I use both canned chicken and ground beef, little vacuum sealed packets of each in the freezer, grab 1 to N of those for a trip to add to ramen or liptons or whatever.
I've never pre-hydrated these, just put the dried meat plus olive oil and the meal in a freezer bag, add hot water, leave for 10 minutes in cozy. The only time I've had problems with this was when I didn't add enough water. I tend to over-hydrate the meal itself such that I sort of have "meal plus soup" in the same bag so rarely have that problem.
How small you break up the chicken or ground beef nuggets during preparation perhaps has something to do with this.