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It’s not a typo! A little prep work after your next grocery trip can solve all of these dinner problems:
- The kids are crabbing at each other because they’re starving.
- You’re late getting home, and nothing is defrosted.
- Hubby brings home 3 friends for dinner without warning.
- That new recipe that “looked so good in the cookbook” was a disaster.
- It’s 108 degrees outside and you are NOT going to turn on the oven or the stove.
So how do you make dinner magically appear when all the forces of the universe are working against you?
Here’s the secret.
Watch for bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts to go on sale. Around here, they can be as low as 99c a pound. Spend whatever your budget will allow–in my case, it was $15.
When you get home, rinse the chicken and put it on a cookie sheet skin side up. I had so much chicken that I had to cram two trays full. If you have less chicken, spread them out a bit so the heat will circulate better. No need to add any seasonings or oil.
Bake the chicken in a 350 degree oven, uncovered, for about 35 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. My chicken was so crowded that I had to cook it for an additional 10 minutes.
Let the chicken cool, then pull off and discard the skin. Now you want to pick every morsel of meat off the bones, and shred it into bite-sized bits as you go. This is a great job to have the minions kids help with.
Keep going and going until you have all the meat off the bones. Save the bones to make chicken stock (an excellent recipe is in Better Than a Box).
Then package up the shredded meat into portions that work for your family–I made 2-cup packages. Stash these in the freezer and you’re ready to make dinner in a flash.
Here are some chicken dinner ideas, fastest ones listed first:
- Chicken salad sandwiches
- Quick Orange Chicken (warm the meat, pour sauce over)
- Chicken and cheese quesadillas
- Chicken tacos with homemade taco seasoning mix
- Chinese Chicken Salad
- Loaded fried rice (lightning fast if you have cooked rice in the freezer!)
- Cheesy chicken enchiladas
- Chicken teriyaki stir fry with homemade teriyaki sauce
- Chicken Spaghetti (a la Pioneer Woman)
- Chicken fettucine alfredo
- Barbecue chicken pizza with homemade pizza dough