Freezer Cooking with Bone-In Chicken Breast (Recipe: Chicken Bacon Sub)

One of my favorite ingredients for freezer cooking is chicken. And since our family prefers white meat, I often buy bone-in chicken breasts. While boneless, skinless chicken breasts are certainly more convenient, chicken on the bone has a richer taste, and the cost is much lower than the boneless version.

Since I got twenty pounds for $0.87/pound when I redeemed a raincheck earlier in the week, I had quite a bit to use at a great price. I baked all twenty pounds in the oven and then shredded all the chicken to use in these recipes:

  • Shredded Chicken – love this for easy sandwich filling, pizza topping, or to add protein to a salad
  • Chicken and Bacon Subs – an experiment from last month that worked out well
  • Chicken Taquitos – yummy and quick to reheat
  • Tortilla Bake w/ Chicken and Poblanos – an experiment that I’ll let you know about later.
  • Garlic Bread – a super big hit around here

One recipe that was an experiment last month was this one. While it’s still in the experimental stage, I’m sharing it since so many people asked. Let me know how the experiment goes for you and what variations you add to it. The cooking times haven’t been tested more than once. So, I’d love to hear what times work best for you.

Later today: Freezer Cooking Wrap Up and Share Your Successes, too.

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  1. jacinda walker says:

    Hello, I am actually prepping for my freezer cooking as well, but I have a bunch of boneless skinless, so because yours has the bone in, would that make a difference in cooking time/temp? Just wanted to know how to cook mone. Thanks very much :)

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      @jacinda walker, if you’re baking boneless chicken, you’re going to reduce your baking time. Start with 30 minutes and then check to see if the juices run clear. If not, add another 5 minutes and check again.

  2. This would be a huge hit with my family – I think this is what we’ll have tonight!

  3. Lookin good:-)

  4. I am going to try the freezer cooking this month for the first time! I want to try your shredded chicken recipe. Do you cook your chicken with the bone in? I noticed Amy on another site takes the chicken off the bone….just curious! thanks for all your information…I am really enjoying your blog!

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      Thanks for your kind words, Gina. When I buy bone-in chicken, I bake it on the bone. It enhances the flavor. I think Amy takes it off the bone when she’s chopping it or using it like b/s.

  5. Love being able to try out your freezer cooking recipes! I’m easing my way into freezer cooking with baby #2 coming any day now. I’ve been making one meal a week for the last few weeks that I either double or half into two smaller pans, freezing the second pan. Up for this week–your lawnmower taco casserole!:)

    Thanks for sharing all of your freezer cooking advice!

  6. My husband loves the Chicken Bacon Ranch subs from Subway, but we often make them at home, too. Would be a simple addition to your recipe – just add Ranch dressing, lettuce, tomato, onion and banana peppers to it! YUM!

  7. YEAH!!! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Can’t wait to try it next month! Sounds delicious and I know my family will love it. Who doesn’t love bacon?!

  8. Jessica – do you capture the broth any way when baked? I put mine in the crockpot to get the broth, but I’d consider in the oven in winter (to warm up the house) if there was a way to get broth from it. Thanks!

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      I actually had about 6 cups of broth from the 20 pounds of chicken. Maybe not as much as with a crockpot, but still a good amount.

  9. Angela Shrader says:

    Thank you so much for all the new recipes!!! I’m going to try the sub prep tonight and give it a taste tomorrow (but I see no reason to not like it!) Also we’re going to grill our chicken for a different flavor!

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      Grilled chicken sounds great. Maybe we should try an outdoors freezer cooking next time. 😉

  10. I am wondering if this would work with smaller bread? Like a french roll, wrapped individually and then baked? The french loaf would be huge for my family! What do you think?

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      Absolutely! I made a batch on kaiser rolls and they worked really well. I wrapped them individually and then heated as many as we wanted.

  11. Thanks for the tip on how to cook bone in chicken. I have some here and have been wondering what to do with it.

  12. Just did freezer cooking this weekend…but for only a few weeks out. Mark my word…next time I see some reduce bread it’s on!!!

    Bought 3 LARGE Italian loaves fro $0.90 each on markdown at WalMart. Cut them into 4 seperate pieces for 4 seperate meals since they are so dig. Yummo!!!


  13. I made a variation of the chicken bacon subs tonight. I used ciabatta rolls and spread them with some ranch dip that needed to be used up. Layered the chicken and bacon, added provolone cheese and baked. Definitely will be a repeated dinner around here as everyone loved it. Even had just enough leftover for lunches tomorrow.

  14. This is interesting. I have always boiled my chicken, when making a batch to shred, primarily because I’ve found that we go through chicken broth pretty quickly in our house too… I wouldn’t want to boil 10-20 lbs, though… :)

  15. LOVE these sandwiches. I use steak rolls instead of a large loaf because I cook enough for a meal and then some for hubby’s lunch. I have tweaked it slightly. I use half mozzarella cheese and half queso blend cheese. I also add a can of petite diced tomatoes drained very well. A little sprinkle of Italian seasoning. I cook till warm and then I unwrap them and open up the sandwich to toast the inside for about 10 mins on 350. Family favorite and freezer staple.

  16. Love these subs!!

  17. Wow. I’ve had this recipe on my list forever, but just got around to making it today. It is AMAZING! Thank you so much for sharing, I’m about to stock my entire freezer full of these! 😉

  18. You said you made these for your husband’s lunches, that is a great idea, but I don’t think my husband has an oven at work….have you ever tried heating these up in the microwave? Just wasn’t sure how they would turn out.

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      Yeah, I kinda goofed on that! A reader asked the same question earlier. I realized I was counting on him heating them in the microwave. Not sure if it will work.

  19. I tried these tonight and I have to say they were dry. Do you add anything else to them? I thought about adding mayo but wasn’t sure that would taste very good or not?

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      Hmmm, did you include both the cheese and the garlic butter? Between the two of those, ours haven’t been dry. Was your bread really thick?

  20. I have made these many times but I couldn’t remember what to do when you froze them. I’m so excited that I can go to the freezer now at almost 3pm and pull dinner out to make instead of having to hit a fast food or pizza place. Thanks again, Jessica!

  21. Finally made some of these. Mixed the chopped bacon into my container of shredded chicken, added some pepper and made the sandwiches. I made these on whole wheat sub rolls and they were quite filling! I let everyone pick their cheese and labeled the foil. Good Sunday evening meal and the second batch will go to the freezer. Thanks!

  22. susanne says:

    It is getting too hot around here to run the oven, so I think I will try this “filling” on bread in my panini maker! Thanks for a great new idea!!

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