Friday, January 17, 2014

Freezer Meals - Becky's Chicken Teriyaki

Freezer meals.  Have you noticed how there are posts of freezer meals all over Pinterest and Facebook? Do the pictures make your stomach growl like mine?  Is it because it's wintertime and everyone is nesting and trying to keep warm and fed for the winter?  It has certainly started people talking.

Prepping regular freezer meals and crock pot freezer meals is a time saver and a cost effective way to feed your family.  For this reason, I have decided to start sharing some of my favorites right here every so often.  These are recipes that I have either been cooking for years (most of them) or have received from friends and I will credit them when posted.  If I post something from another website, I will of course notate that here and link to that bloggers post.  There may be similarities to some recipes but the things that I cook are so basic, it would be hard not to see some things that look the same.  The pictures on my blog are my own. 

Now, who wants to join me?

Becky's Chicken Teriyaki

This recipe really does not require a lot of ingredients and the prep time is incredibly short because it really is as simple as that.

Grab two 1 gallon freezer bags and write the name of the dish (Chicken Teriyaki), the date and the directions for cooking with a permanent marker.  Writing the date on the bag will allow you to keep track of how old the dinners are so that you can rotate them in your freezer.  Each time you make a group of freezer meals, put the newer ones on the bottom so that the older ones are on the top of your piles and you grab them first. 

A great tip that many freezer meal experts give is that when you are first putting a dinner in the freezer, lay your first couple of freezer meals on a cookie sheet for the first few hours so that it freezes flat and then remove the cookie sheet.  This will allow the ingredients to freeze flat and provide a solid and flat base for the frozen meals that will eventually be on top.  Nice and neat!

The first thing to dump into the bag after you have labeled it is the baby carrots.  You can use regular carrots by peeling off the outer layer and cutting into bite sizes pieces or use the baby carros already in the bag.  I had a larger bag of carrots in the refrigerator so I just poured half the bag into one freezer bag and and then the other half into the other.  Putting the solid ingredients in first on the bottom helps the bag to stand up so that you can add the liquid ingredients without it tipping over and spilling all over the counter.  Looks pretty so far!

Chop up a red onion into large chunks.  I used a medium sized onion but if you like the onion flavor, go for it and use a huge onion.  Divide the onion in half and dump each half into the two bags ontop of the carrots.

This really is the easiest part - open up two large cans of pineapple.  I like using pineapple chunks because they are bite sized pieces and easier to eat.  Dump one can into each bag over the carrots and onion including the juice.

Peel the 4 cloves of garlic and dump two cloves into each bag.  Wait, that was easier than opening up the two cans of pineapple.  I take that last comment back about opening cans with a can opener being the easiest thing to do!  Actually, using minced garlic from a jar is easier than peeling garlic or even opening cans with a can opener but that is more expensive so let's just stick with fresh garlic.

Take two of the chicken breasts and place them on top of the ingredients in one of the bags and place the other two chicken breasts on top of the ingredients in the other bag.  I had some extra chicken so I added another breast to each bag.  Your almost done!

Pour 1/2 cup of the Teriyaki Sauce over each of the bags of ingredients, squeeze all the air out of the bags, seal and squish the ingredients around a little bit to get everything evenly coated.  The squishing is the funnest part so take your time and make sure all the ingredients get mixed up.  This would be a fun part for the kids to help with.

Lay the bags out flat on top of each other and stack in your freezer.  Your done!  Don't they look lovely on my freezer shelf?  Thanks!

This is so easy, you don't even have to think about it when you are doing it.  To cook this dish, thaw the bag in the refrigertor overnight or run hot water over the bag until it loosens up. Pour the bag contents into your slow cooker along with an additional 1/4 cup Teriyaki sauce or chicken broth and cook on low for 6 - 7 hours or on high for 4 - 5 hours.  Serve over rice.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Teriyaki Chicken

Medium-Large Bag of Baby Carrots
1 Red Onion Chopped Into Large Chunks
2 Large Cans Pineapple (undrained)
4 Garlic Cloves
4 Chicken Breasts
3/4 Cup Teriyaki Sauce

Split ingredients into two freezer bags and remove air, seal, mix, lay flat, and freeze.

Directions for Thawing and Cooking:
Thaw the ingredients in the refrigerator overnight if you have time or run under hot water to loosen from bag. Add an additional 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce or chicken broth to crock pot and then add the freezer ingredients to the pot. Cook on low for 6 - 7 hours or on high for 4 - 5 hours.  Serve over rice.

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