I have wanted the convenience of pre-sliced char-broiled chicken breasts in my freezer, at my beck and call...for topping salads, adding to wraps, soups, sandwiches, whatever...
So Yesterday I lightly brined a large bag of thawed chicken breasts (I counted 17 breasts), in a large stock pot with some herbs and spices. I let it brine 24 hours, but you could brine the chicken for less time if you wanted. The brining is very easy to do, and it infuses the meat with flavor and keeps the meat tender and moist.
I then poached the chicken in the brining liquid until it was a little over half-way cooked through. Then we got our outdoor grill fired up and finished them off there, to create that nice grilled flavor. I first poached the chicken so that we didn't have to stand outside in the cold for a long time (it is January after all). You can skip the poaching step if you want to stand outside and tend the grill for a longer time.
I let the grilled chicken cool and then sliced it up and portioned the slices into quart-sized freezer storage bags. I Popped the bags in the freezer and they are ready to go at a moments notice.
ON-THE-GO JUICY GRILLED CHICKEN Recipe:
1 large bag of frozen chicken breasts (about 16 breasts)
2 T. sea salt
2 large garlic cloves, smashed
1 t. Italian seasoning (or other seasoning of choice)
1/2 t. onion powder
2 c. hot water
water to cover the chicken
Rinse the thawed chicken and place in a large stock pot.
Fill the pot with water, to just cover the chicken
Smash the garlic cloves with the salt in a mortar and pestle. (the salt helps with the garlic smashing).
In 2 cups hot water, add the Italian seasoning, onion powder, and smashed garlic-salt mixture.
Stir to completely dissolve the salt. Add the salt water (brine) to the chicken in the pot.
Refrigerate, letting the chicken marinate in the brine for up to 24 hours, (alternately you can marinate the chicken in zip-lock bags)
The next day:
Bring the pot of chicken to a gentle boil over medium-high heat.
Once it starts to boil, turn the heat down to medium-low, so that it is barely simmering.
Simmer about 10 minutes, then check the chicken for done-ness (is that a word?).
You want the chicken to be a little over half-way done.Remove chicken from the pot carefully.
place partway cooked chicken on a preheated outdoor grill.
Grill until cooked through, turning so that both sides have nice grill marks.
Cut into thin slices as soon as the chicken is cool enough to handle.
Portion meat into quart-sized freezer bags and freeze for future use.
You can just brine the chicken for 1 to 2 hours by doubling the salt in the brine and diluting with less water. Before poaching the chicken, rinse the meat and poach in clean water. You may add more spices to the cooking water if desired. Then proceed as above.
Note: Use Gluten-Free seasonings and onion salt if that is a concern for you.
|Chicken in the seasoned brine|
|Grilling the partially poached chicken|
Don't let the chicken dry out while grilling
|The grilled chicken is cooling before being sliced|
|The moist, sliced chicken|
|Packaged for the freezer|