Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Experimenting with Split Chicken Breasts

Continuing with my theme of better meal planning and prepping ahead of time. I gave split chicken breasts a shot- for a few reasons
  1. Pure curiosity
  2. They were on sale for $0.99/lb
  3. I haven't found boneless skinless chicken breasts on sale in awhile
  4. You can make chicken broth by boiling the bones
So I got a bunch and the first batch - a few weeks ago - I just deboned by hand, used the chicken for various recipes and threw the bones in the freezer to make chicken broth later. It was surprisingly easy. Once I got the hang of it, all 6 split breasts went pretty quickly. I found it was easier to just look at the chicken as I was cutting and make it look the way it should. Reading other people's description of what they did, just made it more confusing, so just go with your gut.

So now, it's time to do some more cooking for this week, so I pulled 2 more packages of split chicken breasts out of the freezer, partially defrosted them by running them under cold water and tossed them in the crock pot. I needed shredded meat for this week, so I decided that by cooking the chicken in the crock pot {with chopped onion, oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and water}, I could probably get some chicken broth out of the deal too! 

I let the split breasts go for about 3-4 hours on High before testing them- the meat shredded off perfectly and had a nice taste. The broth tasted pretty good too, but since we figured the longer the better, we left the broth going for about 6 hours total on High. Since I have a small crock pot, I could only do 1 package at a time (2 split breasts), so I did the whole process twice.

With the meat from the first package (~4.5 cups), I made Buffalo Chicken Taquitos. They are delicious, definitely a go-to meal around here! We had enough for dinner, a snack and lunch, plus about 5 that got tossed into the freezer. I also got about 4 cups of chicken broth after straining off the spices and bones!

Some of the homemade chicken broth
So for that one package it cost $2.58, which was about 2.6 lbs (including bones)-- I got more than 2 boneless skinless breasts worth of meat (since you also have 2 tenderloins in there), plus a container's worth of broth (~$2.99). It makes the whole process pretty cost effective since you get chicken and free broth. Especially since I haven't seen boneless skinless chicken breasts on sale under $3.99/lb in some time.

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