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cook-freeze-reheat-eat question

jcurrier's picture

I have been trying to find a healthy quick lunch thing for my wife to feed our son in a hurry.  I am thinking of making chicken strips the way he likes them and freezing them so she can pull one out of the freezer and pop into the micro for a quick snack.  Any problems foreseen with this method of cooking-cooling-freezing-reheating-eating?

Thanks in advance-

Edited 4/20/2005 2:14 pm ET by Jake

AmyElliesMom's picture

(post #30782, reply #1 of 8)

Do you mean like breaded chicken strips?

If so, I'd make them as usual, cooking through, but not entirely done, and let her finish them up in the oven so they are crisp and not soggy.

The microwave will be soggifying to them.

And whatever method of cooking, just slightly undercook them so that they finish cooking when she heats them and they don't get over done.


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Gretchen's picture

(post #30782, reply #2 of 8)

I think that is fine.  Other things are deli ham slices, cheese slices, carrot strips, yogurt, gogurt.


jcurrier's picture

(post #30782, reply #3 of 8)

Yeah- He loves the yogurt and others, but the deli meat is loaded with all kinds of stuff (with a few brand exceptions).  I figured if I picked up a family pack of bonless breasts and made a healthier version of the commercially available snacks she could quickly have a good snack to add to the arseneal of foods.  He really likes my chicken or turkey soups.  I use lots of kale, parsnips, turnips, carrots, celery, lentils or canelli beans, and whatever else we have on hand.

Gretchen's picture

(post #30782, reply #4 of 8)

Bake a ham or turkey breast and vac seal packages.


TracyK's picture

(post #30782, reply #5 of 8)

Crushed cornflakes make a great coating for chicken fingers/nuggets... especially if you're going to bake them in the oven instead of frying them. They look better, because the cornflakes are already browner in color, and they give a good crunch.

I'd definitely reheat in the oven or toaster oven instead of the microwave, for crispy results.

elizaram's picture

(post #30782, reply #6 of 8)

I do the same thing with meatballs as well as chicken fingers. (My DS is a very picky eater, and you can hide all sorts of healthy things in a meatball!) However, I've found the toaster oven to be a much better method for reheating. Not only is the food crispier on the outside and juicier on the inside, but the toaster oven reheats much more evenly than the microwave. I found that the microwave resulted in "hot spots" where parts of the food were dangerously hot while other parts were still cold.

It's still pretty fast in the toaster oven - I put the frozen snacks on the tray, put it in the cold oven, and turn it to 350 degrees. 10 minutes (for chicken fingers) or 15 minutes (for meatballs) later, they're done.

Edited 4/20/2005 5:02 pm ET by elizaram

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whatscooking's picture

(post #30782, reply #7 of 8)

I do this all them time for my eight-year old.  I cut up a chicken breast to make strips, The I bread them using the regular method of flour, egg, and crumbs and pan-fry them. Once they're cooked, I blot them on paper towels,  let them cool and put them in a rubbermaid container and right into the freezer.  I just pull a few out as I need them.  As another person said, the toaster oven is the way to go.  350 degrees for 15 minutes or so.  I like to flip them half way during the reheating time.

These are like having gold in the freezer.  If you get home late, pull a few out and have a dinner together in no time. 

Frozen marinara sauce is another nice thing to have in the freezer for a quick dinner.

To the person with the meatball idea, I love that and I'll be doing that soon :). 

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Lword's picture

(post #30782, reply #8 of 8)

Welcome Jake :) A side item your son might like is twice baked potatoes which always stay wonderful and you can make several varieties at once. To make them richer but smaller, remove some of the potato and save for another use, then the halves with their added ingredients will fit back together for easy storage. Separate halves with wax paper if desired. That and soup are my favorite easy leftovers in the cook-freeze-reheat-eat category, but many lasagna type dishes freeze and reheat beautifully if portioned into serving sizes before freezing.

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