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Chicken is, according to the USDA, the number one meat for American tables. With a slow cooker, you can prepare plenty of chicken breasts for later use or to serve a large group of people. Once the meat is cooked you can finish it in a dozen different ways from shredding and briefly grilling it to cubing for pasta and casseroles or preparing the chicken with a sauce or glaze. Slow cooking as well as using multi cookers like the Instant Pot beats oven preparation because it keeps the chicken moist and tender.

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1. Preparing Chicken for the Week Ahead

The easiest way to prepare chicken for multiple uses is to season it simply using salt and pepper or garlic powder. That way, a bit of flavor is infused during cooking. Looking ahead, you can prepare meat for Mexican dishes with taco seasoning, use a few fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary for savory dishes, or add paprika for a bit of bite in your meals. You can refrigerate overnight for tomorrow's meal, but for best taste and food safety, the USDA says prompt freezing gives you up to six months' storage, four for leftovers. Make sure to mark each storage container with the date frozen and any flavor added.

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