Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Experiments in Canned Meat, Part Four: Switch hitter

I've used both the ground beef and the chicken breasts that I canned in December, but I thought it was time to switch it up a little. When I started to gather together the ingredients for tonight's dinner, I also got out some store-bought canned chicken.

The ingredients for my casserole including....duh, duh, DUH... Store-bought canned meat

It had been sitting in my storage room for months. Canning my own meat was one thing. Eating what some random factory canned was another. For all I knew, it could have both the taste and consistency of chum. Nothing says good eats like putting chum in your casserole.

It looked OK and didn't smell bad, either. It didn't overwhelm the kitchen with the dog food-like odor Hubby Dear loves so much.

What it looked like straight out of the can

It definitely was in much smaller chunks than the chicken I canned. Take a look at the difference:

My home-canned chicken

I looked over the meat carefully, trimming away some fat. I didn't have to do that with my home canned meat.

Into the my chicken and rice casserole it went. (If you're interested, you can find the recipe and a much better photo here.)  Here's what it looked like when it was ready to serve.

Baked Chicken and Rice with Black Beans with my secret ingredient

As usual, I didn't announce that I had used canned meat. When Hubby Dear went for a second helping, I thought everyone was none the wiser. That couldn't have been further from the truth. First of all, Hubby Dear is getting to the point where he's starting to analyze every dish I present to him. Secondly, Hubby Dear noticed the softer texture, but even more obvious was a tinny taste that my home canned meat doesn't have.

The consensus was clear: home-canned meat is indeed better than the store bought kind. It is so easy to can your own that there's no reason not to do it. (Did you miss my meat canning mini-tutorial? Check it out here.)

So, if you haven't tried it yet, get thee a pressure canner and some canning jars and get to work!

1 comment:

  1. Chicken enchiladas made with canned chicken are almost indistinguishable from the recipe made with fresh chicken. Plus, delish!