If you shop at Nino’s on a regular basis, you’ve surely come across a refrigerated case full of 5-lb bags of our boneless, skinless chicken breasts. And quite often, they’re on sale at an unbeatable price. Now, unless you have a large family or are planning on grilling out with friends, you might have asked yourself, “What in the heck am I going to do with a whole 5 lbs of chicken breasts?”
My answer to you is…. Plenty. And when they’re on sale, you have an additional incentive to take advantage of the best deals at Nino’s.
Since I’m a chef, I have lots of recipes and tips. But at the end of the day, I’m single, and there’s only so much chicken I can eat in a day–or a week. Yet, when our 5-lb bags of chicken are on sale, I quite often buy 2, sometimes even 3 bags!
Here are some of my tips and strategies for taking advantage of Nino’s 5-lb chicken breast deals.
Depending on how much I buy, I take a portion of it and separate the 2 lobes of the breasts by cutting directly between them and trimming off all fats and cartilage. It’s VERY easy to do. Next, I individually double-wrap each breast and freeze them all in a plastic shoebox storage container (you can buy these for a couple of dollars at most housewares stores).
I also reserve a couple of breasts to cut for stir-frying. Now, you may have found it a bit tricky to cut a whole breast into very thin strips, but if you place the breasts in the freezer for about 30 minutes to give them a hard chill, you will find it amazingly easy to place them on a cutting board and cut them into 1/8” thin strips. Once you do this, wrap up packages of about a half cup’s worth of these thin-cut chicken strips, and you’ll have a no-fuss, pre-cut chicken to use in your next quick stir-fry. Speaking of stir-frying, if you’ve never tried Wok Stir-Frying, be sure to read one of my recent blogs to get the lowdown.
Another great idea is to take a couple of the trimmed breasts and cut them into large, bite-sized pieces; lightly flour them; and then sear them in vegetable/canola oil until lightly browned and cooked through. I then fill a pint- or quart-size Zip Loc® or similar freezer container about halfway with the chicken and top if off with some of Nino’s Country Gravy. Add some sautéed vegetables if you like and freeze for a great meal over biscuits or toast or with some roasted or mashed potatoes.
With the remaining (if any) chicken breasts, I choose a couple of my favorite recipes (usually casserole recipes) and prepare a large pan. I then chill, cut into single portions, and again double-wrap them for storage in the freezer. Here are some of my favorite recipes
You can even prepare my Chicken Quesadilla recipe and individually wrap and freeze the 6”-diameter ones for quick thawing and pan frying later when you’re looking for a quick and delicious meal. A 5-lb bag of chicken is an opportunity to save money, save time (in the long run), and create some delicious meals you’ll thank yourself for many times over.