Meal Prep Crock Pot Chicken
Let’s talk meal prep. Are you a planner, scheduler, thought it all out person or a fly by the seat of your pants and hope to pull something together each night person? In case you haven’t heard it before, I am a TAD BIT of a control freak/over planner. So you guessed it, I am the meal planner guru type.
My goal is to have a homemade (or MOSTLY) meal 5 of the 7 nights a week. This is a pretty hefty goal to take on as the sole parent in our home. However, family meals are something we bond over and I have made it a priority. The kids weigh in on meal ideas, help prepare meals whenever possible, just hang out with me in the kitchen, and it is a time we really connect.
In order to keep my goal of not eating out or calling for pizza, I like to prep a protein in advance for the week. Making a large batch of meat keeps the stress of a meal each night at bay. No worrying about thawing or cooking it each night. Usually I do this large prep ahead with chicken, however pork loin or shoulder using this same seasoning is a nice change of pace.
At least once I week, typically on Sunday, I prep a large Crock Pot of chicken Breasts.
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What you need:
3-5 Pounds Chicken Breasts (bone in or boneless)
1 Tbsp. Salt (Kosher or Sea Salt is Best)
1 tsp. Smoked Paprika (NOT hot)
1 tsp. Black Pepper
1 tsp. Granulated Garlic
1 tsp. Onion Powder or 1 Tbsp. Dried Minced Onion Flakes (which is what I prefer)
a few pinches of Cayenne Pepper (if you like a little spice)
- Mix the spices together in a small bowl
- Sprinkle generously over one side of the Chicken.
- Layer, seasoned side down, in a crock pot. Sprinkle remaining seasoning on each layer of chicken. You can double up your layers to fit it all in. It will cook fine.
- After about 4 hours, using tongs, rotate the chicken around so the top ones get to sit in the broth for a bit while they finish cooking.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours until fork tender and shred-able.
- Serve immediately or shred/cube for use during the week.
- Don’t toss the broth at the bottom. Strain the tasty liquid with a mesh strainer and save for soups or casseroles. I pour it over my leftover chicken and it keeps it nice and flavorful all week.
- If your Crock Pot lid does not fit securely, add a splash of water or broth at the start to prevent over drying. A few pats of butter on the top also helps! You don’t want it to poach in a ton of liquid but not be completely dry either.
You can also use a whole chicken and cook it the same way if you prefer. Just cover the inside and outside of the bird well with the seasoning. Don’t forget to make bone broth with the left overs!