Photo Via Maggie’s Little Kitchen Photo Via Maggie’s Little Kitchen

10 Freezable Marinated Chicken Meals

Sun, Jun. 30, 2019
By Maggie’s Little Kitchen

Given the threads and conversations I’ve also witnessed recently, everyone seems to have developed the same problem: hectic schedules make it impossible to prepare food economically at home, but then the economy makes it impossible to opt for the convenience of takeout all the time. I totally get that — I love to make food; I don’t always have time; and I’ll easily opt to jeopardize my own health and budget for convenience, because of my working hours. I know for a fact I can speak on behalf of most people I know; we’re collectively broke by mid-month, and we’re probably all on the verge of developing stomach ulcers from the crap we’ve been ordering for lunch on a daily basis at work or otherwise.

Calculation and Preparation
First things first: QUIT. ORDERING. OUT. Feeding one person via takeout in Cairo can cost a bundle and if you order every day you can kiss your salary goodbye. Calculate that for a moment—if you made whatever you’re ordering at home, will it cost as much? Probably not. If you ordered a chicken sandwich from a popular fast food joint, you’ll likely end up paying something close to LE 100. With that LE 100, you’re better off purchasing a half a kilogram of fresh chicken, plus some condiments to make about six servings of that very sandwich at home, at a better quality, where you’ll still have a ton of condiments left over. Let that sink in a moment.

Second thing: Cliché as it might sound, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. If you don’t prepare, you’ll basically eat anything and end up spending way too much. With prices peaking around Ramadan season and all the (costly, albeit rewarding) social commitments you might have, that probably isn’t the best idea. So I wondered—what if I made 10 meals in advance? How long would it take me and how much would it cost me?

I trudged down to the local supermarket, tried not to cringe at the prices, and brought some essentials. First and foremost, I bought two and a half kilograms of chicken breasts—it’s a protein, versatile, grudgingly affordable, and goes a long way. In addition, I bought some mustard, honey, soy sauce, greens, a few herbs and spices, and went home after spending something like LE 300. Not too bad, given what happened next.
It took me exactly one hour to prepare 10 basic freezable meals in 10 different flavors. Below are the 10 freezable chicken marinade recipes I came up with using general items in my pantry or fridge. Now, on to the nitty-gritty. You’ll need zip-lock bags and a permanent marker. For each marinade, place all ingredients in a zip-lock bag. Press out all the air, and lock it up. Squeeze the marinade around the chicken until it’s completely covered. Neatly fold the zip-lock into a parcel. Label each parcel and place it in the freezer for up to three months.

A few items to consider
- Each meal I prepared consists of two medium chicken breasts and their tenders. This is a generous portion when I’m eating alone, but around the dinner table I usually multiply that portion depending on the number of people.

- These chicken meals can be grilled, pan-fried, baked, broiled, or foil-pocketed. It’s up to you!

- Onions, bell peppers, carrot strips and other veggies complement these meals pretty well. If you choose to roast your chicken in the oven, pop it on a sheet pan alongside some potatoes, onions and carrots too!

- You can chop your chicken up into strips, cubes or thin cutlets if you like.

I designed these to be taken down to thaw in the morning before work, so when I get home, I can cook them right away. Ideally, I would take down two or even three packets, cook them the way I see fit, and store them in airtight containers in the fridge for the whole week. Don’t worry that this might be too bland of a meal for your guests; with the right side dish, and given the mouthwatering marinade taste, you’re bound to impress without wearing yourself out!

- Write up the name of your meal on the packet, because once they’re frozen, they all look alike and it’s hard to tell what’s what.

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Pesto: 2 chicken breasts
2tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp minced basil
1 tsp almond meal
1tsp grated parmesan
1tsp minced garlic
Salt and pepper


Sweet Chilli:
2 chicken breasts
¼ cup sweet chili sauce
2tbsp olive oil
1 jalapeno pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
Paprika
Salt and pepper


Mango & Apricot:
2 chicken breasts
½ cup mango juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1tsp apricot jam
½ tsp mustard
1 tsp minced garlic
Salt and pepper


Tomato & Bazil:
2 chicken breasts
½ cup tomato puree
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
Handful fresh basil leaves
1tsp minced garlic
1 tsp honey
Paprika
Cumin
Salt and pepper


Herbs:
2 chicken breasts
2tbsp olive oil
1tsp minced garlic
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp allspice
Nutmeg
Salt and pepper


Honey Mustard:
2 chicken breasts
¼ cup honey
2tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp vinegar
1tsp lemon juice
1 tsp minced garlic
Salt and pepper


Teriyaki:
2 chicken breasts
2 tbsp olive oil
1tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1tsp minced garlic
½ tsp sesame seeds
Salt and pepper


Cilantro Lemon:
2 chicken breasts
2 tbsp olive oil
Handful cilantro leaves
Juice of 2 lemons
Zest of 1 lemon
1tsp minced garlic
Lemon slices
Salt and pepper


Curry & Buttermilk:
2 chicken breasts
¼ cup buttermilk
2 tbsp olive oil
1tsp curry powder
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp minced garlic
Salt and pepper


Honey Soy:
2 chicken breasts
2 tbsp olive oil
1tsp dark soy sauce
1tsp honey
1 tsp minced garlic
Salt and pepper

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