How to Prep Chicken Breast in Bulk

Chicken breast is a staple in the typical clean-eating diet, and for good reason. It’s a versatile, high-quality protein and it’s relatively inexpensive–I rarely pay more than $2/lb. It’s extremely easy to work into meal prep because it’s simple to cook in bulk and it keeps well.

If you eat a lot of chicken breast–I eat it twice a day, every day–you’ll want to prepare it in some way that doesn’t bring you to tears at mealtime. During my last contest prep, I experimented with baking and grilling, but I found that the Crock-Pot is the best way to go. You can’t beat it for convenience. The Crock-Pot does all the work, and your chicken breasts will be tender and moist and actually tasty!

How to Determine the Serving Weight of Your Chicken Breast

If you’re on a diet that requires you to eat portions of specific weight (mine are currently 4 oz each), this is a critical step. If not, you can ignore this part.

You’ll need:

  • Chicken breasts (I do 4-5 lbs per batch)
  • 2 bowls to hold chicken
  • Food scale
  • Calculator (Optional, but maybe not…I’ve found that diet brain decreases my ability to do math with any degree of accuracy.)
  1. Weigh the chicken raw. Trim all visible fat/skin from the chicken breasts and place them in a bowl. Set another bowl on your scale and zero it out. Then transfer the chicken to the bowl on the scale. Record the ounces. (E.g., mine came to a raw weight of 59.30 oz.)
  2. Divide the total weight (in ounces) by your serving size. My servings are 4 oz each, so I’ll get 14.8 servings out of the total weight of 59.30. I rounded down to 14. Pro Tip: I recommend rounding down. The difference is negligible anyway, and you’ll get an extra bite of food. Yay!

Cooking Your Chicken Breast in the Crock-Pot

In addition to your trimmed chicken breasts, you’ll need:

  • Nonstick pan spray
  • 2 tablespoons powdered chicken bouillon
  • 1 cup water
  1. Spray your Crock-Pot insert with nonstick pan spray, layer the chicken breasts in, and sprinkle them with the powdered chicken bouillon. Add 1 cup water and put the lid on the Crock-Pot.
  2. Set your Crock-Pot on low and cook for 6 to 8 hours. Pro Tip: Don’t lift the lid of the Crock-Pot while cooking; it extends the cooking time.
  3. When the chicken is done (white, not pink, inside and you can shred it with a fork or tongs), remove the chicken to a bowl and let it cool enough that you can handle it comfortably. Discard the cooking liquid or strain it and reserve to add to your chicken before freezing.

Portioning Your Cooked Chicken Breast

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, it’s time to get the cooked portion weight.

You’ll need:

  • 2 bowls to hold chicken
  • Food scale
  • Freezer-safe meal-prep containers (I like the rectangular ones by Ziploc because they fit nicely in the freezer.)
  1. Place a bowl on your scale, zero it out, add cooked chicken breasts, and note the weight in ounces . (For me, this was 47.60 ounces.) Divide by the number of servings you figured out with the raw weight (see above: mine was 14). That will give you the weight of each serving, cooked. This is what makes the process so easy, not having to weigh individual portions of raw chicken.
  2. Shred or cube the cooled chicken breasts and place in a bowl. Place a freezer-safe meal-prep container on the scale, zero out the scale, and fill your container with the appropriate ounce weight of cooked chicken. If all your calculations were right, you’ll be golden, and all your containers will be filled with uniform portions. Yay! Now is the time to add a few tablespoons of your reserved stock, if you’d like.
  3. Put the lids on the containers, label with weight and date, and freeze. You’re good to go!

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