How to Safely Defrost Poultry

First of all, you never, ever defrost poultry under warm water. It is dangerous, and will just absolutely ruin your product. I always buy my poultry in bulk and stick most of it directly in the freezer. This means I really only need to buy poultry once every six months or so, and it really cuts down on my food bill.

The trick to buying in bulk is not to freeze in bulk. Before you pop your poultry into the freezer, separate your portions in freezer-safe bags squeezing the extra air out. This way you won’t have to defrost an entire 24-breast package when you just want one for dinner.

If you know you’re going to be working with poultry a few days in advance, take out your poultry and put it in the fridge to let it defrost naturally. Breasts, wings, and thighs generally take 24 hours to defrost, but a whole chicken will take anywhere between 1 and 3 days depending on the size.

After you’ve defrosted your poultry, rinse off the ice and any other juices that may have melted along with your ice. Pat the poultry dry and make sure your surface and your hands are clean to avoid and encounters with salmonella.

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Featured recipe: Classic Chicken Parmesan with Linguine

Spicy Chicken and Cheese Nachos

Category: Freshman Year
Servings: 1 person
Prep-Time:  3 minutes
Cook-Time: 2 minutes

Why is this a survival recipe?

Nachos in the microwave give you a nice, indulgent, and cheesy meal in about 45 seconds. I always have cooked chicken in my fridge, shredded cheese, and salsa, so I figured that combining them would only lead to goodness. I eat this when I don’t feel like making a big elaborate dinner, or when I’m having friends over.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 handfuls of Tortilla Chips
  • 1/2 cup of Shredded Cheese
  • 2-3 tsp of Hot Salsa
  • 1/2 cup of Cooked Chicken

Step one: Arrange your chicken over your tortilla chips

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Step two: Arrange your cheese evenly

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Step three: Microwave for about 15-30 seconds

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Step four: Top with hot salsa and dig in

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Chicken Sausages with Mushroom Spiced Couscous

Category: Freshman Year*
Servings: 1 person
Prep-Time:  15 minutes
Cook-Time: 5 minutes

Why is this a survival recipe?

I love sausages and couscous, and since the box of couscous makes about 5 servings, I thought I would switch up my traditional vegetarian combination and add in some yummy cooked chicken sausages. This recipe is outrageously easy and even easier to store, re-heat, and enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cooked Sausage, sliced
  • 1 cup of Couscous, prepared

Step one: Prepare your couscous according to the box and transfer it into a bowl

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Step two: Warm up your sausage and slice it into bite-sized pieces.

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Step three: Mix the two together and enjoy

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*this post originally stated this recipe was gluten free. it has since been updated.

Sliced Chicken Sausages with Rice

Category: Freshman Year/Gluten Free
Servings: 1 person
Prep-Time:  2 minutes
Cook-Time: 5 minutes

Why is this a survival recipe?

The great thing about pre-cooked sausage, is just that: they’re already cooked. When you pair this with instant rice, you’ve got a hot meal that’s already prepared in about five minutes.

There are so many different kinds of sausages and instant rices, that this combination will never get old. You can keep the sausages in the freezer and instant rice lasts for ages, so you’ll always have a delicious option for your meals.

If you have a Gluten Allergy, make sure that all of your products and brands are gluten free.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cooked Sausage, sliced
  • 1 Instant Rice

Step one: Prepare your rice and transfer it into a bowl

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Step two: Warm up your sausage and slice it into bite-sized pieces

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Step three: Mix the two together and enjoy

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Chicken Breasts with White Rice

Category: Freshman Year/Gluten Free
Servings: 1 person
Prep-Time:  2-3 minutes
Cook-Time: 5 minutes

Why is this a survival recipe?

Chicken and rice is a classic combination that is so simple to make and enjoy. I make this with a delicious pre-cooked chicken right from the store. It’s delicious, simple, filling, and one simple step.

If you have a Gluten Allergy, make sure your products and brands are gluten free.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Roasted Chicken Breast
  • 1/2 cup of Instant Rice
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • Butter/EVOO to taste

Step one: Warm your chicken and rice, plate them, season them, and enjoy your scrumptious hot meal.

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Roasted Chicken with Mashed Potatoes

Category: Freshman Year/Gluten Free
Servings: 1 person
Prep-Time:  2-3 minutes
Cook-Time: 5 minutes

Why is this a survival recipe?

Chicken and potatoes is a classic combination that is so simple to make and enjoy. I make this every time I go to the store, because I always pick up a delicious cooked chicken breast, and making quick mashed potatoes in the microwaves is a snap.

If you have a Gluten Allergy, make sure your products and brands are gluten free.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Roasted Chicken Breast
  • 1/2 cup of Mashed Potatoes
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • EVOO to taste

Step one: Warm your chicken and potatoes, plate them, season them, and enjoy your filling hot meal.

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Honey Mustard Chicken Thigh Fillets

Category: Junior Year
Servings: 3 people
Prep-Time: 3 hours
Cook-Time: 40 minutes

Why is this a survival recipe?

Honey mustard chicken thighs combine chicken fingers, dipping sauce and crunchy chicken together in one neat little package.

It’s so easy to make them and you can eat them with rice, with pasta, or even cut up and with dipping sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp of Honey
  • 1 tsp of EVOO
  • 1 tsp of Honey Mustard
  • 1/2 cup of Honey Mustard Dressing
  • 1 package of Chicken Thigh Fillets (Boneless/Skinless)
  • 1/2 cup of Plain Panko Breadcrumbs

Step one: Combine your wet ingredients into a freezer safe bag

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Step two: Salt and Pepper your chicken then marinate your chicken for three hours in the fridge

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Step three: Bread your chicken in the breadcrumbs and bake in the oven at 375 for 40 minutes

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Step four: Cover and let rest for about five minutes, and then enjoy!

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Classic Chicken Parmesan with Linguine

Category: Junior Year
Servings: 3 people
Prep-Time:  15 minutes
Cook-Time: 10 minutes

Why is this a survival recipe?

Chicken Parmesan with aldente linguine is just delicious. It’s also ridiculously overpriced at most restaurants, and just as easy to make at home in your kitchen.

By making this at home, you have complete freedom on the seasoning, the cheese, and the pasta type. It’s all in your capable hands.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Chicken Breasts, pounded
  • Egg wash, 1-2 eggs
  • Flour to coat Breasts
  • Breadcrumbs to coat Breasts
  • 1/4 cup of Sauce
  • 1/4 cup of Mozzarella Cheese
  • Cooked Linguine

Step one: Prepare your pasta as directed on the box; set aside. Preheat your oven to 350

Step two: Dip your chicken into the egg wash, then the flour, then the breadcrumbs

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Step three: Saute your chicken in olive oil for about 3 minutes on each side

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Step four: Top your chicken breasts with sauce and cheese and bake in your oven until the cheese is melted, about 5-10 minutes

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Step five: Assemble the chicken parm and linguine and dig in!

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Rotisserie Chicken Teriyaki with Rice

Category: Freshman Year/Gluten Free
Servings: 1 person
Prep-Time:  2 minutes
Cook-Time: 5 minutes

Why is this a survival recipe?

Eating plain chicken and rice over and over again gets pretty boring pretty quickly. This is an extraordinarily easy way to spice up a simple meal. You can easily serve this with steamed veggies or eat it in a wrap.

If you have a Gluten Allergy, make sure all of your products and brands are gluten free.

Ingredients: 

  • Cooked chicken breast
  • Instant rice
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Salt/Pepper to taste

Step one: Warm up your cooked chicken breast; coat your chicken in teriyaki sauce

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Step two: Prepare your instant rice; serve your chicken over your rice and enjoy

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Chicken Noodle Egg Drop Soup

Category: Sophomore Year/Gluten Free
Servings: 1 person
Prep-Time:  5 minutes
Cook-Time: 10 minutes

Why is this a survival recipe?

Switching up a boring chicken noodle soup is as easy as whisking an egg.

All you need to do is warm up your soup on the stove top and stir in a whisked egg. Presto, you’ve got a delicious play on a comforting Chinese soup is right there in your dorm room.

If you have a Gluten Allergy, make sure all of the products and brands you use are gluten free.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of Chicken Noodle Soup
  • 1 Egg, beaten

Step one: Bring your soup to a simmer

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Step two: Quickly whisk in your beaten egg until it is fully cooked

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Step three: Serve and enjoy

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