Time for the first post in a series on food prep.
I run into a lot of people who love to train, but are clueless on what to do in the kitchen. Or just lazy. Sometimes both.
Heres some simple methods to prep a bunch of chicken all at once so you are always prepared.
Crock Pot Method
Here is the simplest method to take care of those chitlins. This requires the smallest amount of work possible.
If you have frozen chicken breasts, throw them right in the pot. They are already injected with a bunch of water to make them heavier, so you don’t need to add too much water to the pot as it is. Only add a cup or so.
If they aren’t frozen, I prefer to cut the fat off and give them a rinse. You don’t have to, but I prefer to get the slime off.
Pour 1-2 cups water, or for better flavor, 1-2 cups chicken/veggie broth. High for 4 hours or low for 8.
Drain whatever water is in there (careful–HOT). Then shred that ish up. From here, you can add some tasty flavors. And you’ll have a bunch of chicken readily available for the next few days or even the whole week. Simple. Easy.
|Not hot enough|
If you don’t care about calories, try throwing a whole jar of salsa in with some veggies. When this is cooked, stir it up and your whole meal is ready.
Same as above, rinse your chicken and cut the fat off. Preheat the oven for 400. When its ready, put that chicken in a baking dish and spread out.
PRO TIP: Cover it with a piece of parchment paper. Chicken breast by itself is pretty damn lean, so its really easy to dry it out with whatever method you’re preparing it with. The piece of parchment will act like skin, keeping those succulent juices in. You can also add lemon wedges, your spices, or dry herbs to the chicken and dish.
Bake for 30-40 mins. The best way to check if its ready is to cut the thickest piece of chicken and see if its pink in the middle. Personally, I don’t like my chicken rare. Your call.
When its done, pop it out and let it cool off a bit.
From here, you can either:
1. Eat as is
2. Add most spice/flavorings
3. Cube it up
4. Pop it in the Ninja blender and shred it on low. Careful not to do it too long so it doesn’t turn to liquid. I’ve found this is an easy method to get the “pulled” texture like when we cook it in the crock pot. Like I said before, throughout the week, I can just take out my large container of prepared chicken out of the fridge and flavor it however I want, in whatever quantity I want.
|Not that kind of grill|
For grilling, I prefer to marinade the chicken beforehand. One full day is preferred, but a few hours will be fine.
Rinse the chicken, put it in a zip lock or tupperware with spices, dry herbs, lemon juice, or anything below and let sit.
Clean the grill grates. The chicken doesn’t have enough fat to prevent it from sticking to the grill.
Grill 5 mins or so each side, checking the thickest piece for pink.
PRO TIP: If you want to step your game up, pound that chicken during your prep. Use a meat tenderizer. Flatten it out to the same thickness (around 3/4 inch) so it will cook evenly. You can do this by using a … and pounding that chicken in a ziplock bag so juice isn’t flying everywhere.
If you have a thermometer, the chicken should be between 150-160 degrees. If you don’t, don’t fret.
No/Low calories flavoring
–Hot sauces – be sure to check labels, some have higher caloric content. Others say 0 calories when in fact there are calories, just negligible amounts for 1-2 tbsn
–Spices – Get creative! Theres a wide variety of wonderful flavors you haven’t experienced. Play around with these. Some have some wonderful health benefits too (cumin, turmeric, curry…)
–Lemon or lime juice
–Garlic – this should go without being said. Lets kill some vampires.
–Veggies – Onions, spinach, kale, leeks, celery
(shout out to Alexander Cortes)
I’ve outlined a few simple ways to prepare chicken for the week. You literally have no excuses now. If you have any other methods or ideas, feel free to add them to the comments!