Cooking a delicious meat dish for your family can be simple, fast and many times can even be great for leftovers. If you are a mom on the run and come home at 5 o’ clock to a hungry family, there’s really no time to thaw and the cook the meat in time for dinner. To make your cooking time a little bit easier and much more efficient, here are some quick tips for cooking your meat and some of the best dishes to whip up for a quick dinner.
CHICKEN: (the USDA recommends freezing cooked poultry for up to 4-5 months and refrigerating for up to 3 to 4 days)
• Bake them in casserole dishes with a little water or reduced sodium chicken broth.
• Slow Cook in your crockpot- cook on with a little water or reduced sodium chicken broth on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Check out some of our best slow cooker recipes that are perfect for a busy day.
• Boil the chicken in a large stock pot and fill it half up with water. And if you’re in the mood for a good chicken dish to make boiled, you have to try our Chicken Fettuccine with Broccoli and Bacon.
• Skinny Tips: While making a recipe that requires chicken, cook double the recipe and save half. A great suggestion is to cook and then shred half/cube half. Cooking times vary, the internal temperature of a chicken breast should be about 170F and whole chickens, thighs, legs, and wings it should be about 180F.
GROUND BEEF / GROUND TURKEY: (the USDA recommends freezing cooked meat for up to 2-3 months and refrigerating for up to 3 to 4 days)
• Brown meat in a skillet until there is no more pink – drain fat. Since most recipes that call for ground beef typically call for sautéed onion as well, you can just mix them together from the get-go. Check out some of our favorite skillet beef recipes that you must try.
• Boil in a large stock pot – when the water is boiling, add in salt as if you’re cooking pasta. Remember, like pasta, whatever you cook the meat in will be giving it flavor. When the salt has dissolved, break the ground beef up into small pieces and put it in the water. Let it cook, stirring occasionally, until there’s no visible pink. Remove from heat and drain.
• Skinny Tips: While making a recipe that requires browned beef or turkey , cook double and save half.
Tips For Freezing Your Meat:
• Make sure you write the quantity and date on the bag.
• Keep the kinds of meat separated in the freezer in plastic shopping bags. It’s just easier than rifling through the freezer when the time comes. And then you don’t lose any down in the abyss!
• Do NOT refreeze thawed meats. If you thaw frozen meat, cook it in some form, then it can be refrozen.
• Freeze in smaller portions so the food cools faster and thaws faster for best quality.
• It’s best to plan ahead for slow, safe thawing in the refrigerator.
For some of our best chicken and beef recipes to cook tonight, check out our recipe index. Now it’s time to put these tips to the test and whip up a delicious meaty dish that both you and your family will love!