Chicken leg quarters were on sale this week at my grocery store for $.69 a pound. That’s pretty hard to pass up, although I remember that about 7-8 years ago, they used to go on sale for $.33 a pound. Those were the days…
Anyways, when chicken is on sale, it usually comes in enormous packages. That’s great if you’re immediately having a large barbeque, but not so great if you want to use the chicken a little at a time.
I used to throw the whole package in the freezer, but then I never felt like defrosting the whole thing, and it was very difficult to remove just a few pieces once it was frozen into a large, forbidding chunk. So now I get out a baking sheet or two, spray it with nonstick cooking spray, arrange the pieces on it, and freeze the chicken for several hours, or until it’s hard.
Once the chicken is frozen, it can easily be put into zipper bags(which, of course, I store in the freezer).
Since it’s already hard when it goes into the bag, the pieces don’t freeze together into a large chunk and it’s very, very easy to remove the quantity that I need at any given time. I’m much less prone to letting the chicken get freezer burnt this way, which means I don’t produce as much food waste.
By the way, you’ve probably noticed that these ziploc bags have been reused a number of times. I don’t ever reuse bags that have held raw meat, though…these bags have just been used for bread stuffs so far and after I use the chicken I’ll throw the bags away. It’s probably possible to wash them so thoroughly that they’d be safe to use, but that just makes me feel a little nervous. Plus, when I freeze meat, I try to use bags that have had a decent life-cycle already, so that way I’m not throwing out nearly-new bags.