Easy Like a Sunday Morning, that’s how the recipes in my “Easy” category will be. Nothing rushed or frantic, nothing with a long list of ingredients. Something that is so easy, you don’t really need a recipe. Something that almost cooks itself or requires no cooking at all.
Summer has not arrived yet in Vancouver but when it does, I will be ready with a freezer that is well stocked with home prepared chicken breasts to grill on our barbecue.
Last week, Thrifty Foods had a buy one, get one free, sale on their fresh skinless, boneless chicken breast halves. I almost never buy fresh because I usually get a better price per pound on the box of frozen chicken breasts from Costco.
I took advantage of the sale and stocked up on fresh chicken because it gave me a chance to freeze single servings of the poultry in this easy homemade gluten free marinade. What could be simpler than taking out a few pieces of chicken from the freezer the night before, popping them in the refrigerator, where they can defrost and at the same time, marinate for the next day’s dinner?
I suppose the frozen chicken would also come in handy if you have unexpected guests for dinner. In that case, use the microwave to defrost the frozen chicken, or even better, immerse the sealed bags of chicken in a pan of cool water for 30 mins to an hour until partly defrosted and then move the bags from the water to the fridge, where they can finish defrosting. It’s important to never leave meat out to defrost at room temperature. This is especially true during the summertime grilling season, when the weather is warmer!
I realize you can buy pre-seasoned meats from the freezer department at your local grocery store. After all, those kind of convenience foods are ones that we lived on before I went gluten free. In fact, one of the things that scared me about going gluten free was the idea of having to let go of those convenience foods. It’s a frightening prospect to have to learn to cook all over again for yourself and your family.
After going gluten free, I discovered early on that almost all prepared, pre-seasoned convenience foods are contaminated with gluten, or are at least questionable. What exactly are the mysterious “added flavourings”? Not to mention the, well, umm, multi-syllable, unpronounceable, chemicals commonly called food additives?
Today, I walk down the grocer’s freezer isle pointing to the boxes and bags of frozen convenience foods, saying…poison, poison, poison, because that’s what they feel like to me.
In addition to having control over the ingredients to include things that are natural, fresher, healthier and gluten free, home prepared foods are better for you and your loved ones. As I recently rediscovered, things taste much, much better after you put in time, love and effort to make something from scratch!!!
That’s it for now. The end of my little rant. I’m going to get off my high horse now and share this yummy marinade recipe with you. Below the recipe, you will find instructions on how to freeze fresh chicken in a marinade sauce.
This is quick, simple, homemade, naturally gluten free and a tasty alternative to commercially prepared, additive laden marinade and barbecue sauces.
Recipe: Citrus Marinade for Chicken
Summary: Yummy and as easy as can be, this recipe makes enough marinade for about 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves.
Gluten Free | Grain Free | Dairy Free | Refined Sugar Free
- 2 Tbsp unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil, or cooking oil of choice
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice, about 1/2 lemon
- 1 Tbsp prepared whole grain mustard
- 1 Tbsp coconut palm sugar, or sweetener of choice
- 2 tsp lime juice, about 1/2 lime
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, optional but gives it a nice kick
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- Add all the ingredients to a small bowl, mix well.
- In a glass dish, or a large heavy-duty zip-top food storage bag, place 2-5 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves.
- Pour the marinade mixture over the chicken. Swish it around a bit to mix, making sure chicken pieces are fully covered with marinade. Seal the bag (if using). Place the bag with the chicken in a bowl to catch possible leaks.
- Marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for anywhere from 2 to 12 hours.
- To cook, preheat barbecue grill to Medium-High.
- Remove chicken from the marinade, place meat on preheated grill.
- Discard remaining marinade. Never serve uncooked marinade.
- Cook skinless, boneless chicken breasts 7-8 minutes per side, or until juices run clear. If unsure about doneness, you can check by using a knife to cut into the thickest part of the meat but doing so will allow juices to escape, causing the meat to dry out.
Recipe by Laureen
Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Cooking time: 15-20 minute(s)
Diet tags: Gluten Free | Grain Free | Dairy Free | Refined Sugar Free
Number of servings (yield): 4
How to Freeze Fresh Chicken in a Marinade:
- Add all the marinade ingredients to a small bowl, mix well.
- Place each fresh, skinless, boneless chicken breast half in an individual heavy-duty zip-top freezer storage bag. Using a sharpie marker, label the freezer bags with the date and contents.
- Using a spoon, distribute the marinade evenly over all the bags of chicken. The above recipe makes enough for up to about a maximum of 5 pieces of chicken. Recipe can easily be doubled for more chicken. Seal the bags. Swish the meat around a bit to thoroughly mix, making sure chicken pieces are fully covered with marinade.
- Depending upon the size of your freezer you can stack the bags individually, store them together in a freezer safe container, or a large heavy-duty zip-top freezer storage bag.
How to Defrost Chicken Before Cooking:
- Remove bag(s) from the freezer, place them in a bowl to catch possible leaks.
- Option #1, long method: Refrigerate, overnight where the meat will defrost and marinate, in time to cook for the next day’s dinner.
- Option #2, quicker method: Set individual sealed bags of meat in a pan of cool water for 30 mins to an hour, until partly defrosted and then move the bags from the water to the fridge, where they can defrost completely.
- Option #3, shortest method: Use the microwave to defrost the frozen meat. Once defrosted, store in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
- Follow cooking instructions from the Citrus Marinade recipe.
This is especially true during the summertime grilling season, when the weather is warmer!
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