Boneless and skinless chicken breast is one of those magical foods that is both healthy and delicious. The challenge in eating it more frequently, however, is typically the high cost and the preparation time associated with it. I’ve been using the following system to maintain a sustained diet of chicken breast for the past couple of years. The results are minimized preparation time and overall cost.
Like most people, I used to buy my chicken breast at the grocery store, until a friend of mine mentioned that a friend of his bought chicken breast directly from the manufacturer’s factory outlet – in bulk. I procrastinated on it for a while, even though I knew how much it would save me money (chicken breast ain’t cheap!) Almost two years ago I finally took the first step and visited the local Maple Lodge Factory Chicken Outlet in Mississauga (map). I picked up 5 kilos (11 pounds) of fresh boneless skinless chicken breast for $44 CDN tax included.
The best part is that it comes in a generic brown shipping box.
I wouldn’t have it any other way.
There is a choice between buying the chicken frozen solid, which is much cheaper, and buying it fresh. I prefer to buy it fresh, despite the higher cost, only because I don’t have the patience to wait for it to thaw (it can take 24-48 hours to thaw naturally, or maybe I’m just ignorant.) So, if your goal is to fully realize all the cost-savings, definitely choose the frozen breasts, since they’re almost half the price! As a side note, even the fresh breasts, which I buy, are still about $2 cheaper per pound than what you’d find at the local grocery store. The choice is yours.
I use a George Foreman Grill, bachelor version, which takes about 3-4 breasts at a time. Each batch takes about 10-15 minutes to complete. Overall it takes about 2 hours straight of cooking time on my small version of the Foremall Grill. A larger version of the grill could probably cut the cooking time down to under an hour. Basically, I cook all 5 kilos upfront, and keep it frozen. When I want to eat, I microwave the breasts for 1 minute 20 seconds each side, or 2 minutes 20 seconds overall.
It obviously sacrifices that freshly-grilled-chicken-breast-taste and texture, but in my case, I can live with the trade-off. The initial investment of time saves an enormous amount of time down the line. Perfect for packing lunches or making quick meals on-the-go.
I can say with certainty that this method of preparing chicken breast has helped me immensely in staying compliant with my diet at home. The convenience and frugality of the whole idea is nice, too.
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