10.10.2016

3 Easy Chicken Freezer Meals



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
(makes 3)

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
(makes 2)

1 large onion, chopped
olive oil
6 cups shredded chicken
2 28 oz cans of green enchilada sauce
6 cups of chopped greens (spinach, kale or swiss chard)
corn tortillas
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.



News
Used York City cites inspiration from Lessons from Madame Chic in her post on NYC Fall Wardrobe Staples.

Book News

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.

11 comments:

Glee Whitsett said...

I loved this! Will you tape when you pull one out of the freezer? I'd love to see the finished meal! Thanks as always!

Ladylike said...

Hello Jennifer,
Thanks for the delicious recipes lately. I made your broccoli soup for the second time tonight because it was a big hit with my family last week. Unlike onion soup and mushroom soup, which are liked by some but not others in my family, EVERYONE loved the broccoli soup. I have found your recipes to be versatile. I made the broccoli soup with gluten free flour, veggie broth and half and half, and it is still very good! My 9 year old daughter and I are looking forward to trying your chicken pot pie recipe! It's another favorite dish with my children, but I have never made it myself before! Again, I will probably make it in my own way, perhaps roasting the chicken instead of slow cooking. I have my own signature recipes, but it is very refreshing to update our weekly menu plan!
Thanks again, Alexandra

Gayle said...

I have really enjoyed the recipes you've posted Jennifer. I love how you make the chicken. I'm looking forward to trying this.
Blessings,
Gayle

Julie said...

This came at the perfect time! I have a busy few weeks ahead and needed some meal planning ideas! These meals look delicious. My chicken is in the crock pot now! Thank you Jennifer!

L.P. said...

I am having some friends over to do "Investment Cooking" i.e.: making things for the freezer. I think we've found out menu! As always, thanks for sharing. I just love your posts.

Lucia

Ladylike said...

Jennifer,
Well, I couldn't wait. I made the chicken pot pies today, and I'm planning to make the enchilada casseroles tomorrow. I'm doing them on different days since I made the pie crust myself from scratch, (I have some experience with pie crust, and we like organic, gluten free, etc.) and I also prefer to roast whole organic chickens, which have to be pulled apart by hand. It's just a personal preference. So, it took a few hours, but it was worth it! My family loved the pot pie. The chicken pot pie definitely has an old-time feeling, which I like. I actually baked two out of the three since I only had room for one in the freezer, and we will have one for lunches tomorrow. (We had opted for a smaller European-leaning fridge and freezer.) Making three at a time also leaves the possibility of giving one to another family that would appreciate a homemade meal. It could be a happy occasion such as a new baby or a less happy circumstance, but there always seem to be friends who would appreciate a helping hand.
I've noticed there seem to be fewer comments on this post compared to some of your other topics, and I'm wondering whether it has to do with the fact that some people may feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the project. We are encouraged to be consumers, not makers of goods, today. For example, few people make their own clothing anymore, as my great-grandmother used to do. We seem to be moving away from cooking and home-based pursuits in general, and these pastimes are even sometimes devalued, meaning that, if an activity does not earn a paycheck, it is considered to have less value. I think this consumer trend is sad since our families benefit so much from the love we put into the things we do for them. The trend seems quite a deliberate effort to get us to earn more and to spend, spend, spend more. I believe your advice to reject the new materialism is a very good suggestion.
Thanks again for the recipes and the encouragement.
Warm best,
Alexandra

Patricia said...

Jennifer, yours has always been my absolute favorite blog since I found you a few years ago...pre-Madame Chic series books, even. I love how you've expanded your blog topics. These freezer recipes look and sound delicious, so I'll definitely try all three. To devote a day to prepare make-ahead meals for your freezer is a bit of an effort for sure, but a huge time saver overall. When my children were young and then when they became teenagers and I had a job out of my home, I'd take one Sunday a month to prepare freezer meals. As you've shown, it's easier and most productive to use the same basic ingredients, varying the meals with the additional ingredients which truly make each dish unique so you and your family never feel a sense of too much repetition in the dinner menus. As you are, I know, I've always been a true believer in daily family dinners, rather than fast food or "catch as catch can" food eaten quickly at the kitchen counter or on the run. I truly believe "family dinners" with delicious, nutritious food and parents/children conversation make a very significant difference not only for each individual family, but for society at large.

I so look forward to your blog each Monday, no matter your topic, still my preference is for discussions of lifestyle, values, wardrobe, makeup and recipes, not necessarily in that exact order, but recipes not as important to me since there are so many food-oriented blogs available. However, this comment of mine does not, in any way, mean I don't enjoy your recipes and certainly any time saving food preparations tips you can share. I'm just saying that I prefer that recipes remain
the smallest portion of your blog...at least of "The Daily Connoissuer," though I'd certainly welcome a separate blog of yours devoted more to food and entertaining, if you were so inclined. I'm a devoted follower of yours and to quote Mr. Rogers from when my kids were little,"I like you just the way you are." As I watch your weekly videos, I always find myself smiling, Jennifer.

mimimanderly said...

I agree with Ladylike about the abhorrent rise of consumer culture. If people want to know why Americans are fatter and sicker than they used to be, one only has to connect the dots: what are we doing now that we didn't do a century ago? That's right, we no longer cook for ourselves and our families. In fact, taking care of them is considered "menial labor", and we pay other people (people who don't care about our family's health -- only that paycheck) to do the cooking and child care. Sure, I'm glad that women have made the great strides they have in the workplace. But must it be at the expense of the health of the family? It is said that we live in times that require that second paycheck. And why is that? Because people are seduced into buying bigger and better crap than their neighbors -- stuff that they really don't need. As a culture, we need to simplify. Sure, it will be bad for the health of the economy if people stop buying as much junk. But maybe we shouldn't be basing the health of the nation on the health of the economy in the first place, but on the mental and physical health of it's populace.

/rant *Whew!*

Jessa Lynn said...

Do you put any chili seasonings or salt/pepper in your crock-pot chili recipe?

Vicki Zimmerman said...

I love good recipes, and after trying your broccoli cheddar soup and making it twice with much applause, I know these will be great, too. Are the All-Clad Slow Cooker and KitchenAid links you provided the same models you have and show in your video? Also, I generally use chicken or vegetable broth and I was wondering what bouillon you were using with water? I can't wait to make all of these and thank you so much for sharing your recipes and the fantastic secret for making perfect shredded chicken. These will be fun to make and your videos so helpful.

Hazel Chang said...

Hi Jennifer. I read your first book around 1 year ago and ever since I've been following you on Youtube. By the way, I am Taiwanese, so you would be happy to know that the Taiwanese edition is nicely-translated. The books give an elegant and classy style of living and how to be a lady. They are great guides for me! I recommended your books to my girl friends.

 
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