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It's called dump chicken, and it's genius. Here's why: You dump chicken pieces and your choice of sauce ingredients into a 1-gallon freezer bag, seal it and stick it in the freezer. When you're ready to eat it, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator; dump it into a pan (or slow cooker); and bake it. That's it!

The following recipes can be made with any four to eight pieces of chicken —bone in or boneless, skin on or skinless, even whole. Experiment to see what you prefer. Simply mix the sauce ingredients; toss the mixture into a Ziploc freezer bag along with the chicken; seal; and freeze.

Note: If you are adding a lot more or a lot less chicken, you may need to adjust the recipes accordingly.

To cook the chicken, thaw the bag overnight in the refrigerator. Pour the contents into a 9-by-12-inch pan, and bake at 350 degrees F until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Or prepare these meals in a slow cooker set on low for 4 to 6 hours. In the oven, chicken breasts take 25 to 45 minutes, depending on their thickness. Dark meat may take a bit longer.

Basic BBQ chicken

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons dry onion soup mix

Caribbean chicken

1 (8-ounce) can pineapple chunks with juice

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/3 cup orange juice

1/2 cup raisins

Lemon garlic chicken

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Russian chicken

2/3 cup apricot preserves

16 ounces Russian salad dressing

2 packages dry onion soup mix

Sticky chicken

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

3 tablespoons peanut butter (smooth or chunky)

3 tablespoons ketchup

Cantonese chicken

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Teriyaki chicken

1 clove garlic, minced

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice wine

1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons ginger, minced (optional)

Spiced citrus chicken

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons orange juice

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon black ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt

Spicy sweet glazed chicken

2 teaspoons garlic, minced

2/3 cup apricot preserves

1/3 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup ketchup

1 teaspoon Tabasco, or to taste

Garlic Dijon chicken

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

4 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard

2 tablespoons lime juice (or lemon juice)

Honey sesame chicken

1/2 cup chicken broth or water

3 tablespoons sesame seeds

3 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

Pepper lime chicken

1/2 teaspoon lime zest

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup lime juice

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

You can find dozens of ideas and recipes for your own spice blends, dressings and mixes in my free handy booklet "Make Your Own Mixes." A copy of this booklet is available when you subscribe to the free newsletter at www.everydaycheapskate.com.

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mary@everydaycheapskate.com|Everyday Cheapskate, Box 2099 Cypress, CA 90630

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