Easy Make Ahead Chinese Chicken is spiced chicken, frozen and ready to star in a quick dinner whenever you need it! Restaurant quality for lettuce wraps, over rice or wrapped to make potstickers!
When it comes to figuring out what to have for dinner, there is nothing better or more time-saving than having your freezer stocked with make ahead meals.
I used to sigh and feel guilty when 5 o’clock rolled around, the kids were starving and I had nothing planned for dinner except take-out. That gets old real quick. Not only is it hard on the budget but my boys wanted “real” food, meaning something I made at home. So I started making casseroles and cooked meat that I could stash into the freezer for a quick meal.
This Easy Make Ahead Chinese Chicken became a quick family favorite and I always keep it on hand. Just take it out, heat and it’s ready to fill lettuce cups, ladle over noodles or serve over rice. A satifying meal in minutes!
This recipe is incredibly easy to make. Just brown the chicken, then add the chopped onions and cook for a few minutes. Stir in the sauce, green onions and water chestnuts and it is done. You now have 4 pounds of cooked Chinese chicken to make dinners, appetizers or snacks anytime you need it.
PRO TIPS FOR MAKING EASY MAKE AHEAD CHINESE CHICKEN
- Use a combination of ground white and dark meat for flavor and moistness. If using white meat only, add a few tablespoons of additional sesame oil and hoisin sauce.
- Drain the chicken if excess liquid is in the pan after cooking. The pan bottom should not have excess liquid in it before adding the sauce mixture.
- Don’t pass on the sesame oil. Sesame oil is essential to the flavor of this dish. Substituting vegetable oils will result in a different flavor and texture.
- If you don’t care for raw garlic taste, cook it with the onions in the chicken rather than adding to the sauce mixture.
- For ease, label your freezer containers before filling. I use plastic freezer bags, and heat the Chinese chicken right in the bag from freezer to microwave.
HOW DO I USE MAKE AHEAD CHINESE CHICKEN?
- Top a bed of Little Gem lettuce leaves with Chinese chicken and drizzle with Ponzu and Sweet Chili Sauce.
- Serve over Basmati rice, garnished with more green onion slices and peanuts.
- Use the chicken to fill dumpling wrappers and make amazing Chinese Chicken Pot Stickers.
- Wrap meat in egg roll wraps and make delicious baked eggrolls.
- Stir into cooked ramen noodles for a tasty Asian Pasta meal!
Easy Make Ahead Chinese Chicken
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- 6 tbsp sesame oil, divided
- 4 pounds ground chicken
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup garlic, minced or pressed
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 cup hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup sriracha sauce
- 24 ounce water chestnuts, 3 (8-ounce) can, drained and chopped
- 6 medium green onions, sliced thin
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional
- In a large, deep skillet on medium heat, heat 3 tablespoons sesame oil. Add ground chicken and cook until cooked thru. Break up into small chunks as it cooks to resemble ground beef. Add onion, stir and cook for 2 minutes over medium heat. Remove from heat.
- In a medium bowl, combine garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, rice wine vinegar and sriracha. Stir sauce mixture into cooked chicken until completely coated. Fold in water chestnuts, green onion and sesame oil. Salt to taste.
- Allow to cool slightly then transfer into freezer storage containers. Freeze tightly sealed for up to 3 months.
- Heat frozen in the microwave until heated thru, stirring occasionally. Use immediately. OR Thaw in refrigerator and use within 2 days
NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING
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