or from the freezer to your table, in one easy pour.
I have now completed month two of my freezer cooking experiment and I have to tell you - I am hooked! I have ventured into a couple different types of freezer prep and discovered that I am truly a lazy cook at heart. There are endless recipes out there that involve actual cooking on freezer prep day, and they are delicious I am sure, but I have decided to limit myself to one of those for every three no cook prep recipes I make. This saves me precious sanity and time on the designated Sunday, and since these make ahead meals are designed to do just that when they are used during the week I see no need to sacrifice it in advance.
I like to use chicken because it is one of the most versatile meats for freezer preparations, but I have had some good experience with pork and beef recipes too. Personally, I like to go to our local butcher because the meat is cheaper than the chain stores and I can be sure that it hasn't been frozen yet but if you don't have one I'm sure your local grocery will do just fine. I have found that having one freezer meal a week not only helps with busy schedules but it also takes out the stress of figuring out just what we have left in the house for dinner at the end of the week. I would highly recommend having a couple on reserve each month, you'll be amazed what a difference it makes on your stress level. This recipe was one of my favorites from round one of my experiments and will most likely be on the list every month because of its universal appeal. Check it out:
1 cup white wine
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp crushed garlic
1 tbsp dried minced onion
2 tbsp minced parsley
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp basil
1 dash sage
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (fat trimmed)
1. Open up a large freezer bag, using a deep bowl to keep it upright. Pour in the wine and vegetable oil. Add all of the spices and then seal the bag and mix thoroughly from the outside by massaging the contents with your hands.
2. Open the bag after ensuring that the majority of the contents are drained back down to the bottom and secure again in the bowl. Add in the chicken breasts and re-seal. Massage the contents again to ensure even distribution over the chicken.
3. Open a small corner of the bag and carefully squeeze all the air out. Lay the bag flat in the freezer so that the chicken is in a single layer and fold half the bag over to push the liquid back over the chicken when it freezes (this also makes the bag more compact for storage).
1. Remove the bag from the freezer the night before and allow to thaw in the refrigerator
2. Dump the contents of the bag into your slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. I found the amount of liquid to be perfect, but if you are concerned about it need more you can add 1/2 cup of chicken stock.
This has a taste reminiscent of traditional roast chicken so any side that you usually accompany it with would work great, I personally recommend potatoes cooked on time bake in the oven so they are ready when you are for dinner. I find that the sage gives it a bit of that warm, family holiday feel to it but if sage isn't your cup of tea go ahead and leave it out or substitute it with a different complimentary herb. As always - give it a try, give the flavors a chance, but in the end make it your own. Enjoy!