Last time it was on sale I bought a box and took careful notes. See, a couple years ago I bought a 40-lb box of chicken from another store here in Utah. I took careful notes then as well. The biggest disappointment with the chicken was that it was so tough! It really didn't taste good at all, regardless of how I cooked it. So we suffered through 40-lbs of chicken. I had this experience fresh in my mind when I got the 40-lb box of Zaycon chicken. Would it taste differently? I sure hoped so!
I trim my meat very carefully- I'm not a fan of all the icky stuff that is often attached to fresh chicken. The 40-lb box from 2 years ago had over 5 lbs of yuck I trimmed off. The good news? The Zaycon chicken is trimmed much better and I only trimmed an additional 3 lbs off. Even better news? It is moist, tender and tastes great!! We've been working our way through it for months now and I'm so relieved- and kind of shocked at how different it is than my store-bought chicken.
Here's a run down of how I used my Zaycon chicken-
Inside the 40-lb box there are 4 large bags of chicken. Each contain roughly 8 chicken breasts. The chicken pieces vary in size somewhat, but I found most could be classified as very large.
Here's what I did with my 40-lb box:
- 2/3 were trimmed, halved and placed on a cookie sheet to be frozen. Later on I packaged them up in food saver bags and used the food saver machine to remove the air and seal the bag. I have 4 bags still in my freezer. I placed several halves breasts in 2 large ziplock bags to be used immediately. We got the chicken in late October and we've just now finished those two Ziplock bags.
- 1/3 of the chicken was placed with chopped onion, several shakes of a basic seasoning blend and a can of chicken broth in the crock pot. I cooked it on medium 5-6 hours, then shredded it and bagged it up into 2 cup portions. I got about 8-10 bags if I remember correctly.
- The remaining 1/3 of the chicken was placed on a cookie sheet, dotted with onions and seasonings and baked. I used a meat thermometer to make sure I didn't over cook it- poultry needs to go to 160 degrees- after you remove it from the oven it will go up to the recommended 165. If you leave it in longer, the chicken gets dry fast. After it was cooked I let it cool, then diced it and bagged it up into 2 cup portions. I think I got about 5-6 bags from this method. These were our favorite- they're gone and I plan to defrost some of the frozen chicken and do this again!
Get your workstation ready! I diced 1 large onion, had 2 cutting boards out and spread plastic wrap on my cookie sheets for freezing. I've tried other papers/ plastics and this seems to work best.
I had a plan, so once I started, everything went really fast. It was all trimmed, separated and baking/ cooking/ freezing after 1 hour and 15 minutes! Not too shabby for processing 40-lbs of chicken!
Oh, I forgot to mention that I did keep 2 halves breasts for dinner! I just placed them in a glass baking dish, dotted them with butter and seasonings, then put it in the fridge. I baked it for dinner and served it with rice pilaf and veggies. It was wonderful!
Here is the chicken in the crockpot. This was another favorite- the individual bags of shredded chicken.
Here is the chicken on the cookie sheet, ready to be baked.
Here is the chicken ready to be frozen. I did 2-3 layers of chicken pieces separated by plastic wrap. The longer the plastic wrap is frozen, the more brittle it will become, to aim to remove it within a few hours. The chicken should be frozen enough to divide up among more permanent containers.
That's it! I highly recommend the Zaycon chicken! You can purchase a 40-lb box right now for $71.60, which is $1.79 per pound. They sell out fast, so I'd place an order sooner than later!