Freezer Recipe: Honey Dijon Curry Chicken
I have been freezer cooking for about 4 years now. It’s an easy way for me to prepare meals for my husband in bulk. There are as many ways to do freezer cooking (also called Once a Month Cooking which is commonly abbreviated OAMC) as there are cooks in the kitchen.
If you’ve been afraid to try it because you’ve read of some of the marathon cooking session done by some diehard OAMC cooks, let me show you the other side of freezer cooking. I focus on quality and not quantity so I cook a meal for dinner with extra for the freezer. It’s a much more manageable system, but it still allows me to take advantage of bulk purchasing.
Freezer cooking - one simple marinade added to raw chicken before freezing means dinner tonight and more for the freezer for later meals.This is one of my favorite freezer meals because it’s so simple and it can be done so many ways. Honey Dijon Curry Chicken is a sticky sweet sauce with a buttery, salty flavor. The curry is the surprise in this honey mustard recipe—it adds another layer to the sweetness.
You can use any chicken parts you like but we prefer breasts and splurge on boneless and skinless (I’m a vegetarian, so having them boned and skinned helps me get through the process). This is equally delicious with thighs and wings as well as un-breaded vegetarian chicken patties.
Freezer Cooking Hints
The sauce/marinade takes less than 5 minutes to make and then you choose whether to freeze then cook; cook then freeze; eat now; or any combination of them.
Since my husband is the only meat eater in the house, I freeze each uncooked breast in a reclosable sandwich bag with about ¼ cup of sauce (massaging the breast a bit to make sure it gets coated. Next I roll the bag over to squeeze out all the air and then seal it and place all of my breast packets inside a gallon size freezer reclosable bag. This saves me a few pennies by not using freezer bags for the individual breasts and keeps them neat and tidy and together in my freezer.
I use snack size bags to store extra sauce to use for dipping – those I do individually and then they go in a quart bag inside the gallon pack in just in case the seals should leak. I finish the freezer pack off by marking the gallon bag with the name of the recipe and cooking/heating instructions if necessary and then toss the whole thing in the freezer until they’re needed.
Cooking is easy when the meat is ready to go from the freezer - thaw and grill and dinner's done. Double the recipe for even more meals or to share!But what if you have a larger family? Just freeze the amount of chicken you need for a meal. Use gallon bags and portion approximately ¼ cup of sauce per breast, two legs, or two thighs. If you know what dish you'll be cooking in, place the bag inside the dish, add the chicken and sauce, close it tight, make sure the chicken is flat like it will lay while cooking. Freeze the pan with the bag inside and once frozen, remove the bag and place it back in the freezer. Now your pan is free to use for other things inside of sitting inside the freezer.
I could go on for hours - there really are so many options and ways to make freezer cooking work for your family. There are plenty of resources available on the internet and several cookbooks I recommend.
Curry Honey Dijon Chicken – Freezer Recipe
- Chicken – 16 thighs (skin removed) or 8-10 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1-1/2 cups honey
- 3/4 cup butter (1-1/2 sticks – don’t substitute spread or margarine)
- 1/2 cup Dijon mustard or Stone Ground Brown mustard
- 1 Tbl Curry Powder
- 2 tsp Salt
- Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Cook until the sauce is smooth and the butter melted – 3-7 minutes
To grill immediately: Place chicken in shallow container and add just enough sauce to cover—reserve remaining sauce and refrigerate. Place the marinating chicken in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Spray the grill with non-stick spray and grill until chicken is done, juices will run clear and internal temp should reach 160. Serve with warmed sauce.
To freeze raw: Divide cooled sauce and raw chicken among freezer storage containers. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Oven Cooking: 2-1/2 hrs at 350: To cook, place the frozen chicken and sauce in an ungreased baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. After 45 minutes separate the chicken pieces so that they are in a single layer. Be sure to put the meatier side of the chicken down into the pan and sauce. Bake for 1-1/2 hrs longer or until the sauce is thick and sticky and the chicken is cooked and nicely browned. This method takes a lot longer to cook, but it’s necessary for the sauce to caramelize correctly.
Grill after Freezing: Thaw in refrigerator then grill as noted above.
A mom and wife, Connie blogs about entertainment, going green, products, technology, DIY home remodeling and decor, and more. She's an animal lover and lives in the Pacific Northwest near Seattle, WA. Find out more about Connie and all the bloggers at MiscFinds4u.