I'm not sure if I've mentioned it on here, but about a month ago, Troy and I took the big plunge.... No, not marriage.....a freezer. I have definite commitment issues and don't get me started on his. I think a freezer is about as committed as we could get for now.
It's a gorgeous white chest freezer that is 7.2 cubic feet of lucious frozen goodness!
About once a month, we do some serious shopping and meal planning. We then gather all of the individual "disposable" freezer containers we can wrangle (QUITE a few after months of cooking), plan a menu consisting of several different meals which we both enjoy and freeze easily and I commence to cooking....marathon style. I've gotten it down to a science, nearly. I can usually complete the cooking, containerizing and labeling of 4 - 5 different meals in about 4 hours. These individually packed meals can then be frozen and we can each just grab one and take them to work for our lunches. The problem that we've run into over the last few months is that we run out of freezer space in his little refrigerator-attached freezer. I would plan 4-5 meals and only be able to complete 2 or 3 before I would run out of space. Then there was always the impending disaster of having frozen chicken breasts nearly break your toes when they would make a break for it as you attempted to retrieve a meal from the tiny freezer.
After hemming and hawwing for several months, I finally said enough is enough and bit the bullet! $280 later (including delivery fees) and I have found frozen culinary bliss!
This last round of meals was the real test. The menu I had planned consisted of:
1) Turkey burgers with mixed vegetables and rice on the side
2) Chicken enchiladas
3) Pot Roast
4) Turkey meatloaf with mashed potatoes and vegetables
5) Tilapia filets with vegetables and a noodle side dish
6) Chicken marsala with mashed potatoes
Normally, this would not be a menu to be prepared by those with a faint of heart and limited freezer space. But, alas! That is me no more!
A mere 5 hours after starting, there were about 40 individual meals labeled and in the freezer. It fills me a with a sense of satisfaction ..... and a full belly.
All of this was to say that I technically completed 2 new recipes this month instead of 1. I had never made Chicken Marsala and I was amazed how simple it was! No longer will I pay $15 for it in a restaurant when I know that I can make 6 servings of it for under $2 each! It was fast, VERY easy and downright delicious!
Here's the recipe I used (I skipped the parsley and doubled the wine, chicken stock, lemon juice and mushrooms):
¼ cup of flour
Salt and pepper to taste
4 chicken breasts (boned and skinless)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
½ cup of dry Marsala wine
½ cup of chicken stock
½ lemon. Squeeze the lemon juice
½ cup of white sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley
Season the flour with salt and pepper. Lightly coat the chicken breast with seasoned flour.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Place the chicken breast in the pan and brown on both sides then remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the dry Marsala wine to the pan and gently bring to boil removing the alcohol. Add the chicken stock, lemon juice and stir in the mushrooms. Lower the heat and cook for about 10 minutes reducing the marsala sauce. Return the browned chicken breast to the pan spooning over the sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side until cooked.
Serve with mashed potatoes or pasta. Garnish with parsley.