Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Monterey Jack Stuffed Chicken Breast!

This recipe come from one of my favorite cook books Don't Panic--More Dinner's in the Freezer: A Second Helping of Tasty Meals You Can Make Ahead. Wow, that's a long title. Any way I wanted to share one of the recipes I made from the book it's called Monterey Jack Stuffed Chicken Breast. I have not tasted it yet but it just sounded so good and I can not wait to try it. It's in my freezer ready for next weeks dinners.

I am a huge fan of bulk cooking. I have found that this method of cooking not only saves time on busy nights but also a lot of money. If done the right way. More on that later.

Here is the recipe. (I did change the amount of the ingredient's listed to work for only 4 chicken breasts.) I will have to let you know how it tasted next week.


6 boneless chicken breast
10oz Monterey Jack Cheese with jalapenos
4 eggs
1/4 cup salsa
1/4 t salt
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
2 t chili powder
2 t ground cumin
1 1/2 t garlic salt
1/2 t dried oregano


  • Cut a horizontal slit into each chicken breast. Be careful not to cut all the way through.
  • Put a piece of cheese into each slit. (I used cheese sticks and they worked perfectly or you could slice your own cheese.)
  • You may nee to use a toothpick to secure the pocket.

  • In a shallow pan mix together eggs, salsa, and salt.
  • In an other pan mix together panko bread crumbs and the rest of the ingredients
  • Dip each chicken pocket into the eggs mixture and then the bread crumbs

  • Lay each chicken breast on waxed paper and flash freeze for about an hour.
  • Wrap each chicken pocket with plastic wrap, place into a freezer bag, and freeze until ready to cook.

Cooking Day

  • Place 1/4 cup butter in a 9x13 baking pan.
  • Preheat oven to 375 and go ahead and put the pan in the oven to melt the butter
  • After the butter has melted remove pan and place chicken pockets in pan turning to coat it in the butter.
  • Bake uncovered about 35 to 40 minutes until the juices are clear.

Serve with with salsa, sour cream, tomatoes, and avocado.

Frugal tips I use to bulk cook cheap.

  1. Make a list of items you need to make your recipes a few weeks before your cooking day. (That way you can look for good deals on those items.)
  2. Stock up on pantry staples you know you will use for recipes while it is one sale. Don't wait until you need it on cooking day.
  3. Plan recipes you want to make according to meat sales. For example, when chicken is on sale for a $1.99 a pound I will make several recipes that use chicken breast. If ground beef is on sale I will do the same make several recipes that call for ground beef and so on. I do not do a big cooking day and shopping trip like some books suggest you do. I just try to do this every week or two according to the meat sales.
  4. Separate food into meal size portions. I find that we waste less food this way and I can stretch a main dish into two meals most of the time.
  5. Do not make a big batch of a recipe you have never tried. What if you and your family do not like the recipe you just made 6 freezer bags of? You would most likely would have to toss it and your money you just spent to make it.

I would suggest starting out with just a few recipes and build up from there. I love to bulk cook in the fall and winter it just makes my life so much easier when my kids say "Hey Mom What's For Dinner" and I can say Monterey Jack Stuffed Chicken and most of the work is already done.

Here is a list of Freezer Cooking Books I love and own. Your local library may have these books for you to check out.

Don't Panic--More Dinner's in the Freezer: A Second Helping of Tasty Meals You Can Make Ahead

Don't Panic - Dinner's in the Freezer: Great-Tasting Meals You Can Make Ahead (my favorite)

Once-A-Month Cooking Family Favorites: More Great Recipes That Save You Time and Money from the Inventors of the Ultimate Do-Ahead Dinnertime Method

You've Got It Made: Deliciously Easy Meals to Make Now and Bake Later

Once-A-Month Cooking, Revised and Expanded: A Proven System for Spending Less Time in the Kitchen and Enjoying Delicious, Homemade Meals Every Day

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