In my honey lime enchilada post I commented that I always pre-cook my chicken to have for recipes. I had a number of people ask me to explain what I do so I thought I would take a second and let you know.
I always buy my chicken when it goes on sale. I buy what I can get cheap. I love boneless skinless, especially if we are just grilling or something but sometimes you can find breasts with the bone for 99 cents. Those are good too. I save some out for when I need a whole breast. I then take and fill my crock pot with the rest. I stick it in there and let it cook 6 hours to 10 hours depending on time. I then have Lee shred it (that is the crucial part....he is usually pretty willing except the other night when I screwed up the time estimate and needed it shredded at 4 am). I then fill sandwich bags with it. I then stick the baggies in the freezer for a quick dinner like Honey Lime Enchiladas, chicken soup, chick and dumplings from Cooking Light Magazine, chicken chili, chicken and broccoli casserole, etc. (let me know if you NEED any of these recipes). I have found having that step done lets me get a good dinner (or top a quick salad for me) on the table in a jiffy.
I also do the same thing with ground beef. Half the trouble with ground beef is the browning. If I have that done I can have tacos on the table in 10 minutes, Shepard's pie with leftover mash potatoes with 10 minutes prep (a little more cooking time), or Cooking Lights' no chop chili in 10 minutes.
I also make up a big double batch of my favorite homemade BBQ sauce and will buy the big pack of chicken thighs at Costco for 99cents a pound (or this week there are boneless pork ribs for cheap at Associated). I then separate them out into Ziploc gallon bags with plenty of sauce. Then when I am stuck for dinner I can pull one of those out and I have a quick marinated grill item ready and all I need to do is put in some potatoes and a veggie.
Hope this helps!
1 day ago