Batch Cook: Grilled Chicken and Saffron Yellow rice. Recipe and progress pics below

in #food3 years ago (edited)

When you work full time and go to school, finding time to cook can be a pain the ass. Eating out seems alluring, but also costly. My solution to that was to invest in a food saver, batch cook, and start vacuum packing and portioning out meals. 

I batch cook often, and I am finally getting around  to updating / uploading my cooking projects throughout the past couple of years. For a good ol' chicken and rice mix I used to cheat and use box mix for the rice, but I finally decided to make it from scratch for less sodium content. On the plus I got a chance to make it my own.  Quite a few recipes that I found either called for chicken stock or saffron/turmeric for yellow rice. I decided to combine both elements for extra flavor.

The are some flavors that do degrade over time when frozen, but I found that  if you grill your meat it not only makes it more flavorful, but stays with the meat even during long periods of freezing. I'm still technically on hiatus, but I had a few minutes to share this old but gold recipe for batch cooking.

Recipe / Instructions* - FYI: this recipe is for a double batch*

2.5- 3lbs (1.1-1.3 kilo) of grilled chicken breast -  rubbed with equal parts pepper, garlic, onion powder, paprika and sea salt or low sodium soy sauce

4 tsps. of “Better Than Bullion” concentrated liquid chicken stock (low sodium) 

3 and 3/4 cups of water

2 1/2 cups of basmati rice (cooked yield was 7.5 cups of rice- I was shooting closer to 8)

1 large onion finely chopped /minced

4 carrots finely shredded – cheated and used a cheese grater…

2 red bell pepper finely chopped /minced

2 lbs of steamed broccoli

2 tsp of olive oil or butter

•Saffron slurry mixture:

6 pinches of saffron partially crushed– spoon and a bowl work just fine

1 tsp of ground ginger & 1 tsp cumin (substituting for 2 tsp of tumeric )

2-3 tsp of water – you don’t need a lot, just enough to thoroughly mix the ingredients. 

One pot instructions:

Preheat coals to 300-350F/ 148-176 C

Rub chicken breast with equal parts fresh cracked pepper, garlic, onion and paprika, and half sea salt or low sodium soy sauce.

Grill chicken until 165F and rest for 10 minutes. Slice and cube into 1/2 pieces. 

Sauté onions until  they start getting translucent

Add carrots / bell peppers and sauté an additional 3-4 minutes. 

Add chopped steamed broccoli.

Combine Chicken along with water and better than bouillon mixture.

Add in rice and simmer covered until finished (about 25-30 minutes) 

Add saffron slurry mixture last 5 minutes - its a lot like finishing hops in brewing. you don't want the heat breaking down the aroma.

Rice cooker instructions:

Combine Better than Bouillon, rice and water in your rice cooker and get that shit going.

Rub chicken breast with equal parts fresh cracked pepper, garlic, onion and paprika, and half sea salt or low sodium soy sauce.

Grill chicken until 165 and rest for 10-20 minutes. Slice and cube into 1/2 pieces.

Sauté onions until  they start getting translucent

Add carrots / bell peppers and sauté an additional 3-4 minutes. 

Add chopped steamed broccoli.

If your rice is not ready at this point, go ahead and put on low.

After rice has been cooked – add saffron slurry mixture, fluff that stuff and combine with your sauteed veggies and cubed grilled chicken

Serves a lot...depending on your portions. I usually do about 8-12 oz per person. 

Now onto progress pics of my messy kitchen...

This one will definitely not  win any food photography contests, but I like to show progress pics along the way.

I'm No Spring Chicken...

Some  of the chickens fresh off the grill and resting for a few minutes before I cut up into cubes. Cooked with pecan and mesquite for extra flavor.

Rabbit Food

If you don't have one of those fancy machines to thin slice your carrots,  a cheese grader works great.

Needs More Butter

Getting some of the onions started

Who Needs Chicken Stock...?

Better than Bouillon stock- this stuff is awesome- even use it in my ramen!I find that it has a much richer flavor than the canned broth. Of course you could also try this with bone broth for even more flavor.

Everything Sauteed & Into The Pot

This is from my first iteration where I skipped a little ahead here and let everything saute, then combined everything in the pot. Rice cooker variation turned out much better!

Whats in the Slurry?

This is what makes it right here, good ol saffron. For those of you in the united states that have a hard time finding it affordable, I recommend checking out Costco- It's by far the cheapest place I've found the authentic stuff. Also, don't forget to add this stuff last. Heat has a tendency to break down a lot of flower aromas. 

Now its time to cool!

Pictured above is approximately half of what this full recipe yielded. One thing that I found super useful when you batch cook is to allow the food to cool completely before vacuum packing. It becomes easier to handle, portion, and weigh - especially if its been in the fridge overnight.

Freezer tax:

You can tell I do this a lot can't you?I found it can be worth it. Spend one day cooking up a ton of stuff, then you got a few meals you don't have to mess around with during the week for the next month or so. Mixed pictured above includes Chicken and rice,frito pie mix, smoked Ham and potato soup, and salisbury steak (recipes I'll be sharing in the near future).  Serving size is slightly variable for these, I tend to do 12oz for a dinner and 8-10oz for lunch. If your counting calories and portioning, this is a great and simple way to do it. These types of dinners also take up less space than regular boxed frozen dinners. 

The three main reasons I batch cook are: 

  1. Some days during the semester I don’t feel like cooking shit, but still want to eat half ass healthy.
  2. It's in food saver bags, so its microwave and boil safe.
  3. It’s cheaper than eating out when you want to eat well.

While not the greatest photoset, I hope you find the recipes and instructions information.

Until the next time!

@Usernamerelevant

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Looks delicious! I've saved your recipe and will be trying it out.
As a student myself I agree that its tough to find time to cook something let alone something tasty. Especially at this time of the year with exams coming up and having less time. to do anything other than study!

My upvote isn't worth much, but thank you for being the first to stop by! I have a few other batch cook recipes as well that I will be posting. Since you're giving this one a shot let me know what you think.

FYI: Rice cooker makes it way easier since you can saute everything and throw it in after the rice is cooked.

I'm not to fussed about upvotes but thanks for the thought! I'll let you know how it goes. It'll probs have to be tomorrow as shops are closed today and I don't have about half the ingredients. Thanks for the tip with the ricecooker!

Holy shit, i've never seen such an organized freezer in my life!!! Hahah, thats crazy ::)))...but super handy, I support the home made precooked meals a 100%, they are true lifesavers!!!...good to see you back, btw

lol, it's taken a lot of practice, not to mention regularly inventorying so we know what we have on hand. I've got a second chest freezer also full as well:

Minus the 2 pork butts in the bag, almost everything is vacuumed packed, even my whiskey bbq sauce. Once I get a food mill I plan on canning it. I'm kinda back and forth at the moment, but its good to see you as well and thank you for stopping by!

Hahaha, You are a beast!!!! :-):-):-)

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Looks very delicious!! I want to cook this dish. It's easy to cook also in japan. I'll tell this recipe to my friends.

Thank you for the kind words and let me know what you think when you try it!

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Spectacular todooo! divine ... I'm following you, I hope you read my contents to support us. I also love making my own recipes. I'm from Venezuela.

Following back and glad you enjoy the post. I'll definitely stop by and have a look!

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