As I mentioned in my post on freezing salmon, sometimes you have more than you need, and you wind up freezing for later use. The same thing is true for chicken breasts, beef, and so on.
Have you ever forgotten to pull out the chicken Thursday night you meant to cook for Shabbat? What happens Friday morning? You have a huge, frozen lump of twisted-up chicken that is never going to defrost in time to cook. So you plunge the whole thing into hot water. Now you’re poaching the outside pieces while the inside is still rock-solid. The shnitzels you were looking forward to are slowly turning into something that’s going to resemble a bag of wet laundry.
Let’s resolve to avoid this unpleasant scenario from ever happening again, shall we? Because now, you have no excuse. Read on…
By following a simple procedure to clean and wrap chicken breasts for freezing, you’ll have everything you need in easy to manage units.
Cleaning and Trimming the Chicken Breast
A chicken breast is made up of two cutlets. In this photo, you can see the difference between the top and the bottom of the breast.
Start by removing the chicken tenders. They’re also called rib meat or chicken fingers. You can quickly and easily separate the outer edges from the thin membrane that holds it to the breast with your fingers. Cut them free from the breast. Save them for breading and frying for the kids or for Chinese cooking.
Next, clean the breasts from any bones or cartilage that are still attached. Slice the breast into two cutlets by removing the sternum cartilage.
When you’re done, there should be no pieces of bone, cartilage or fat on the chicken cutlet.
Once you’re done cleaning all the chicken breasts, you’re ready to wrap them for freezing.
Freezing the Chicken Cutlets
Pull out a length of plastic wrap and place a chicken cutlet in the middle of the plastic.
Fold the bottom of the plastic up over the chicken cutlet and roll it halfway.
Place another cutlet on top of the first cutlet. Roll the entire package once.
When you are finished stacking the number of cutlets you want to freeze per package, cut the plastic, then wrap the cutlets once the long way.
Label and date the packages. Why? Isn’t it obvious? So you can use the older packages first, and make sure nothing is sitting in your freezer for too long.
When you are ready to defrost the chicken, simply unwrap it and unroll each cutlet once the packet is defrosted enough.
By not taking simple preventative measures to make sure the chicken is properly you’ll ruin it. Freezer burn is when meat dries out because it’s been exposed to dry freezer air.
Freezer burn violates one of my main principles of cooking. This chicken breast came from a living creature. By being callous about how it is treated, it shows disrespect to the Source of all food.