This entry details how I keep cooked chicken on hand for quick lunches.
Within a day or so of buying a package of skinless, boneless chicken breasts, I bake them.
This is what I do.
Heat the oven to 300 Fahrenheit.
Prepare a baking pan. Choose a pan that is big with short sides. I use a jellyroll pan.
Dump the chicken in the pan. You may line the pan with foil or not, whatever you choose to do.
Arrange the chicken in a single layer. If you have time, you can trim the fat and yuck from the chicken or leave it as it. Lately I have been trimming it after baking and just before I use the chicken.
Place a layer of foil over the pan. Place it so that the foil is like a roof, but not air tight.
Put the pan of chicken in the oven and bake for at least 40 minutes. -The time really depends on several factors-
- How crowded the chicken is in the pan.
- How thick and how cold the chicken is (the time is based on thawed boneless chicken)
- How many pounds you are baking in one pan.
After 40 minutes, take out the chicken and check it. Done is juicy with clear juice. Overdone is dry – yuck, try not to do that!
Once you are satisfied with the done-ness of the chicken, place it, juice and all, in an airtight container and place in the coldest part of your refrigerator. -The coldest part is typically on the top shelf next the back wall.
Depending on how cold your fridge is (the chicken in my fridge becomes semi-frozen), the chicken should be good for a week. If you have more chicken than you think will be used in a week’s time, place some of it in the freezer, but trim it before freezing it.
Use the chicken in recipes that call for chicken or just slice it, warm it, and put it on the children’s plates with some easy side dishes like raw carrots and fresh fruit.