Q. What are some ideas for using a bag of frozen chicken breasts?
A. Had an exhausting day? That old, reliable bag of chicken breasts in your freezer is waiting for you. Even frozen, they cook up fast, and their flavor blends nicely with practically any ingredient. They're the perfect choice for a "doable dinner."
In an average bag, you'll find both regular-sized chicken breasts and some as big as 12 ounces each. The following tips will help you realize how effortless cooking a hot meal can actually be -- thawed or frozen, big or little -- while serving up tons of comfort at the same time.
- Cook larger breasts whole. That way you don't have to wait for them to fully defrost before cutting them. After they're cooked, cut into smaller serving sizes, shred, or chop into bite-size pieces when cooked to be used later.
- Dry chicken before browning. To brown thawed chicken breasts, use paper towels to dry them well first. Otherwise, the breasts will "stew" in their own moisture and not get brown.
- Don't overcook. Cook until the chicken is faintly pink in the center, remove it from the heat and let stand a few minutes. This is called residual cooking or "carry-over" cooking, which means the food continues to cook on its own from the actual heat of the chicken.
- Cut the underside, not the top. To check for doneness, make a small cut in thickest part on the underside (the side that will touch the plate). That way no one will see where you cut into the piece.
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