Friday, January 29, 2010

Poultritarian


My father used to be an avid hunter. Every fall he and his hunting buddies would don their vibrant orange vests and head off to the hills in hopes of bringing home a deer. On a good year (in my opinion), they would come home empty-handed. On a bad year (in my opinion), there would be a bloody carcass on the back porch to horrify me and my friends as the men skinned and butchered the deer.

I understand that it wasn't the thrill of the hunt that lured my father to the mountains every year. It was economic necessity. The single salary of a teacher doesn't stretch far for a family of 5 and having meat for a year laid up in the freezer was a godsend. It's just that I hated venison. I didn't like the taste or the texture and having for every meal made me like it even less. Venison steak, venison stew, venison sausage, venison kababs......you get my drift.

The deer glut in my youth perhaps contributed to my current aversion to red meat. It's nothing moral for me, I just don't really care for it. I am a proud poultritarian. Almost all the meat I cook with is either chicken or turkey, with the occasional piggy product thrown in for flavor.

My daughter loves beef jerky and asked if we could make some. Since I don't buy beef, I made my own version. Chicken jerky. Turkey jerky works really well, too. It's way cheaper than what's in the store (always a boon for tough economic times) and since I don't have to go hunt my own chickens, I consider it a win-win.

Chicken Jerky

1/4 cup liquid smoke
1-1/2 cups soy sauce
1/4 lb (1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp) brown sugar
Chicken or Turkey breasts, very thinly sliced


Mix the first three ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the thinly sliced meat and let stand for at least 10 minutes. Drain and place the strips in a food dehydrator. Dry at 240 degrees for at least 4 hours, until the meat is dry to touch, but still pliable. Thinner slices will dry faster than thicker ones, so check it and remove pieces as they are done so they don't become brittle.

Note: to make it easier to achieve thin slices, partially freeze the chicken breasts.

15 comments:

Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

I think the men in my house would (pardon the pun) gobble that up in no time. I have to put it on my "to make" list. Thanks!

Jennifer Jo said...

Doesn't the dehydrating process stink the house up?

Jennifer Jo said...

Oh, and Lynn, I was just visited Aimee's site and read all about Simple Bites and I'm thrilled to see you'll be writing about homeschooling (as well as other stuff, I suppose). I'll be interested to hear what you have to say...

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Lisa - your puns are always welcome here.

Jennifer Jo - Actually, the house smells mouthwatering. It's like a barbecue going on in the house. I have to swat my husband and kids away from the dehydrator because they want to keep "checking to see if it's done yet." If the smell bugs you, though, you could always put it in the garage. In the summer, we'll run the dehydrator on the back deck.

My writing for Simple Bites will be food stuff. I think they have a whole staff of homeschool experts for the homeschool side of stuff. I'm an expert only in that both I and my children have survived this long. ;-)

Marysol said...

I think I need a new prescription for reading glasses. I thought I was looking at feathers.
Yet, you gotta admit I was close.

I love the fact that I, too, am a "Poultritarian." Even if I had never before heard the term.

The chicken jerky sounds good, and looks like it would be fun to gnaw.

Enjoy the weekend Lynn!

Barbara said...

I confess I had no idea what was in your first photo. Had a real guessing game going on here. They ranged from tissue paper to thinly sliced and fried potatoes. Boy were we wrong!
Super idea to make chicken jerky! I bet it was really good, too.
My father was a duck and pheasant hunter and luckily, I never got sick of it. I have had venison and wasn't crazy about it. You can't be brought up in Michigan and not be a hunter...or at least not when I lived there.
Great post!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Love the title of your post! What a beautiful photo of your chicken jerky - I thought I was looking at feathers at first also.

The chicken jerky sounds like it would be really tasty. Wish I had a hydrator.

grace said...

we are of the same mind, lynn. i always laughed maniacally to myself when my brothers came home from hunting empty-handed. i think i must be borderline poultritarian as well. this is an interesting idea for a jerky, but i think we can all agree that turkey jerky is the best simply because the name rhymes. :)

Melinda said...

I love beef jerky. But I think I may have only ever tried turkey jerky on a trip home in the 80's. I have never had chicken jerky.
I also grew up with venison. Beef tasted funny to me because we had so much venison.

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

What a great idea - and I love your photos! So effective!

hobby baker said...

Ooooo, my hubby LOVES jerky and that is one thing I haven't made with my dehydrator yet. Gotta try this one out.

Bellini Valli said...

That makes me a poultritarian as well since red meat does not make it to my table much...no steak and potatoes there...but some lovely chicken jerky would do the trick.

vickys said...

This is so fascinating! I never knew you could make your own jerky. It just sounds so...difficult. Well I don't take beef either so this is perfect!

Abby said...

My best friend's dad was also an avid hunter, and I never knew exactly what I was eating at their house when I was a kid! I know I ate a lot of spaghetti with venison sauce... (but the tomatoes masked the flavor for me!)

A co-worker always brings in deer-meat jerky, and I actually enjoy it. But I also like Slim Jims so I'm really not the person to talk to! Can't believe I just admitted that...

Anonymous said...

Teilweise ziemlich verwirrend!