Get prepared for your Zaycon Chicken! A plan, the tools, recipes

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

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?

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Comments

  1. I got my Zaycon chicken last week, for $1.89 lb, here in Spokane, WA. What I did:
    Baked 7 large breasts with a little oil and seasoning, to cut up for sandwiches/later meals. They went in the freezer.
    Sliced 7 large breasts in half lengthwise for quick grilling, mixed with teriyaki marinade, and froze in baggies of a size for my family (I grill thighs and breasts when we make grilled teriyaki so this is half the meal)
    Diced 8 large breasts and bagged and froze for throwing into a jar of butter chicken sauce, etc for Indian nights
    Put 4 large breasts in the crockpot with 3/4 c or so barbecue sauce on high 2 hours. Shredded, added a bit more sauce, and had barbecue chicken sandwiches for dinner
    Froze the rest in bags of 1-2 breasts each, for other meals.
    I figure I got at least 30 meals.

  2. I followed Heather’s system the first time I ordered. Worked like a charm!

  3. Thanks for posting this. I pick up our first order with them tonight.

  4. We pick up our chicken tomorrow. Saturday we pulled everything out of our upright freezer and thawed it out. It looks so empty with all the extra ice removed.

  5. Thanks for reposting this again. I ordered from Zaycon for the first time this year and our chicken comes in next week (we’re in VA). We’re super excited about this. I also ordered the Fix, Freeze, Feast book you recommended and am anxious to try out all the wonderful recipes. Thanks for always taking such great care of your readers (fans!).

  6. You can can the breast also. YUMMY

  7. We loved our Zaycon Chicken got bacon which we shared with the neighbors and cut the breasts in half and popped them in the freezer Just ordered my hamburger Hopefully they will soon have the patties again can’t wait I can’t eat hamburger from the grocery any more it has so much fat and so little flavor compared to Zaycon

  8. Hi!!! Where did you order your chicken? And how much is for 40pounds?
    Thank you!!!!

  9. NonnieRose says:

    We just got our order last night in Fresno CA…..and I am sooooo happy!!!! This is the best chicken I ever had and the Foodsaver made getting it meal ready in a flash!

  10. I wish I could order this. There is nothing in Ca :-(

    • Just hang tight. They will be coming through again sometime soon – probably in a couple months. :) Create an account and then you’ll be notified for sales.

  11. I just wanted to say I think you can still get a $10 off coupon for a food saver from SmartSource, and use it with a 20% off coupon at Bed Bath and Beyond. They have them priced about the same as you have listed above, $150, and with the coupons it makes it a much better deal. I just bought mine a couple weeks ago in preparation for my 40 pounds of chicken!

    I got my chicken last week and I want to say there were over 50 breasts? That’s just a guess. There were 4 bags of chicken in the box and I’m certain we made at 12-14 breasts per bag.

  12. Brooke Kingston says:

    This may sound funny, but do you recall approximately how many breasts are in your 40 pound orders? We pick ours up tomorrow, and I want to do freezer meals but have no idea how many 4-serving/4 breast recipes to plan for! Thanks for any help you can provide…and thanks for the tip on trying this, we are excited to give it a go!

    • I did up 80# and got 33 packages of 3 breast meals. So for 40# I would guess about 11 or 12 meals at 4 breasts each. Some of the breasts are very large and could be cut in half to make equal portions.

      • Janee Sommerfeld says:

        I packaged my chicken in 2 breasts packages and they averaged about 2 pounds per package. They were large breasts.

  13. I used my Kitchen Aide Food Grinder and made ground chicken.

  14. Any idea how often they have the chicken events?

  15. I got the fix freeze feast on my kindle. Gonna try a few recipes and see how it works out

  16. Thank you for this post! I forgot to order my chicken when they opened for orders and thought I missed out because they sold out but they didn’t! And today was the last day to order for my pickup location!!!!

  17. Thank you for the help!! I am getting an order next week and I am glad to see the many ways to store my chicken.

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