The forecast is for snow here. I’m writing this post a few days early, so by the time you read this we could have several inches of snow. My kids have their fingers crossed!
Now, onto cooking. One of the questions I get asked often is how I cook meat for freezing. I use a lot of chicken and I like to cook it up and keep it in the freezer for casseroles and soups. It really speeds things up when I pull fully cooked chicken from the freezer.
Here’s how I do mine. I usually cook boneless chicken breasts that come frozen in large bags. I’m in the habit of buying those, so that’s what I use. I put the chicken, still frozen in a casserole dish, cover it tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Sometimes I put a little water on the chicken before covering it with foil.
I do the same thing with chicken that has bones. Usually, I buy that fresh and cook it right away instead of freezing it first. You can use a whole chicken or just chicken pieces.
Once it’s cooked, pull it apart with a fork. Cool it a bit and freeze it in ziplock bags in 2-3 cup quantities.
For ground meat, like hamburger or sausage, I brown it on the stove top. Rinse it under very hot water to remove the grease. Freeze in ziplock bags. Sometimes I brown diced onion with it.
Here are a few great tutorials from around the blogosphere:
Tami’s Tips and Tricks – Cooking a lot of ground beef at once for the freezer
The Happy Housewife – Cooking a whole chicken in the crockpot
This is Reverb – Bacon – cooking, storing, eating and a fantastic salad recipe