For anyone on a tight budget or following a stricter way of eating, meal prep is a life saver. Buying in bulk saves a lot of money, it gets rid of the risk of wasting food and it makes meal planning SO MUCH EASIER. When I meal-prep and plan ahead, I save money. Most athletes or clean eating folks have some sort of meal prep routine so that they have whole, healthy foods available without much work (or thinking) on week days. This is important to me because I often do not eat family meal. Every person has different needs, but an average meal prep dish will have vegetables, a starch (often sweet potatoes or rice) a protein, and some sort of fat. I tend to only do broccoli, green beans or brussels sprouts, and almost always chicken. (with various homemade dressings or mason jar mayo) Having proteins in the freezer or cooked and ready in the fridge, keeps it easier for me to stay on track with my unique dietary goals. Meal planning really is no harder than brushing your teeth, or tying your shoes. It is what it is. It’s really not hard at all for me because I eat very simply and I’ve found ways to make things like hard boiled eggs easier, and many of my meals can be thrown on a single pan, or two and tossed in the oven.
”We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.” -Aristotle
My meal planning routine is real straight forward. Since I’m usually buying in bulk for my own meals for several weeks/months, I make sure to find the best price so I can shop once, prep once. Once I’m home, I set up my spice station of homemade spice blends, and I toss chicken into bags with varying spices and herb blends, and I freeze them. I’ve been a huge fan of freezer meals for years because it DOES save me so much time and money to plan and prep. (Think I’m kidding? Nope. I even wrote a book about it.)
Crispy Oven Roasted Chicken Thighs
Previously seasoning the chicken before freezing it, helps it to really be flavorful. You can add marinades and other sauces but for my basic meal prep, I just freeze chicken and spice rubs. When I make chicken up, I use this oven roasted method, or make Epic Chicken. “Variety is the spice to life,” really does apply to my style of eating. I eat the same thing over and over usually, mixing spice blends gives me a bit of variation without changing the method. If you are not pulling chicken from the freezer, season it and refrigerate it about 30 minutes before you cook it or overnight if possible. This dry marinating makes for crispy, delicious chicken. Otherwise, you will want to thaw your chicken in the fridge overnight or up to 3 days in advance.
- 6 to 8 Chicken Thighs
- 2 Tablespoons of Seasoning Blend (Pictured Is Ras El Hanout)
- Pre-Heat your oven to 450°F.
- Lay chicken out on a single layer, on a baking sheet, if you have a steel bakers rack, you can lay that onto the pan, and place the chicken onto it, to keep it away from touching the bottom. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Drain liquid away and bake for additional 15 minutes or until your chicken is wicked , super crisp. (30-45 Minutes Total baking time)
- Store leftovers in airtight containers or freeze until needed.
-You will want to use approximately 2 tablespoons of a spice blend per 6 thighs. It will vary according to which spice blend you like. Salt might be needed depending on your blends. This recipe is absolutely the most delicious chicken recipe, and its absolutely best fresh but it stays moist and is flavorful for any variety of dishes throughout your week. Add this chicken to wraps, burrito bowls, soups or easy one skillet meals.
Seasoning Blends I Use Often: Greek, Ranch, Italian/Garlic, Cajun, Shawarma, Za’atar, cumin and cinnamon, smoked salt and chipotle, old bay, and ras el hanout. If you are following a sugar free/grain free diet and you are purchasing spice blends it is especially important that you READ THE LABELS. Many blends contain sugar, MSG, or silicon dioxide.