This blog post is an addendum to this post about our recent rooster slaughter.
* please see the safety warnings at the bottom of this post*
The chicken jerky experiment was a huge hit. I found a recipe on the Yankee Kitchen Ninja website for a an Asian inspired marinade. The marinade smelled delicious and John raved about the taste when the jerky was complete.
I will paste the recipe below (originally posted here), then make comments about changes I made.
Chicken Jerky (adapted from Preserve It Naturally: The Complete Guide to Food Dehydration)
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast tenders, sliced into strips about 1/4 to 1/8 of an inch thick
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Mix all the ingredients except the chicken in a gallon-sized ziplock bag. Add the chicken strips, seal the bag and ensure that all the meat gets coated with marinade. Place bag in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
Place the meat strips on dehydrator trays. Dry at 145 degrees for 5-7 hours or until completely dry (length of drying time depends on thickness of strips).
We used much less meat since this was just a trial run. I used organic soy sauce, lemon juice, crushed fresh garlic, black pepper and fresh ground ginger. The fresh garlic and ginger being the only changes to the recipe. I did make the full marinade and used the smaller amount of meat and left it in the fridge a bit longer, so our jerky had a stronger flavor than the recipe used above would. I think I would triple the recipe above if we were to make it using the full amount of chicken!
My friend Mariana gave some warnings and advice about using this recipe when I posted it online – please read her comments below:
And by the way, it’s not exactly that chicken spoils easy (it doesn’t spoil any easier than any other meat), it’s that commercial poultry is subject to procedures during processing that just about assure that every commercial bird you get is tainted with Salmonella. Salmonella can reproduce rapidly if food is kept in the temperature “danger zone” but remember, “FATTOM” — in order to control for pathogens, temps are not the only thing we have control over. FATTOM stands for “Food” (i.e. bacteria need something to eat in order to proliferate), “Acid/alkaline” (salmonella likes a pH around 6.5 to 7.5 IIRC), “Time” (bacteria double and double again very quickly over time, salmonella is pretty rapid), “Oxygen” (whether or not the pathogen is aerobic, anaerobic or facultative — in this case, Salmonella is facultative, meaning it will grow under BOTH conditions, but better under lower O2 conditions), and LASTLY, M – for “Moisture”. The only reason you can even MAKE jerky of any kind is because bacteria need moisture. Because Salmonella has a high moisture requirement (called “water activity”) it is easier to kill the salmonella by drying it out, HOWEVER, please be very aware of cross contamination (which can happen even with your own birds, non-commercial!), since you might have your chicken dried out, but if Salmonella gets on other foods, they may not be subject to the same controls (i.e., there’s no such thing as chocolate jerky, and salmonella loves things like chocolate, nut butters, etc.). Also, if you plan to rehydrate meats before using them, it’s probably a good idea to bring them to proper temp in order to kill bacteria. I don’t mean to be a party pooper, but I learned all about this in school this year and it was a real eye opener. Unsurprisingly, factory farming practices are THE WORST public health hazards, promoting anti-biotic resistant strains of ALL bad bacteria. We’ve painted ourselves into a food corner……Today’s food safety lecture is over…….. forewarned is forearmed, and we love love forearmed!!!