Chicken dinner starters came to me because of the nagging, recurring thought of, “Yikes, it is 5:00 and I don’t know what to make for dinner!” Dinner starters is a method of meal preparation. You prepare and freeze the beginning step of multiple meals. These are great for busy families and also wonderful for college students! For example, the idea below yields the possibility of quickly making BBQ Chicken over rice, BBQ chicken sandwiches, Chicken Cacciatore, Chicken Apple Bowtie Pasta, Chicken Noodle Soup, or Shredded Chicken in Gravy over mashed potatoes. Here’s how to make the starters:
Chicken Dinner Starters
8 large chicken breasts
1 ½ cup water
½ TBS chicken bouillon
Dinner #1: BBQ Chicken over rice or BBQ chicken sandwich
Dinner #2 Chicken Cacciatore
Dinner #3 Chicken Apple Bowtie Pasta
Dinner #4 Shredded Chicken in Gravy over mashed potatoes or Chicken Noodle Soup
It would be wise to have the other ingredients on hand to complete the dinners. Here are the instructions to complete the dinners:
Dinner #1 can turn into BBQ Chicken over rice by thawing the starter, adding more bbq sauce to make enough sauce for your family, heating it up, and then serving the sauce over cooked rice. Or Dinner #1 can be thawed and served on bread for a bbq chicken sandwich.
Dinner #2 can be completed by thawing the starter and going to the Chicken Cacciatorre recipe. (Items needed include: tomato sauce, chicken bouillon, parsley flakes, garlic powder, orgegano, rigatoni pasta)
Dinner #3 can be completed by thawing the starter and going to the Chicken Apple Bowtie recipe. (Items needed include: carrots, red pepper, garlic powder, chicken bouillon, basil, bowtie pasta)
Dinner #4 can turn into Shredded Chicken in Gravy over mashed potatoes. I like to use two chicken gravy packets to add to the starter, but I only add one cup of water since the starter already has a cup of water in it. Peel and cut up enough potatoes to feed your family. Put them in a pot with water and boil them for about 20 minutes. Drain off the water. Mash the potatoes and add some butter and a little milk. Dinner #4 can also be the start of Chicken Noodle Soup. You have the chicken and one up of the broth ready in the starter. For a decent size pot of soup, add 8 cups of water, 6 tsp bouillon, peeled and cut up carrots, peeled and cut up potatoes. It will take about 20 minutes to get the potatoes and carrots cooked so add the noodles at the appropriate time to get them to finish cooking at the same time as the potatoes and carrots. So….if the noodles take ten minutes to cook add them 10 minutes into cooking the potatoes and carrots.
These ideas are designed to get your mind going…freeze the beginnings of your favorite family recipes. Maybe your chicken dinner starter will be to make sweet and sour chicken, stir fry chicken, etc. Have fun…and enjoy the peace of having a plan!