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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Lemon Peppered Chicken & More on Chicken

As promised, here are some of the things I made with the chicken breasts from the previous entry. One goal when buying meat or poultry on sale is preserving it for later use. I like to have just enough that I can process both cooked and raw in the same day. As you read through the methods for the following chicken preparations, you will notice I specify a few things: light olive oil, pre-heated stainless steel fry pan and vacuum sealing. As many of you who follow my blogs know, I strongly recommend using a vacuum sealer. For the new readers, I have the FoodSaver® V2480. The reason I recommend using a vacuum sealer can be found in the archives here along with a short video clip and usage. Keep checking back as I will be doing more chicken dishes to take advantage of this sale. My husband picked up another 3.56 kg of chicken breasts today at a total cost was $15.64 so I'll be posting as I make the dishes. Tomorrow's post, time permitting will be chicken & dumplings ala Garden Gnome style.

Lemon Peppered Chicken

Lemon Peppered chicken is very easy to make. When prepared the way I make it, the result is a flavourful and moist chicken. The finished chicken can be cooled, flash froze then vacuum sealed.

I start with a pre-heated stainless steel fry pan and light olive oil on high heat using bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. The chicken is placed in the hot fry pan, skin side down and seared. The chicken is turned, seasoned with MSG-free Lemon Pepper Blend (Tone's) and seared on the bone side. Then I remove the chicken, drain and place on a two piece broiling pan with enough water in the bottom tray to prevent smoking. The chicken is baked at 350ยบ F until the juices are clear when pressed or a slight give when pressed with the thumb.


Chicken for Strips, Vacuum Sealed Chicken, Chicken Stock

Chicken for Strips

I like to keep vacuum sealed chicken strips in the freezer. These can then be thawed and used either cold or warmed for wraps or salads. They are especially appreciated during the hot summer days when I don't want to heat up the kitchen by cooking. I preheat about 2 tbsp of light olive oil in a stainless steel fry pan. The boneless, skinless chicken breasts are placed in the pan when it is hot. I reduce the heat to medium high and let the chicken breasts cook until they can be moved on the pan without sticking. Then I turn the chicken breasts onto the uncooked side and repeat. Sometimes I add a seasoning like Old Bay at this point. When the chicken is finished cooking, I remove from the pan, cool, cut into strips, flash froze*, then vacuum seal.

Vacuum Sealed Chicken: Another nice thing to have on hand in your freezer is boneless, skinless chicken pieces. They are a homemade convenience item sure to please and unlike some chicken piece products, they are all chicken! I like to keep a few packages on hand. They can be made into chicken poppers (recipe to be posted later this week), chicken nuggets or added as an ingredient for other dishes. I flash freeze* them raw but they could easily be pre-cooked similar to the chicken strips.

*flash freezing: This method is used for freezing foods you want to keep separate or moist pre-cooked foods that are to be vacuum sealed. Spread the food onto a freezing tray. Allow to freeze then vacuum seal.


Chicken Stock

Now having to remove the skin and bones from such lovely chicken breasts is very easy. The first thought that came to mind is stock using the skin and bones. My chicken stock is fairly easy to make. I put the bones and bits in a large stockpot, cover with water by about 3 inches and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. I add 2 stalks celery cut into 3 inch pieces, 2 carrots washed but not peeled cut into large chunks, one medium onion washed but skin still on (adds a natural yellow colour to the stock), and one bay leaf or a couple sprigs of thyme. I bring the mixture back to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer and let simmer for an hour or so adding filtered water as needed. The mixture is cooled and de-fatted. Then I strain the mixture placing the bone and vegetable pieces in another pot and returning the stock to the original pot. The bone mixture is again covered with water, brought to a hard boil, simmered about 10 minutes then strained into the original pot. Before bringing the original pot of stock to a boil for canning, I strain it twice through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. The stock is then brought to a boil and ladled into hot jars. It is processed at 10 lb pressure 20 minutes for pints in a pressure canner. I like the pint size jars for stock because I tend to use the entire jar at once instead of having left overs.


6 food lovers commented:

Lonnie said...

I cannot stopdrooling....whaaaa...they don'thave this in China!

Jodi Renshaw said...

Hello friend, I thought you might be interested in this entry on my blog:
http://thishandmadelife.blogspot.com/2007/05/its-official-x2.html
It seems that I may be looking for some meat recipes :)

Love,
Jodi

Garden Gnome said...

Thanks Lonnie! If you mean lemon pepper is not available in China, you might be able to find it online.

Garden Gnome said...

Hi Jodi, I left a comment on your blog. I hope it went through ok as Blogger was having a problem this morning so I'll check in a bit to make sure it went through ok.

Ruth said...

Thank you for this great post on bulk chicken preparations! Also, the lemon chicken looks fantastic. I can't wait to try it.

Garden Gnome said...

You are quite welcome Ruth. The lemon pepper chicken is so easy and quite tasty. I hope you enjoy it.