This post was written in a paid partnership with Manitoba Chicken Producers. As always, all opinions are my own and I only promote products and services that I use and love.
It’s no secret that I make chicken ALL. THE. TIME. It is a protein that the whole family loves and no matter what cut you use, it’s versatile and easy to prepare. I use a few simple prep strategies that can help get dinner on the table in under 30 minutes.
Last year, I talked about how to cook, portion and shred chicken for quick meals. Today I’m showing you how to portion and prep a family pack of chicken breasts.
We don’t realize how much time we spend taking out ingredients and doing dishes when we prep meals.
Meal Prep Tip: To save time, it’s best to tackle as much prep as you can in one session. This is especially helpful when prepping on the weekend for busy weeknights.
Manitobachicken.ca has some great 60-Second Meal Videos that show you step-by-step how to make each recipe. This week I’m trying the One-Pan Chicken Souvlaki. I prepped my chicken as soon as I brought it home from the store.
Meal Prep Tip: Slice, portion and freeze boneless skinless chicken breasts as soon as you bring them home from the store.
I had a family pack of 11 chicken breasts. I divided them and sliced them in three different ways:
- Three chicken breasts, sliced in medium pieces for the One-Pan Chicken Souvlaki
- Four chicken breasts, sliced in strips for Chicken Strips
- Four chicken breasts, sliced thinly for a sheet pan or stir-fry (portioned in two bags)
That makes four meals that are ready to cook.
Meal Prep Tip: You can even go one step further and marinate the chicken before you freeze it. Depending on your recipe, you can also marinate whole chicken breasts.
Before you freeze the chicken, flatten the bags as much as you can. They will stack neatly in your freezer and will also take less time to defrost.
Food Safety Tip: The best way to defrost frozen chicken in overnight in the fridge. Never thaw chicken at room temperature on the counter, as it may promote bacteria growth. Thawed chicken should be cooked within 48 hours.
Check out the Storing Chicken section on manitobachicken.ca for a chart on safe thawing methods, as well as other food safety tips.
How to cook One-Pan Chicken Souvlaki
There are two ways that you can cook the One-Pan Chicken Souvlaki, depending on how much time you have.
If you are pressed for time, cook it in the skillet, as directed in the 60 Second Meal Video.
If you are not pressed for time, but you have other tasks you want to do while you wait for it to be ready, you can bake it on a sheet pan at 425°F for 20-25 minutes.
Food Safety Tip: Always use a thermometer to check if your chicken is ready. Cooked chicken breast should read 165°F on a digital thermometer when inserted into the thickest part of the breast meat.
How to serve One-Pan Chicken Souvlaki
There are a variety of ways you can serve One-Pan Chicken Souvlaki. I like to set out all the components and let everyone decide how they want to eat it. Deconstructing is a great strategy to use for picky eaters or for people who have dietary restrictions. Everyone can serve themselves the components they would like to have. I talk more about deconstructing in this blog post.
Here are some of the components that you could put out on the table for serving:
- Warmed naan, pitas or mini pitas
- Chunky Greek Salad
- Olive tapenade
- Lemon roasted potatoes
My partner likes his as a wrap in naan with all the fixings. I like mine deconstructed, using the tzatziki and hummus as a dip for the chicken and the naan. The kids will most likely just have chicken, naan, lettuce, and tomatoes, all separate and not touching on the plate! If we have leftovers to take for lunch, a great side is a tabouleh salad, made with bulgur, fresh herbs, lemon juice, olive oil and tomatoes, as this can be made and dressed ahead of time.
This meal is so versatile that you can try it over and over it again with different sides. Head to manitobachicken.ca to check out the 60-second video, as well as more 60-second meal ideas!