To create five very distinctive meals for my family of five out of five chicken breasts, a little prep work goes a long way. Just a little time spent at the beginning of the week makes the rest of the days come together quickly and easily.
To make these five dinners (plus a bonus lunch!), I started with five bone-IN chicken breasts. To really stretch your chicken, I find bone-in breasts to be the way to go. (They can often be found for less than a dollar a pound too!)
Five of them:
One at a time, I toss a breast on the cutting board:
And trim away the skin with a sharp knife. This process goes quickly.
Once that's completed, I cut the fat "meaty part" off the front of the breast. It doesn't have to be perfect. Just do your best to cut pretty close to the bone and you should end up with what looks like a "boneless, skinless chicken breast"- five of them, actually:
The remaining parts will look like this:
Go ahead and toss those in a pot of boiling water. I'm convinced you can't really mess this part up. Boil them on high for 20 minutes or 45 minutes on med-low or anywhere in between. I've done it all and it always works out for me. Just get it cooked.
Meanwhile, choose the two fattest boneless breasts and butterfly them, resulting in four breast portions. (These are for your batter-dipped sandwiches.) You can package them up at this point.
Take another boneless breast and cut it into bite-sized pieces. That, too, can be packaged. (This is for your Creamy Chicken Marsala w/ Noodles.)
Take the two remaining boneless breasts and cut them into bite-sized pieces too. Package them separately as they're for a different meal (the stir-fry).
Once your bone/meat remains are done cooking, remove them to the cutting board (<--- the CLEANED AND DRIED cutting board, my friends... I am not Miss FussyPants in the kitchen, but you just gotta wash up after raw chicken) and let them cool until you can easily handle them.
Pick the chicken bits off. Use a fork, a knife, your hands... whatever works for you. I like to use my fingers, but maybe that's just me. I ended up with about 3 cups of chicken bits and a bowl of bones.
The bits get bagged as follows: 1 1/2 cups (for a frittata), 1 cup (for on pizza), and 1/2 cup (for in soup).:
(Sorry I failed to rotate this pic!)
It took me about 45 minutes, start to finish, to get all that done. And that includes getting those bones in a pot with veggie scraps to make stock- don't toss those bones!!
All this week, I'll be sharing the recipes to make with all that beautifully prepped chicken. Here's the rundown:
- Monday: Creamy Chicken Marsala w/ Noodles
- Tuesday: Asian Chicken Stir-Fry w/ Mixed Veggies
- Wednesday: Batter-Dipped Chicken Sandwiches
- Thursday: Mexican Chicken Frittata
- Friday: Chicken, Broccoli, & Garlic White Pizza
- Saturday: (bonus lunch!) Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
I'd love for you to come on back!
Linked to Frugal Friday.