Dump Chicken

dump chickenMost of us have probably heard of “Dump Cake”…you know, where you “dump” a couple of ingredients (usually a cake mix and a can of fruit) into a 9×13 pan and bake? Well, I’m not sure which one came first…but *I* just learned about “Dump Chicken” and I am becoming a big fan!

The idea is so simple! Take raw OR frozen chicken breasts, toss them into a one gallon freezer bag, then toss in the sauce and freeze flat. (According to the USDA it is safe to RE-freeze chicken IF it was thawed properly in the refrigerator, however, there may be a loss of quality due to the moisture lost through defrosting.)

When you’re ready, thaw the chicken and cook! You can bake it, roast it, cook it in your crockpot, grill it, even microwave it (but I wouldn’t recommend it.) You can also substitute beef or pork for the chicken, but I haven’t tried it…yet.

dump chicken

When I saw the idea for “Dump Chicken” at When The Dinner Bell Rings I happened to have ten fresh chicken breasts in the refrigerator that were just waiting for me to do something with them. Problem was the website has so many good recipes, I couldn’t decide! So I decided to make up five of my favorites from the list with just two chicken breasts each. That way I figured I could use them on nights when only a couple of us were home for dinner…or, even better, I could make them up for ME for lunch! I just love fixing something delicious on those days I am at home for lunch and have some time. These would also be great for single people or empty-nesters!

So that was my premise and I didn’t know how it would all turn out in the end…but to my pleasant surprise…it worked! And it was just as delicious and simple as I thought it would be.

Here are the recipes I chose to try out:

Lemon Garlic, Garlic Dijon, Teriyaki, Spicy Sweet Glaze, and Lemon Marinade. (I had a hard time narrowing it down to 5! There are a LOT more delicious-sounding recipes…check them out!)

(According to the USDA it is safe to RE-freeze chicken IF it was thawed properly in the refrigerator, however, there may be a loss of quality due to the moisture lost through defrosting.)

 

dump chicken

 

The great thing about these recipes was I already had everything I needed for all five in my pantry! No trip to the grocery store necessary…which is a major plus in my book!

Here are the recipes (with my modified amounts for two chicken breasts in red) adapted from When The Dinner Bell Rings:

Lemon & Garlic Chicken
2 Cloves Chopped Garlic (1/2 tsp minced)
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil (1 1/2 Tablespoons)
2 Tablespoons Chopped Parsley (1 Tablespoon)
3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice (1 Tablespoon)
1/8 Teaspoons Pepper (dash)
4-6 chicken breasts (I used 2)

 

dump chicken

dump chicken

dump chickenGarlic Dijon Chicken
2 Cloves Minced Garlic (1/2 teaspoon minced)
4 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard (1 1/2 Tablespoons)
2 Tablespoons Lime (or Lemon) Juice (1 Tablespoon)
4-6 chicken breasts (I used 2)

Lemon Marinade Chicken
2/3 cup Lemon Juice (3 Tablespoons)
1/4 cup Cider Vinegar (1 Tablespoon)
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil (1 Tablespoon)
2 Tablespoons Minced Onion (1 Tablespoon)
4-6 chicken breasts (I used 2)

Spicy Sweet Glaze
2 Teaspoons Minced Garlic (1/2 tsp minced)
2/3 cup Apricot Preserves (1/3 cup)
1/3 cup Soy Sauce (1 1/2 Tablespoons)
1/3 cup Ketchup (1 1/2 Tablespoons)
1 Teaspoon Tabasco (dash)
4-6 chicken breasts (I used 2)

Teriyaki Chicken
1 Clove Garlic, Crushed (1/2 tsp minced)
1/3 cup Soy Sauce (1 1/2 Tablespoons)
2 Tablespoons Rice Wine (Or Sherry) (2 teaspoons)
1.5 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar (2 teaspoons)
1.5 Tablespoons Brown Sugar (2 teaspoons)
1.5 Tablespoons Minced Ginger (2 teaspoons)
4-6 chicken breasts (I used 2)

To Freeze: Place all ingredients into a 1-gallon freezer bag. (I used a quart-sized bag for 2 chicken breasts). Seal bag. Freeze flat.

To Serve: Thaw chicken. Pour chicken and marinade into a baking dish, turn chicken to coat. Bake at 350 F for 35 minutes. (Since there were only two chicken breasts, I decided to grill mine in my cast iron grill pan.)

I actually enjoyed putting together my 5 “mini dump freezer meals”. My daughter Britta happened to be over while I was doing it and we had a nice chat while I measured and assembled. The only “food prep” I actually did was chopped a little fresh ginger and squeezed a few lemons. :-)

Here are my cute little meals all ready for the freezer……

 

dump chicken

And here they are all ready for freezer storage.

dump chicken

I could hardly wait to try one of them…so the next day I thawed out the Lemon Garlic Chicken and made it up for lunch.

dump chicken

dump chicken

Suffice it to say, it was divine. One of the best-tasting marinaded chicken breasts I’ve had.  Can’t wait to try the rest!!

 

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Comments

  1. Lauralee says

    Wowee! This come at an absolutely perfect time for me. I am retired and single and just hate having great quantities of leftovers to sort out. I am also going to use them when my grand-girls come over for a day with Grandma. Can’t wait to gather all the ingredients and get them into the freezer. Many thanks Jillee, your ideas hit the spot.

  2. Helen says

    Can you clarify which or both to use? Raw – never frozen or frozen chicken?
    The idea is so simple! Take raw (never frozen) OR frozen chicken breasts, toss them into a one gallon freezer bag, then toss in the sauce and freeze flat. When you’re ready, thaw the chicken.

    Thank You

    • says

      Helen, I think she means never frozen, because otherwise the flavors won’t marinate the chicken. But clarification would be nice! ^^

      • Helen says

        Thank you for replying Rachel – yes I understand the marinade won’t seep into the chicken when frozen. There’s not much between them either raw or frozen lol – probably raw. Thanks again.

      • Heidi says

        Helen, as I understood it you could use the raw or frozen by making the marinade, quickly placing the frozen chicken in with the bit of marinade and returning both to the freezer. When you take them out to defrost the marinade can flavor the chicken as it’s defrosting. You may want to give the bag or container a little shake to make sure it is evenly distributed after it begins to thaw. That’s how I understood it at any rate. Hope this helps.

    • says

      Let me see if I can make this more clear. You can use raw chicken or you can use frozen chicken (that you bought that way.)
      You CAN use chicken that has been RE-frozen *IF* it was thawed in the refrigerator (otherwise it’s not safe.) However, that being said, the quality will suffer.
      Does that make it ANY clearer? :-)

      • says

        HI,

        JUST FOUND YOUR RECIPES FOR DUMP CHICKEN. GREAT IDEA!
        WHEN YOU COOK THEM IN YOUR CAST IRON SKILLET. WHAT TEMPERATURE DO YOU COOK THEM ON AND FOR HOW LONG?

        DO YOU COVER THE SKILLET WHILE COOKING?

        THANKS

  3. Landon says

    Can’t wait to try these & the ones I found for freezer slow cooker meals at – http://blogs.babble.com/family-kitchen/2012/07/16/diy-frozen-meal-packs-for-your-slow-cooker/

    Putting these bags together as I bring the meat home from the grocery store & then being able to pull a meal out of the freezer ready to go really appeals to this busy mom! Thanks Jillee! I love your idea of putting together the smaller bags. Now that the kids are older there are some nights that I don’t need to cook for the whole family. =)

    • Landon says

      I made 3 of the above bags last night, 2 from another source & 2 of my own family favorites. So simple & I can’t get over how much space this saves when compared to the space that the packs of meat took up that I used!! Thanks for such a great idea, Jillee. Keep ‘um comin’!! =)

      • Landon says

        By the way, Jillee, last night as I was making the teriyaki chicken I realized I was out of teriyaki. Could have sworn I had some in the pantry. My first thought was ‘bet I can make my own’. Why am I not surprised that Googling ‘homemade teriyaki sauce’ brought up a list that has your teriyaki recipe first on the list? I’ve really got to change my thinking. From now on it’s going to be ask Mrs. Jillee instead of ask Mr. Google! You would not believe how many times this has happened to me lately. I should have known that if I had a question you’d probably already found the answer!! LOL

  4. says

    Don’t give up on microwaving!! For two chicken breasts, the Round Covered Baker from Pampered Chef would be ideal!! Four to six chicken breasts? Try the Deep Covered Baker. Comes out moist, not dry or rubbery and FAST! I never thought it possible until I saw (and TASTED) for myself.

  5. Michele says

    I was wondering, too, Helen.
    I followed her link to When the Dinner Bell Rings website, and this is what they had posted. “Dump chicken is one of the easiest forms of Freezer cooking! The idea is VERY simple, do NOT over think it. You take raw (never frozen) OR Frozen chicken pieces, toss them into a One Gallon Freezer Bag, then toss in the sauce and freeze flat. The key is never RE-FREEZE Raw chicken. ”

    It sounds like to me you use the frozen chicken while it is still frozen by not thawing it, placing in with the ingredients and popping right back in the freezer. The unfrozen chicken would absorb the marinade much better because it would be in it as it froze and after during thawing.

    • Jen K. says

      It is completely safe to refreeze chicken that isn’t cooked. You have to be completely sure it never reaches 41*F for more than 2 hrs. The only real safe way to do this is in the refrigerator which shouldn’t be over that temp. It is not safe to use this method with pork or fish that has been frozen. I know it probably goes against much of what a lot of people are taught, but I have my serve safe certification and I am certain it is ok to do.

  6. Kary says

    I can’t wait to try these recipes my sister and her friends also use this idea to marinade their meats before they go camping. Then they just put the frozen meat in the cooler and off they go for the weekend the meat is then ready for cooking over the campfire.

  7. Shirley says

    If you use raw chicken, could you just marinate in the refrigerator overnight and then cook it the next day? I see where you froze it then thawed it for the next day, seems like an extra step that could be removed.

    • says

      Yes Shirley. The only reason I froze the one I cooked up the next day was to show them all frozen flat for storage. :-) The four remaining ones are still in the freezer.

  8. mdoe37 says

    Perfect timing!! There are only two of us, but I took advantage of a Zaycon Foods delivery…..one 40# box of chicken breasts!!! While they are already frozen, I can certainly thaw them and let them soak overnight. This will give us a nice variety.

  9. Judy Ann says

    YES YES YES! Make ahead meals. Quick and Easy – doesn’t get any better than that. I also made my bag of Homemade Pie Filling(peach) to make ahead per Jillee… Áw$ºmè!
    I buy boneless skinless chicken breasts when on sale, and use the Food Saver vacuum sealer to stock up the freezer. Now my job will be even quicker to have a ready made meal – all I need now is a salad and a baked potato!! HAHA
    Jillee—You are to be praised for all your wonderful tips…I can’t wait to get the e-mails for all the new stuff!
    I am retired now and a widow as well – It is so hard to cook for 1 person when used to cook for a family! You are making it so much easier!!!

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