 Magical Ways To Batch Cook Chicken
I headed over to the site at Once A Month Meals and found some delicious ideas for batch cooking chicken. Every single one of them made me starving hungry and I wished I had looked just after breakfast rather than just before lunch when my belly is rumbling.
#1 – 3 Ingredient Buffalo Chicken
I like this buffalo chicken because you could marinade it and then freeze the chicken when you buy it, or you can get the chicken breast out of the freezer the night before and then cook it the following day in your crockpot.
#2 – Chicken & Squash Soup
I love my squash soup. I usually have butternut squash and apple or pumpkin and garlic and absolutely love it when its cold outside. But this has chicken in it and OMG I want it right now!
#3 Chicken Mini Pot Pies
Mini is my thing. I have an Airfryer and I love doing little ramekin pots of whatever I have in and whatever I have leftover in the fridge. This mini chicken pot pies are perfect use out of your leftover chicken breast and could even be served for breakfast.
#4 – Baked Chicken & Pineapple
I am a BIG chicken and pineapple fan. Though compared to this recipe I prefer fresh pineapples. Just because they are so cheap in Portugal and so easily available. I don’t think I have eaten canned for about a decade. But you must try this recipe whether you use fresh or canned.
#5 – Chicken Pasta Margherita
So many of my chicken recipes always involve chicken, pasta and cheese. They are just 3 ingredients that are meant to be together. Like salt and pepper and like meat and potatoes.
#6 – Grilled Chicken Diablo
I have this amazing Airfryer and with my Airfryer comes my grill pan. It cooks the most amazing grilled chicken in the world and I can just see myself making this grilled chicken diablo to go with it.
#7 – Chicken & Mango Kebabs
If you’re looking for a use of your chicken breast when you don’t have much, then kebabs are ideal. You can just use up your spare chunks, load them up with fruit and you’re all ready for your grill.