When you’re just starting to figure out how to meal plan and you’re trying to get dinner on the table quickly, batch cooking chicken can be a godsend.
It was 4:30 p.m. My husband was leaving in 30 minutes, my son had just finished his homework for the night, and my daughter had just woken from her nap.
“Mommy, what’s for dinner?”
I let out a frustrated sigh. For all my good intentions on meal planning that week, I had forgotten to thaw the chicken, meaning that dinner would be late. Again.
How often do you forget to thaw dinner?
I used to hate cooking chicken because it takes so long to thaw, it’s hard to tell whether the thicker sections are cooked through, and most importantly, I hate chopping it up, especially when it’s raw.
After forgetting to thaw the chicken time and time again, I finally figured out how to batch cook boneless chicken so that I never had to worry about getting dinner on the table on time (or at least making sure that the meat was cooked through).
Batch cooking is so simple with this method, and it ensures that your chicken is fully cooked yet still tender when you finally serve it for dinner.
It saves you time, especially on busy nights when you need to get dinner on the table quickly, and it even saves money because you can buy your meat in bulk when it’s on sale and freeze it for later.
If you’ve ever wondered how to batch cook chicken, here’s how to get started.
The tools you need to start batch cooking
To shred the chicken, I use a Kitchenaid Mixer, but you could also do it with a fork if you don’t have a stand mixer.
How to batch cook chicken in an Instant Pot
I normally buy chicken in bulk when it’s on sale and then batch cook five pounds of chicken at a time.
Step 1: Add the chicken to the Instant Pot
Add up to five pounds of chicken breasts in the bottom of your Instant Pot.
Cover with 1 cup of broth or water (or a combination of broth and water) and add your desired seasonings. I usually add Mrs. Dash Garlic Seasoning, poultry seasoning, and onion powder.
Step 2: Watch your chicken cook itself ?
Place the cover on the Instant Pot and turn the knob to “seal.”
Set the manual timer for 10 minutes. Depending on how many chicken breasts you’re cooking, you may need to adjust the time. Also, if you’re cooking frozen chicken breasts, add 1-3 minutes of cooking time.
The Instant Pot will begin heating. Once it’s fully pressurized, the timer will begin counting down as it cooks the chicken.
Once the timer goes off, let the chicken set and naturally release the steam for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn the knob to quick release the remaining pressure.
Step 3: Remove and shred the chicken
Remove the chicken from the Instant Pot and shred or chop the chicken. I use a Kitchenaid Mixer, which shreds the chicken for me!
Add the shredded chicken to individual freezer bags. I usually put a pound of chicken in each bag, but you could portion the bags differently depending on the size of your family. Make sure you label each bag with the contents and the date, too.
One trick that I’ve learned: freeze the bags flat so that they take up less space in your freezer!
Also, use the liquid in the bottom of the Instant Pot to make another batch of chicken. The broth freezes well, so you can also save it to add to roasts or soups.
[learn_more caption=”Tools Used:” state=”open”] KitchenAid Professional Series 6 Qt. Stand Mixer
Glad Gallon Freezer Bags[/learn_more]
Batch cooking has saved me so much time and money.
It makes getting dinner on the table easy, without having to worry about serving my family rubbery chicken that isn’t fully cooked. It’s also perfect to use when your favorite grocery store is having a sale. The last time my grocery store had a sale on chicken, I stocked up on 20 pounds (it was $1.59/lb., so I couldn’t help myself)!
If you’re looking to simplify your meal prep, try freezer cooking!
P.S. Watch this on video HERE. You’ll even get to see a cameo appearance of my daughter, who should’ve been taking a nap.