Has anyone successfully dehydrated canned chicken? Or made Turkey Jerky?
I have a chicken and dumpling recipe a friend has recommended and am dying to try it out for an upcoming trip. Not to sound like a don't trust the canned chicken thing, just curious if it's at all worth it. The same goes for Turkey Jerky keeping in mind the bacteria cooking with poultry.
I've not dehydrated chicken but I anticipate doing it in the near future. I would recommend breast meat - less fat than the leg/thigh and I would recommend either shredding it with two forks or grating it to give it a stringy or granulated appearance prior to drying. Of course, this is after cooking it on a barbecue grill or boiling it.
I'm not sure why you'd want to use canned chicken instead of fresh. In fact, I'm not sure I know what canned chicken is - the only chicken in a can that I'm aware of is "chicken of the sea" tuna! I've tried the cooked chicken breast in a sealed bag from the grocery store and they were terrible. Nearly inedible in my opinion. Shredding of cooked chicken breasts is fairly simple by taking one fork in each hand with the tines pointing down (convex sides facing each other), inserting just into the meat perhaps 2-4mm and pulling apart from one another while generally following the grain of the meat - you'll get the hang of it pretty quickly. The result is a big, fluffy pile of chicken that is easily spread out with a lot of exposed surface to dry quickly and completely.
While I prefer dark meat for normal meals due to the higher fat content and richer flavor, the white meat is far better suited for drying specifically due to the reduced fat.
Well a buddy and I are off on a 9-day trip at the end of April and keeping weight in mind, I would like to dehydrate all my meals beforehand. Interesting that you're unaware of the canned chicken, it's similar to canned tuna. I suppose I could try dehydrating fresh chicken as you've indicated, or I may have to take a trip into Ogdensburg to buy chicken in them fancy foil pouches we cannot get here. I'll definitely try your method though. Thanks again!
The answer is yes, canned chicken can easily be dehydrated.
Aside from spending way too much time researching gear and trails this winter, I've spent a considerable amount of time looking at food preparation for longer trips. My first purchase this spring (before tent and all else) is going to be a good dehydrator. Next to sleeping well, eating well is high on my priority list!!
The canned chicken worked really well and tasted good. Taking it out of the can I was not quite sure doesnt look like something I would normally eat but it dehydrated nicely. The smaller you break it up the quicker it will dehydrate. For those wondering why canned chicken from my research it was recommended as it was safer since it has been pre cooked and preservative things done. Its probably not as healthy for you but you want to be careful with salmonella and all that.
Not that you asked about beef but I also found it to work really well. Just by some lean ground beef the less fat the better because that makes it go rancid. Fry up the ground beef nicely add seasoning/salt if you like. Rinse it out a couple times with hot water to remove most of the fat. Dry it off and then put it in your dehydrator. One thing I found is that the beef looses a fair amount of flavour so extra seasoning either in the prep, after dehydrating or when re-hydrating it is recommended. This goes well with instant mash potatoes for a shepherds pie like meal.
Just a comment on dehydrating ground beef. I find rinsing it in any water is not necessary at all and greatly reduces its flavor. Once it all fried up with the spices, minced garlic + onions I line cookie trays with paper towels and spread out the cooked beef into a single layer and throw it into a slow oven for 3-4 hours. Once done package it up in appropriate sized-servings (Freezer Ziplock or Vacuum sealed), place in freezer until required. Never had it go rancid.
Thanks for the input - as there seems to be differing opinions on Turkey Jerky, I'll keep it off the menu this time around but come back to it eventually. I have over the weekend dehydrated a can of chicken which was a pretty quick process - under 3 hours
Our group has moved away from FD chicken and beef due to the striation or how the meat basically shreds when boiled in our one pot meals. For years we've hauled the foil pouch chicken from Tyson, Valley Fresh, Chicken of the Sea or Bumble Bee, companies which all market Chicken. The canned chicken can be dried in the oven or a dehydrator and actually can be done without issues. I've never dried beef.
"I'm not sure why you'd want to use canned chicken instead of fresh. In fact, I'm not sure I know what canned chicken is - the only chicken in a can that I'm aware of is "chicken of the sea" tuna! I've tried the cooked chicken breast in a sealed bag from the grocery store and they were terrible. Nearly inedible in my opinion."
This year we are going to test some Gluten Free TVP since it is fat free, weighs less and has less bulk than some of the other products used in the past. The Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free TVP tested quite well in some soups and we're about to test it with some Knorr Rice and Sauce pouch meals.
If you are into drying try whatever you want. The one meat that I've not been happy with has been diced ham. If you don't mind hauling the foil pouches of salmon, chicken and tuna, something we've done for years but I'd love to move away from, it works well in one pot meals or when we make tuna fish or chicken salad on the fly during lunch breaks. If you are looking for easy, no fat, high protein, look into a quality TVP product. If we did not need Gluten Free, we'd probably use a product provided by Harmony House Foods that comes in chicken, beef, and ham flavor. It tested out quite well but we're planning to use the Bob's Red Mill TVP which is gluten free. There is also an organic product from the same company.
Never done chicken but my wife makes a mean pulled pork the same way PAPaddler suggest you pull the chicken. It dehydrates well and reconstitutes even better. Cook it up in a mess of BBQ sauce and you have a good "just add water" meal. Stick it on a bun or stuff it in a pita and you'll be in BBQ heaven.
Here's a recipe I made up for a trip to Pen Lake last September - it was a hit!
Partially adapted from www.backpackingchef.com
No Crust Pumpkin Pie
1 large can of Pure Pumpkin
1/4 cup of Pure Maple Syrup
1 tsp of Pumpkin Spice
1 small container of Vanilla Pudding
Mix the first three ingredients in a food processor until thoroughly mixed. Spread out on roll-up trays in the dehydrator and dry at 135F for 8 hours until brittle. Break up into flakes and pack in a ziplock.
At camp, add boiling water to the flakes and stir until firm. Spread out on a plate and mold into a round pie shape. Top it off with the container of Vanilla Pudding! Enjoy!
Too bad nobody jumped on this, I'm really more of a lurker...
For safety, I always cook poultry before drying it. I've never read anything that said otherwise.
I've used this recipe the last couple seasons, except chicken jerky, but it should work just the same with turkey:
Slice it up thin, and marinate for a day in a ziplock with olive oil, lemon juice and crushed garlic. Spread out on a baking pan and bake. Then dry.
Let me know if you need any more detail than that, I'll pull out my recipe book. I'm sure there's a billion others, but that's the one I keep coming back to. Still haven't found a beef jerky recipe I love as much though
2 TB lemon juice
2 TB freshly grated onion
2 TB teriyaki sauce
1 TB white sugar
1 TB olive oil
1 TB fresh grated lemon peel
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1/4 tsp Tabasco
1 pound ground turkey
Salt to sprinkle
Mix all ingredients together with the exception of ground meat. Allow the ingredients at least 15 minutes for flavors to blend. Add ground meat. Marinate at least one hour. For longer marinating time, place in the refrigerator in a covered container or in an air-tight plastic bag. Remove from marinade container. Form into shapes and place in a drying environment. Sprinkle a little extra salt on top of the jerky while it is still moist.
1/4 cup pineapple juice
2 TB olive oil
1 TB teriyaki sauce
1 TB minced onion
1 packet jerky cure mix
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 pound chicken strips
Mix all ingredients together with the exception of strips. Allow the ingredients at least 15 minutes for flavors to blend. Add strips. Marinate at least one hour. For longer marinating time, place in the refrigerator in a covered container or in an air-tight plastic bag. Remove from marinade and place in your Food Dehydrator until properly dry and chewy, normally 6-12 hours.
Smoked Turkey Jerky Recipe
Cooked turkey is sliced thin and spiced with ginger and soy sauce to make this turkey jerky. If you do not have a dehydrator, you can place on racks inside baking sheets and use your oven's lowest temperature setting. Plan ahead for marination time.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours, 15 minutes
1/2 cup soy sauce (can use light soy sauce)
4 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon liquid smoke
2 pounds cooked turkey, sliced paper thin (turkey thighs are breasts are best)
Mix soy sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic, and liquid smoke together in a bowl. Dip turkey slices into marinade. Place dipped meat in layers in a bowl or dish. Pour remaining marinade sauce over meat. Cover tightly and let marinate in refrigerator for 6 to 12 hours. Rotate layers of meat occasionally.
Place in dehydrator until dry. While meat is drying, blot excess oil with paper towel. Yield: about 1-1/2 pounds