Buying chicken in bulk can feel overwhelming, but by breaking it down into sections makes it manageable!
I have been getting Zaycon orders for the past couple of years.
Zaycon gives chicken in 40 pound increments, most often the prices are well under 2 bucks/pound. I have split them with friends, for the past few times. But, this time I went the whole forty. Forty pounds of chicken. True story.
The problem is that Zaycon somehow has some of the biggest breasts that God has ever made…. They’re GIANT Dolly Parton boob’d chickens! In Zaycon’s defense, they only buy hormone-free chicken.
Who knows how those boobs get so big — little dumbells for those wings?
Anywho, I can’t just leave them as breasts. Mostly, my family doesn’t eat breasts all that frequently — does yours?
So, here’s what I do:
First off, make sure you have an ample supply of baggies. You don’t want to find out halfway through your chicken fiesta that you don’t have enough.
The chicken comes in 4 10’ish pound bags.
Bag #1: I chop it up into 1 inch pieces. I use chicken a lot in dishes. I like to keep it raw so i can marinate it or flavor it as it cooks.
Bag #2: I cut into strips. I used to buy a lot of chicken tenders, as that is what my family likes most. By cutting these giant boobs into 5 strips each I can use them in variety of ways.
Bag #3: I bag 4 bags of 3 breasts/bag. I think maybe only my husband would eat a full breast, the other two we can all split. I cut the rest of the chicken into pieces, like those in #1.
Bag #4: I stuff as much into my crock pot as possible, and fill it about 1/2 full with chicken stock, salt, and pepper corns. I try not to season it too much. I cook it for 4-6 hours until it’s up to temperature. I then let it cool for a bit, and then put it in the mixer, which will mix it to shreds (I LOVE that trick). I then package them in baggies in 1-2 cup measure amounts. I also save the liquid from cooking, and use it later when a recipe calls for broth/stock.
I pack the chicken in baggies one heaping cup of cut-up pieces or 8 strips. I push the baggies flat and freeze them in stacks (which is what you see on the top). It’s easier to defrost a flat package, and sometimes I forget (gasp) to get it out early enough. I’m sure I’m the only one.
Be careful as you clean-up – -we all know raw chicken isn’t our stomach’s friend.
Anyway, I like getting it all out of the way at once. It probably takes an hour or two, but it’s worthwhile to have some of my meal prep done in advance. Even if you don’t buy with Zaycon, you can buy chicken from your local retailer when it’s on sale and stock up. My stock up price for Chicken is about 1.79/lb.
Don’t forget to defrost your freezer ahead of time. Yuck, just another job I hate.
Do you buy chicken in bulk? Do you think it’s better to process it all at once instead of in small batches. I bet that 40 pounds will last be about 5-6 months, just in time for another Zaycon drop-off.
This post was originally written in January 2015, and was updated in May 2017