With the arrival of our second son coming up FAST (he'll be here March 7th! - EDIT, he messed those plans up - arrived Feb 21), I'm having a quiet little panic about what the heck we'll be eating as I recover from the birth. With abdominal surgery (yep), a newborn, and a toddler, I'm fairly certain we'll need some meals in the freezer to save us from resorting to takeout 7 nights a week and save TFFC from creating meals like this. He's come a LONG way since then, check out his more recent offerings! In any case, new parenthood is an adjustment for everyone. I'm trying to make it easier on all of us :)
Freezer cooking can be a little daunting if you haven't done it before, and see all the "all day" cooking sessions, with 40 meals at a time etc. It doesn't actually have to be that way. It has to work for YOU and what time and resources you have. I like to cook once, eat twice (eat tonight, repurpose leftovers for tomorrow), as well as make one for now, one for the freezer. Doesn't require a big time commitment, and fills your freezer as you go. Check out this post I did a while ago - for sides (such as plain rice, mashed potatoes)
I have long been a reader of Once a Month Mom (now Once a Month Meals), and find a lot of great ideas - outside of the dump chicken and marinade in a bag kind of recipes. Not that those are bad, I just need a little more than that. I recently stumbled across this recipe, and since I had all the ingredients handy - I threw this together on a Sunday afternoon. One to eat, 4 to freeze.
It gets bonus points for being appealing to the toddler as well as husband, and me!
Adapted from Once a Month Meals
CHICKEN, BROCCOLI, BACON & POTATO BAKE
This will make ONE 8x8 pan. Double, triple, quadruple as needed.
- 4.5 cups diced red potatoes
- 2.5 cups diced boneless skinless chicken breast
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1/3 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
- 1/4 cup sliced onion
- 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ cup heavy cream, half & half, or milk (cream will make it thicker, milk = thinner)
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- Grease an 8×8 foil baking pan.
- Layer ingredients starting with half of potatoes, half of chicken, half of broccoli, half of bacon, onion and ½ cup of cheese.
- Season with half of the salt, pepper, and half of the garlic powder.
- Repeat the layers and seasoning. Then pour heavy cream over ingredients and cut pieces of butter all over the top.
- Cover with foil and bake at 350 for one hour or until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender.
- Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup of cheese and bake uncovered for 5-10 more minutes until cheese is bubbly.
Assemble as directed above but do not bake. Make sure the potatoes are on the bottom, if possible (so they don't blacken) Cover tightly with foil, label, and freeze with bag containing ½ cup of cheese.
TO SERVE: Thaw. Remove bag of cheese and recover with foil. Bake covered for one hour or until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake uncovered for 5-10 more minutes until cheese is bubbly.