Andrew Berry / October 20, 2013
Last week I did an article on Food Prep: Organic Grass Fed Beef, and received a great response from clients saying that it was really helpful. This week I am going to tell you how to quickly prepare your chicken breast.
First, turn your oven on to 375-400 degrees F. Every oven is different so experiment with the best temperature. Get out your chicken, scissors or cutting knife and a cookie sheet. I like to put a layer of aluminum foil down on the cookie sheet to make clean up easier.
We should have purchased boneless, skinless chicken breast which has 99% of the fat, connective tissue and bone removed but sometimes there is still some junk left on. Cut all this off to yield a 100% fat free protein source. I like to use my kitchen scissors.
Once all your chicken breasts are “cleaned up,” season with your favorite spices or rubs. I have been using Weber Garlic and Herb seasoning. Make sure there are little to no calories in yours. There are so many options out there. Go to the seasoning aisle at your local grocery store and see what stimulates your palate.
By the time you are done the food prep your oven should be warmed up to the proper cooking temperature. Put the chicken in the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes. (Again, every oven is different so keep an eye on your oven until you have the hang of it.)
Now, you could go relax and wait for your alarm to sound that your chicken is done or you could maximize time by cooking your ground beef or other foods during this time. In fact, if you had put your ground beef on the stove before starting the chicken prep it should be done cooking by now and just needs to be washed, seasoned, measured and put into meal containers. Wow, we can really save some time. This beats cooking meals every night.
Ok, thirty minutes later the alarm sounds but how do we know if the chicken is done cooking? Eating undercooked chicken can be very harmful to your health but eating overcooked chicken is almost unpalatable. I like to use a food thermometer. The proper internal temperature of the chicken breast should be at least 165 degrees F. This will allow the breast to be cooked to sanitary standards and still be juicy and flavorful. Make sure to place the thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken breast and test several of them.
Take them out and let them cool for a few minutes.
And then cut them up into the required portion sizes and package them up in their proper containers. You can also steam your veggies during this time, add them to your containers and have all your meals prepared for the week.
I started all my food prep at 7:15. I cooked 9 pounds of beef, 4 pounds of chicken, all the veggies I will need for the week and prepared all my protein shaker cups, nut portions, and supplements and was done with the kitchen clean at 8:05. Come up with processes that work for you to save loads of time throughout the week.