You know my motto: being chic is being prepared.
Today I'm sharing another freezer cooking session with you. Why do I like freezer cooking? (It doesn't exactly sound like the chicest of activities!) I like to schedule an entire afternoon to cook delicious homemade meals for the freezer, because they always come in handy. You never know when you will have unexpected company, or when you will be too tired to cook, but still in need of providing a healthful dinner for your family.
In today's video, I take 5 lbs of chicken breast, and with it, make 3 chicken pot pies, 2 chicken enchilada casseroles and one chicken crockpot chili.
I hope you'll check out this week's video. I go really fast in the video, so I have listed the recipes for you down below. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or visit my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur
Before I share the recipes with you, here is my secret for perfect shredded chicken. Take your chicken breast (in the video, I'm using 5 lbs, but you can use any amount) and place it in a crock pot (I use the All-Clad Slow Cooker) with enough broth to cover the meat. Do this at night before you go to bed. Set it on low for 8 hours (when it finishes cooking, the crock pot will just keep it warm for you). When you wake up in the morning and are ready to cook, take the chicken out of the broth, and place it in your KitchenAid mixer with a little bit of the broth. Mix the chicken with the paddle attachment, until it is shredded. So easy!
Now, that I've prepared my 5 lbs of shredded chicken, I'm going to use all of it in the following recipes:
Chicken Pot Pie
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth (you can use the broth from the slow cooker)
2 cups low fat milk
6 cups of veggies (I use steamed carrots, celery, cooked potato and frozen sweet corn, but use any combination you like)
4 cups shredded chicken
6 pie crusts (I use pre-packaged)
Melt one stick of butter in a large pot and add the chopped onion. Stir until the onion is soft. Add the flour, and cook until the white powderiness (is that a word?) is no longer visible. Now add 2 cups of chicken broth (from the slow cooker) and 2 cups of low fat milk. Stir until creamy, about 5 minutes.
Now add your vegetables to the creamed bechamel. I used a combination of chopped carrot, chopped celery, boiled and chopped potato and frozen sweet corn. Before placing the vegetables in the sauce, I lightly steamed the carrot and celery and boiled the chopped potato for about 7 minutes. I added the frozen sweet corn as is. You want to cook your vegetables slightly, but not too much, so they aren't mushy. (You could probably get away with not steaming the carrot and celery at all, but because I have small children, I wanted the carrot to be soft.)
You could add any combination of vegetables you like. If you are really short on time, you could just add 6 cups of frozen mixed vegetables. I have done that in the past, and it turned out great!
Now, add 4 cups of shredded chicken (add more if you like a meatier pot pie). Add salt and pepper.
Distribute the filling into three pie tins lined with a bottom crust. Place the top crust on, trim the edges with a knife, and seal with a fork around the perimeter of the crust. Cut some slits into the top to vent, and you are done!
To prepare the pies for the freezer, cover them in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. If you use plastic wrap, don't forget that it's there. Be sure to remove it before popping it into the oven!
To cook a pie, thaw it out in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, bake the pie at 350°F for one hour. Leave a layer of foil on the pie for the first 30 minutes so the crust doesn't burn.
To bake the pie from frozen, bake at 350°F for 1 1/2 hours. All ovens are different, so you will need to check the pie and add time as needed.
You may brush an egg white or some melted butter on top of the crust to make it golden brown.
This chicken pot pie is so delicious! Served with a salad, it makes a hearty meal.
Chicken Enchilada Casserole
1 large onion, chopped
6 cups shredded chicken
2 28 oz cans of green enchilada sauce
6 cups of chopped greens (spinach, kale or swiss chard)
2 cups shredded cheese (Mexican or cheddar)
Heat some oil in a large pot and cook the chopped onion, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add 6 cups of shredded chicken and stir to incorporate. Add 2 28oz cans of green enchilada sauce. Stir. Add 6 cups of chopped greens (I use spinach, kale and swiss chard in this video). Cook over medium heat until the greens have cooked down. Now assemble the casseroles. Start with a layer of the chicken mixture as a base, then add a layer of corn tortillas. Add a layer of the chicken mixture and then sprinkle the cheese on top of that. Repeat until you reach the top of the casserole, sprinkling cheese on top.
To prepare for the freezer, wrap the baking dish with aluminum foil. I use aluminum foil disposable baking pans.
To cook, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Cook in a preheated 350°F oven for 1 hour.
To cook from frozen, cook in a preheated 350°F oven for 1 1/2 hours, making sure to check that the casserole is cooked through before serving.
This is delicious served with salsa and sour cream. Garnish with chopped cilantro and chopped green onion.
Chicken Crock Pot Chili
3 to 4 cups shredded chicken
2 15oz cans tomato sauce
1 large chopped onion
1 Tbs minced garlic
1 15oz can white cannelini beans
1 15oz can red kidney beans
2 to 3 cups chopped greens (spinach or kale)
Place all ingredients in a Ziploc freezer bag. When ready to cook, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Place in the slow cooker in the morning. Cook on low 8 hours, or high 4 hours. Serve with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and chopped green onion.
Used York City cites inspiration from Lessons from Madame Chic in her post on NYC Fall Wardrobe Staples.
At Home With Madame Chic and Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic are now available in Taiwanese from Cube Press and Citic Publishing, Ltd. Look at these beautiful covers!
Comments of the Week
Of the Broccoli Cheddar Soup recipe, Suze writes:
Thank you for the recipe. It turned out great and my 4 year old loved it so much that I sent a bit in thermos for lunch today!
Hi Suze, wonderful news that your child loved the soup! As parents, the relief we feel when our children actually like a vegetable dish is satisfying, isn't it?
I hope you enjoyed this week's video, and feel inspired to spend an afternoon making freezer meals for your family. It's a lot of work, but it pays off in the end.
I'll see you on Wednesday and Friday again this week for more recipe videos. It's a week of cooking on The Daily Connoisseur. See you then!
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FTC: This is not a sponsored post. As always, all opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.