I originally published this last spring, but I like to repost every time I know Zaycon chicken is coming to town. I pick up mine tonight! Zaycon also has beef hot dogs, kielbasa and other products on sale right now!
If you ordered a 40 pound case (or more) of Zaycon chicken, are you ready for it? Don’t worry – I don’t want to scare you, but when you’re getting 40 pounds of fresh chicken, there are a few things you can do ahead of time to make your life easier.
CLEAN OUT YOUR FREEZER
Go through and toss out all the old foods and things you won’t be eating. Clean it out, give it a good wipe down and get it all ready for the chicken.
CLEAN OUT YOUR FRIDGE
You’ll pick up your chicken in a large box. You’ll want to have a spot in your fridge cleaned out to store the box until you can process it.
SCHEDULE A FEW HOURS, WITHOUT KIDS
Schedule at least two or three hours to process your chicken. It may take you much less time, but if you have the time scheduled you’ll be less stressed and you won’t be trying to squeeze it in before an event or other obligation. Although I adore my children, the process is much easier (and safer) without small kidlets clutching your shins while you handle raw meat with a sharp knife – so arrange for them to be watched by someone else.
RECRUIT A FRIEND
Many hands make light work. The first time I processed the chicken I was lucky to have my mom in town to help me with it. This time around, I’m inviting a friend over to help me and I’m sharing some of the meat with her. It makes the process go quicker and it’s much more fun this way!
CLEAN OFF YOUR COUNTERS
The more area you have to work, the easier and faster it will be. Temporarily move appliances or counter clutter until after your done.
HAVE A PLAN, AT LEAST A LITTLE ONE
How will your process it? Ask yourself these questions:
- What size portions should I freeze the chicken in? Think about the kinds of ways you use chicken and how much you use at a time. Freezing it in smaller quantities is usually better because you can always take out multiple packages if needed.
- Do I want it diced, whole or both? Think about the recipes you plan to make. Does it make sense to dice it up before freezing to save you time when you go to make meals?
- Marinade or meal? If you are really ambitious, I recommend just making your freezer meals or marinades the SAME DAY you process your chicken. This way you can save time when you go to make meals in the future. Make up some easy marinades and just add them to the bag when you freeze the chicken.
SUPPLIES TO HAVE ON HAND
- Foodsaver - My preferred way to prep my chicken for the freezer. You’ll want to make sure you have a working Foodsaver on hand with plenty of bags. If you don’t currently have one, I think the best deal is probably Costco.
Amazon has a version for sale - FoodSaver V3835 Vacuum Food Sealer with SmartSeal Technology – $168.99, ships FREE
Costco carries a refill pack that includes: one 8 in heat-seal roll, four 11-in heat-seal rolls, 36 heat-seal pre-cut bags (quart size, 950 ml) – $39.99 last time I checked.
- Food-safe Latex gloves – This is a personal preference but you’ll be handling a lot of raw chicken, so some people prefer a pair of latex gloves.
- Sharp knives – Make sure your knives are sharp. It will makes things so much easier.
This is a great guide for freezer meals - Fix, Freeze, Feast: Prepare in Bulk and Enjoy by the Serving – More than 125 Recipes – $11.15 from Amazon, ships FREE with Amazon Prime or with a $25 qualifying purchase.
Here are some chicken recipes that I’ve posted in the past:
- Chicken Sante Fe (Slow Cooker)
- Mango Chicken Curry
- Chicken, Gorgonzola, Pecan, Pear Salad
- Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup
- Quinoa Chicken Chili
- Spicy Asian Noodle Soup with Chicken (or Turkey or Tofu)
- Chicken and Dumplings Soup in the Slow Cooker
- Greek Chicken and Orzo Skillet recipe
- Moroccan Chicken with couscous
I’d love to hear from you – how do you plan to use, and process, your Zaycon chicken? Any lessons learned from previous orders? Any delicious recipes you want to share?