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Monday, October 17, 2011

Freezer Cooking - Chicken Packets Recipe

Or should I say cooking ahead to save my sanity. After the first six weeks of this years school schedule I have realized I need to have meals in the freezer for Monday through Wednesday. These days are so crazy around here that I have been stressed come dinner time with constant trips in the car interrupting my dinner prep time. I am an old school wife and like a homemade dinner on the table around 5:30 everyday.
I have now come to realize I need to amp up my freezer cooking so this happens smoothly and without stress. I began this weekend to prepare some freezer meals.

I spent the early morning Sunday preparing a menu with a weeks worth of meals with freezer meals for most days. I will cook one and freeze one as many days this week that allow.
One of my recipes called for seasoned bread crumbs. I almost died of shock for what they wanted for bread crumbs so I decided to go home and pull all the heels and dregs out of the bread box and make my own. Just layed then on a cookie sheet, brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with Italian seasonings. I dried them for about 30 minutes at 300 degrees turning once. I then ground them up in my food processor and will store in the freezer.

My first freezer meal was Chicken packets. My kids love this meal. Simple, creamy and wrapped in dough. Kids love this. The book I got the recipe from and use for a lot of my freezer meals is an oldie. This pic is from Amazon but I see this cookbook at the library too.

I modify the recipe to add less salt and double to freeze half for later. Here is my double recipe.

Chicken Packets:
4 c. cooked chopped chicken                2 tbl. milk
6 oz. softened cream cheese                   salt and pepper to taste
2 tbl. chopped chives                             2 packages low fat crescent rolls (2 more when you cook the 2nd                              
                                                                                                                    batch of packets)

Mix chicken, cream cheese, chives, milk and salt and pepper in bowl. Store half in a freezer bag for second meal.

To prepare for cooking, Thaw mixture. Unroll crescent rolls but leave in the 4 rectangles and seal the seams by pinching so you should have 8 rectangles after you open both tubes of rolls. Place about 1/4c. of chicken mixture in each packet folding over to make squares pinching to seal. Place on cookie sheet and bake in preheated 350 oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

I served with corn chowder which was made in a double batch for next time as well. Cut up melons finished off the meal. The more prepared I am the more enjoyable meal prep is. Have a great week everyone.


marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

The recipe sounds wonderful. I always had dinner around 5:30 also and everyone at the dinner table was such a daily treat. So glad to hear the tradition is being carried on. Hugs, Marty

Ginger Zuck said...

Yum, they look great and what a great kid meal.

Linda said...

Glad to hear the dinner tradition lives on in your house! Ours was the same when the kids were still at home...but now that we are here alone...we still try to keep it the same...I always try and make enough to freeze for a busy day...and the next days lunches as well!! The chicken look yummy!

Debbie said...

This sounds absolutely DELICIOUS!! I used to do a lot o pre-freezing when I was doing the mom thing. I don't do it as much now.

I must try those, frozen meal or not.

notes of sincerity said...

I have to make your bread crumbs!! That is a great idea and with winter approaching, seems more of my recipes call for them. :o) Thanks for showing us how!!

Ivy and Elephants said...

Thanks so much for sharing. I too find myself scrambling for a quick meal. This sounds delicious and so simple!
New follower,

deb said...

ok that recipe is making me drool...looks fabulous!!!!!!!!

Kris said...

Looks great! I remember those crazy days when our three kids were all involved in different activities every night, and we were going in a million different directions! I used to do a lot of crock pot dinners, but freezing an extra meal is a real life saver. I cooked every night too!!!

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

Anything that saves you time...I am all for that! You always have the best tips. I learn so much from your blog!

Melanie said...

I make my own bread crumbs, too. It's a great way to use up old bread, or the "heels" that no one will eat. Not only that, but the store bread crumbs in the can actually have partially hydrogenated oils in them, so making your own is much healthier, too. :-)

Shug said...

Looks delicious...How smart you are to do this...I try to get my daughters to do something like this in order for their work week to run luck so far...
I'll just have to keep nudging them to do so..Guess I need to get them to read your post!

Cindy said...

Hi Elaine,
How wonderful that you are an old school wife, I'm like that too. Our dinner time is 5:00 and has been forever.
Make ahead meals are a wonderful idea, your bread crumbs sound really good.
Hugs, Cindy

Lemon Lane Cottage said...

You are such a girl after my own heart. The world needs more old school wives. That chicken dish is definitely one I will be giving a try soon. Have a wonderful week, Patty

PrimHearted said...

The chicken packets look delicious. I will be trying the recipe! I am an old school wife also.

Kar said...

They look and sound yummy. I should give this a try with my gang. Little pockets of stuff are always a hit around here.

Rhonda said...

your pocket sandwiches look delicious.
and I bet your homemade breadcrumbs taste so much better than storebought too.

Andrea said...

This is so GREAT! I have to get this book:) Thank you for sharing.

Debra @ Homespun said...

I don't make my own bread crumbs ( no big family to feed now except when they come over on the weekends ) but I DO do that for croutons for salad...way cheaper !! :)