Bobby Jo, Freezing Chicken Breasts & The Food I Prepped Before My Trip

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on September 30, 2013

Yes, I’m still here.

Last week was a bit nutty. Cuatro and I hit the road to New York and then Atlanta for some media meetings and then to speak on a panel. Turns out traveling with a crawling baby means you have approximately 13.5 minutes over 4 days to open your computer to work. And write blog posts. And share recipes. So needless to say, nothing got done.

I was however able to accomplish quite a bit last Monday, in my scurry to get out of town. I had hoped to share it last week, but here I am…sharing it now.

I’m working with Food Saver on a recipe for the holidays and they asked me to chat with a local farmer about the benefits of buying local and the convenience of freezing extras. On my Monday morning errands, I stopped by to chat with Bobby Jo of Cross O Ranch in Fredricksburg.

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Apologies for the sideways shot here. I tried 4 times to turn it the right direction before giving up. It’s upright on my computer, but loads onto the site sideways. But you get the picture. Sorry for any neck strain incurred while looking at it! ;)

He’s been a farmer for his entire life and I really enjoyed getting to know him better and learn more about what ticks and doesn’t tick for a farmer on the “farmer’s market tour.” His genuine love for life and for gardening and for running cattle was quite contagious. He gave me the start to finish run down on his grass-fed beef business and why his prices might seem higher, but they are really lower for what you get. (He prices out the cost of the meat alone, and not the hanging weight of the beef before it is processed. If your beef source is charging you for the hanging weight, you are not getting the value you think you are…wouldn’t hurt to ask next time you buy beef direct from a farmer!)

While he doesn’t have a website (he still only has dial-up at his farm!), he does have an extensive email list to share specials and upcoming events with his customers. (He’s also a ‘chuckwagon cook’ and does events around town!) I’ve got my order placed and will pick it up next week…and when I do…I’ll be vacuum sealing it up!

Our family loves ground beef, stew beef and roasts…so that’s what I’ve requested. I’m looking forward to a delicious melt in your mouth, grass fed beef roast for Sunday supper in the next couple weeks.

SOOOOO…while I wait for my beef to be ready for me, I thought I’d get started with my new Food Saver with the chicken we grilled up last Sunday. We ended up doing a batch grilling session, as I wanted to get a couple packages grilled and then frozen in slices and bite size pieces.

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I documented the process with my iPhone. I was a bit frightened at first…but it’s really a simple process for just sealing up the food for the freezer. The directions come right on the underside of the baggie roll lid. And goes like this…

Seal off one end.

Add the food.

Vacuum-then seal the other end.

Label.

Freeze.

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Bam. Chicken ready for the freezer, to be enjoyed later this week or next on top of my salads at lunch. I also sealed up some bite size pieces to use up in pasta or a quick “dump and warm” chicken taco soup.

In addition to getting the chicken into the freezer, I also pulled together a few easy meals for Steve to make while I was out of town.

So next time I make a Costco run or plan other one of my “20 Meals for $150” lists, I’ll be sealing up the “one dish dinners” on the list with my new Food Saver!

Do you have a Food Saver? What do you love about it?

Disclosure: I’m working with Food Saver on their fall holiday recipe program. Experience and opinions are my own. And I wish I’d started using a Food Saver long ago.

 

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

marie September 30, 2013 at 7:54 pm

My daughter bought me a seal-a-meal for christmas last year, after hearing me talk about using a straw to get the extra air out of ziplock bags. LOL
I do love it, we buy 40lbs of chicken at a time from Zaycon Foods, and using a straw that much makes you lightheaded.

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Alison October 1, 2013 at 11:32 am

I love love love my FoodSaver! It makes my food last longer, and I never worry about freezer burn when I pull something older out of the freezer. I’ve also found that, since it makes things so flat (without extra air bubbles) and has a little bit of texture on the outside of the bag, my stacks of food don’t slip around or fall over NEARLY as easily as when I use Ziplocks. Love.

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Chris Thomas October 4, 2013 at 7:09 am

I’ve had Food Saver’s for years. I’m working on my third one. The next time I’m buying a Weston Pro for food service ($450.00). I’ve also gotten tired of spending $20 for Food Saver rolls. I get three 50’ rolls for a little over $50 thru Amazon.

I also use these for marinating meats. I sprinkle a little Adolph’s Meat Tenderizer (No MSG) on beef and then use a blade type tenderizer on it (both sides); then vaccu-seal it and freeze it. Even less desirable cuts come out tender and juicy.

Since I love ribs and pulled pork and don’t have a smoker, I pat the meat dry then sprinkle it with liquid smoke then cover it with my favorite dry rub. I then vacu-seal the meat and refrigerate it for 24-48 hrs. I rack the meat in a lg. pan, add 1” of apple cider, then tent it and slow cook it for hours. The ribs are finished off on the BBQ.

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