So, there are times that I hesitate to post something because all I can think is: EVERYBODY already knows this, Abbie. It’s just too, too obvious.
And for many of you, today’s #mamalifehacks tip will be. My apologies ahead of time. Feel free to click away to the weather or something equally scintillating.
But I’ve had enough of a, “Why didn’t I think of that!?” reaction in both real life and blog life to this idea any time it comes up that I figured it was worth posting at least once, especially considering the fact that there are a good number of you participating in our healthy eating/drinking challenge.
So, WHAT IS IT, Abbie? Enough blathering, for the love!
My big fat (skinny?) tip for today is to cook chicken breast in big batches at the beginning of the week so that, on those days when you’re stumped/too tired to think about dinner, you don’t really have to.
Because SURELY there’s something you can make with pre-seasoned, pre-cooked chicken breasts!
Off the top of my head, I can name: chicken + veggie stir fry, Chipotle-style chicken + rice bowls, chicken pot pie, ANY kind of chicken + pasta, chicken fajitas, chicken lettuce wraps, King Ranch chicken, chicken salad…
Get the idea? If it has the word “chicken” in it, then you can probably use chicken breast from your pre-cooked batch to make it.
Of course, this hack isn’t just for those weeks when you haven’t planned ahead. There have been puh-lenty of times that I have planned 3-4 of our family dinners around the fact that I am cooking a huge batch of chicken at the beginning of the week.
As we’re doing our 14 day cleanse, (Y’ALL! I’m so proud of all of you for jumping in like you did! This is so fun! The Facebook Page is hoppin’! If you’re still interested, don’t hesitate to join in!) it’s really important that I have healthy options on hand so that I don’t get discouraged or distracted or just plain devour-some (sorry, not a word; I didn’t want to ruin the alliteration).
But, whether you’re adhering to a special diet or not, I think all of us busy women could use a little help in the meal-planning department.
And I’m here to tell you that, if you’ve got 30 minutes on your Monday (only 5-10 of those have anything to do with prep; the rest is oven time), then you can get yourself set for the week with delicious, pre-cooked chicken that is SO much cheaper and better than that grisly, rubbery stuff they sell in bags in the freezer section.
So, what do you do?
Hope you have a pen and notepad ready because it’s super complicated.
No, it’s not. And that’s the beauty!
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
Butterfly your chicken breasts. Note: this step is totally optional, but I always do it because it means that my meat cooks more quickly and that there’s more seasoning on each piece.
Arrange butterflied chicken breasts on a jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with a lip) and sprinkle generously with Lawry’s Perfect Blend Chicken Rub (I buy mine in the huge containers from Sam’s, but that link is for Amazon).
Cook for approximately 23-26 minutes or until juices run clear and no pink remains in the meat. This is the part where I’m supposed to tell you to use a meat thermometer, and YES! You totally should. TOTALLY. But…I don’t. So, there’s that.
Allow chicken to cool on pans, then place in gallon plastic bags and store in the fridge. Mandy did a really similar post to this one ages ago, and she freezes hers and says it still turns out great when thawed.
Pull out of fridge and dance with it around the kitchen when you realize that you forgot to plan dinner but you have cheese in the fridge and tortillas in the pantry, so…QUESADILLAS FOR EVERYONE!
Shoo husband away when he sticks head quizzically in the door to ask why you’re so excited about quesadillas.
High-five yourself on your super-mom levels of preparedness.
Okay. I’m good with that.
And for all my clean-eating homeys…don’t get any ideas about cheese and tortillas. BUT! This hack will still serve you well on your clean-eating quest.
No go eat some lettuce!
Got any #mamalifehacks to share with me? I’m listening!