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  • How To Freeze Dry Chicken?


    misha

    Freeze-drying chicken is a phenomenal way to preserve it for a very long time and maintain most of the moisture content, flavour and texture even when fully rehydrated, which makes it a great selection for your emergency food storage, light and fast camp food, or some quick and convenient cooking at home. The process consists of freezing the chicken, then lowering the surrounding pressure until moisture in the chicken (which is frozen) starts to sublimate completely, changing state from ice to vapour without ever becoming a liquid. The freeze-dried chicken retains much of the original flavour and nutrients and greatly diminishes in weight, and can be stored for several years without being refrigerated, provided it remains completely airdocked. Here’s a detailed process on how to freeze-dry your own chicken at home.

    Benefits of Freeze-Drying Chicken

    Extremely Long Shelf Life: 25 Years+:

    Properly stored freeze-dried chicken can retain the vast majority of its nutritional value and taste for 25 years (and possibly even longer).

    Nutrient Retention:

    A serving of freeze-dried chicken still contains 90 per cent of the protein, 97 per cent of its vitamins and minerals, and almost all of the choline found in fresh chicken.

    Lightweight and portable. Moisture, once removed, makes chicken freeze-dried, rendering it ready to be packed into a backpack for an overnight camping adventure, or stashed away in an emergency kit.

    Convenience:

    chicken is underutilised, so the freeze-dried version is fast and easy to rehydrate (and you can just quickly boil tap water to add, so there’s no need for a pot and fire or even refrigeration or thawing).

    Equipment and Ingredients

    A freeze dryer:

    Expensive but essential for real chicken, a domestic freeze dryer doesn’t dehydrate. Freeze-drying devices work through the removal of water by vacuum and very low temperature that a kitchen appliance cannot create.

    Raw or cooked chicken:

    Raw and cooked chicken both rehydrate well in the freeze-drying process, but the cooked chicken will rehydrate more evenly, and can be eaten right out of the bag the moment it has rehydrated.

    Preparing the Chicken for Freeze-Drying

    Cook The CHICKEN (OPTIONAL, RECOMMENDED):

    Like the insects, it is your choice whether to cook the chicken prior to freeze-drying, but I recommend cooking the chicken prior to feeding your freeze-dried inventory to your family. Cooking will not only make it safer, but it will also decrease the amount of time it takes to rehydrate. You can bake, boil, or steam the chicken. If you use too much oil or fat, don’t use that batch for your survival food. Remember, fat does not freeze-dry well.

    Slice:

    Slice the chicken into even pieces so all the pieces freeze-dry the same. The pieces must be small enough to be easily packed into jars. The smaller the pieces, the faster they freeze-dry.

    Pre-freeze:

    Place the pieces of chicken uncovered on a tray in a single layer and put in the freezer. Leave until solid. This pre-freeze speeds up the process and preserves quality.

    Freeze-Drying Process

    Load the Freeze Dryer:

    Once you’ve frozen the chicken pieces, lay them on the racks of the freeze dryer, leaving room for a space of air to flow between them. Don’t put the racks too close together either as this would defeat the purpose.

    Press Start on the Freeze Dryer:

    Learn how to operate your freeze dryer by following the machine’s instructions. Most plans account for about 24 to 36 hours of freeze drying time depending on the thickness of the chicken and the year it was made.

    Check for Dryness:

    When your drying time is up, take out a couple bits of chicken to check if they are bone dry. There shouldn’t be any cold spots which would mean that the meat has moisture in it. If your chicken isn’t bone dry, put it back in on the drying cycle for another couple of hours.

    Storing Freeze-Dried Chicken

    Tip:

    Bring the freeze-dried chicken to room temperature prior to packing for storage.

    Packaging:

    Seal in vacuum-sealed bags. Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers work well too. For long-term storage seal in a additional airtight container.

    Use-by date:

    30 years from the date of purchase Storage: Store the packaged freeze-dried chicken in a cool, dark place. When stored properly, it can last decades.

    Rehydrating and Using Freeze-Dried Chicken

    To reconstitute freeze-dried chicken, simply submerge it in warm-hot water for 5 to 10 minutes or until it reaches the desired consistency, then use it as you would use fresh chicken in any recipe, from soups and stews to casseroles and salads.



     

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