I mentioned the other day that I had defrosted my big chest freezer. This weekend I am filling it back up!
I got a head start on Friday evening, when I cooked an extra large chicken curry for tea and froze the extra portions, then I prepped a slow cooker beef curry and switched it on just before I went to bed. This morning, I got up early (6:30!!), switched off the slow cooker, put the pot on the draining board to cool .... then went back to bed!
Slow cooker beef curry:
DH helped me clear the kitchen - I should mention that he has helped throughout, chopping onions etc! - then I went out to post a parcel and get a few remaining ingredients. The next thing was to cook up a batch of mixed pulses, to freeze in small bags ready for adding to stews etc straight from frozen. No photo of those, well they are just boring pulses LOL. Whilst they were cooking I prepped the marinated chicken. This is so simple, put freezer bags (I use Lakeland No.4 for three chicken breast fillets) in a plastic box so they stay reasonably upright when filled. Then put the chicken pieces in the bags and pour your chosen marinade all over them, smooshing the bag around so that all the meat is covered, leave bag unsealed to allow for expansion of the liquid whilst freezing. I use bottled marinades for speed, one bottle will do 3 or 4 pieces - note I have popped labels into the boxes, to use when the chicken has frozen through and the bag is sealed. When I want to cook one for an evening meal, I take out of the freezer in the morning as it needs the day to defrost. Tip chicken and marinade into a Pyrex or similar dish and bake in the oven at Gas 6 / 200C until the chicken is cooked through, 30 - 40 minutes.
Chicken in marinades, various:
The final meal to cook today was chilli. Easy one this, fry off onions, celery, chopped chillies and mince. Add oregano, beef stock cube, chilli powder and paprika. Then a good glug of red wine, tinned tomatoes, kidney and haricot beans and diced peppers. Adjust quantities to suit the amount of mince, I had a large 750g pack so used two tins of tomatoes.
That's it for today.... well, apart from pizza - DH is just mixing up the dough as I type :-) Part 2 tomorrow!