Meal Prep Made Easy: Chicken

meal prep

Shredded Chicken Starring in Meal 2

I like anything that makes it easier for me to eat chicken breast (blech). It’s taken me a few weeks, but I’ve finally got chicken prep down to a science. Eating it is still tough, but at least prepping is easy now.

I eat chicken breast twice a day, so I find it’s easiest to make a week’s worth at a time. I purchase the family pack of chicken breasts at the grocery store, which gives me about 4 to 5 pounds raw.

First up, weighing the chicken raw. Trim all visible fat/skin from the chicken breasts and place them in a bowl. Set another bowl on your scale and zero it out. Then transfer the chicken to the bowl on the scale. Record the ounces. (E.g., mine came to a raw weight of 59.30 oz.)

To figure out your portions, divide the total weight (in ounces) by your serving size. (My servings are 4 oz each, so I’ll get 14.8 servings. I rounded down to 14.) Tip: Use a calculator if you have diet brain.

I cook my chicken breasts in the Crock-Pot, which is by far the easiest way to cook them. This also works great if, like me, you have no added fats in your diet with which to saute your chicken and make it a little more palatable. I spray the Crock-Pot insert with nonstick pan spray, layer the chicken breasts in, sprinkling each layer with powdered chicken bouillon. I’m not restricting salt at this point. If you are, you can leave out the bouillon and throw in some Mrs. Dash and few garlic cloves. You can add a little water if you’re going to use the stock that results (I do), but otherwise there’s no need.

For 4 pounds of chicken breast, it will take 4 hours in my Crock-Pot set on low. When the chicken is done (white, not pink inside), I remove the chicken to a bowl and strain the stock. Let the chicken cool enough that you can handle it comfortably.

meal prep

Weighing the Cooked Chicken

When your chicken has cooled sufficiently, it’s time to get the cooked weight. Place a container on your scale, zero it out, and get the weight in ounces of your cooked chicken. (For me, this was 47.60 ounces.) Divide by the number of servings you figured out with the raw weight. (Mine: 14.) That will give you the weight of each serving, cooked–and this is what makes the process so easy.

meal prep, chicken

Shredded Chicken

I like to shred my chicken, but you can cube yours if you prefer. Line up your containers (14 for me), place each on the scale, zero it out, and fill with the appropriate ounce weight of cooked chicken. If all your calculations were right, you’ll be golden: all your containers filled with uniform portions.

If you like, you can now divide the strained stock among your containers to keep your chicken nice and moist (relatively speaking) in the freezer. Put the lids on, label with weight and date, and freeze. You’re good to go!

Advertisements

Thoughts? Do share.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s