I’m not the best at remembering to take meat and chicken out of the freezer to thaw. I’ve tried a bunch of tricks like taking it out the night before, leaving my self a note on the kitchen table and even asking my husband to remind me, but sometimes I still manage to forget.
If I get home from work at a reasonable hour I can pull the food out of the freezer and thaw it in a big bowl of cold water, but if I get home long past dinnertime I simply don’t have enough time to thaw a thick chunk of ground beef or a slab of chicken breasts.
Not so long ago those nights resorted in a call to Ledo’s Pizza or a night of grilled cheese and turkey sandwiches. Now I have a new solution.
As soon as I get home from the grocery store I take a bunch of chicken breasts out of their containers and chop them into bite sized pieces. I place them in a big Ziploc bag and lay them out as flat as I can, so that no two pieces are stacked on top of one another. If I don’t have time to do this right away I leave the chicken in the fridge overnight and set aside a small chunk of time to do this the very next day. Once the chicken is bagged I lay it flat in the freezer.
Similarly, when I buy ground beef I take it out of it’s original container, wrap it in freezer paper and smoosh it down just as flat as possible. Keeping everything in one single layer provides more surface area and thus helps it defrost faster.
Now on those nights that I forget to defrost dinner I pull the bag out of the freezer, soak it in a bowl of water, and in no time it’s thawed and ready for cooking. Even better, since the chicken is already chopped, I can throw it directly into the pan once it’s finished thawing and make a quick stir fry, tacos or gorditas. Since I’ve been using this technique we’ve drastically cut down on the number of calls to local pizza joints as well as the number of grilled cheese and turkey sandwich dinners.