Tater Tuesday: Chicken Ranch Tater Trash-erole
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Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Tater Tuesday: Chicken Ranch Tater Trash-erole on 01/22/2008 15:31:05 MST Print View

I had braces put on today so the thought of eating is of course far down in my things to do. But still hunger is winning out over discomfort ;-)

So I figured for Tater Tuesday I would make up a batch of creamy potatoes to have for a late lunch. In this recipe if you can get organic ranch dip, do! It will make a big difference (and not be full of basically salt and MSG as the commercial big brand ones are). Dried shallots are great to pick up but if you don't have them, by all means use dried onions.

This is a recipe for when you want something easy, and that will stick to you! And in the spirit of old school casseroles, it is a trash-erole!

Chicken Ranch Tater Trash-erole:

Photobucket

In a quart freezer bag put:

3/4 cup instant mashed potatoes
1/4 cup dried hash browns
2 Tbsp instant dry milk
1 Tbsp organic Ranch dip mix
1 Tbsp diced dried shallots
1 Tbsp shelf stable Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp diced dried garlic

Also take:
1 ounce cheddar cheese
1 3 ounce can of chicken

Dice the cheese. Add 1 1/4 cups boiling water, the can of chicken (with liquid) and 3/4 of the cheese. Stir well, seal, pushing out the air and put in a cozy for 5-10 minutes. Stir again and top with the remaining cheese.

Serves 1.

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Kathleen B
(rosierabbit) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Chicken Ranch taters on 01/22/2008 20:05:32 MST Print View

Since I test recipes before I take them or praise them, and there's no time like the present, I just made this.

I did have to make a few substitutions. No ranch dip mix, so I used stroganoff mix, and I used powdered cheese to see if it would work in the interest of keeping the weight of the bag of food down for a trip. I didn't break open my package of chicken because it's expensive. Sarah - do you know a reasonable (as in price) source for freeze-dried chicken? Freeze-dried would keep the packaged weight down, but probably not the price.

Conclusion: Good! Besides not having any mushrooms in it, it has a tasty, satisfying combination of flavors, and the chicken would probably round out the craving for protein. Print and save!

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Chicken Ranch taters on 01/22/2008 22:19:21 MST Print View

Hey thanks for next weeks idea :-D Hehheh!!

On the chicken...maybe check out beprepared.com for the big cans of it? Another thought is to dry canned chicken at home, go to Costco and get the massive cans of it (uh...40 ounces?) - you could carry the dried chicken with you in a separate bag and rehydrate it before adding it in with the meals. Dehydrated canned chicken works really well, and those big cans can be affordable.

Kathleen B
(rosierabbit) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Dehydrating chicken on 01/23/2008 09:06:17 MST Print View

I wasn't sure if dehydrating chicken would make it tough, but drying hamburger in the oven on a cookie sheet has worked well, so I'll give the ol' bird a try.

Hope you adjust to your braces quickly. I've heard that the combination of braces plus certain foods, such as fungi, can cause a physiological interference with a person's ability to walk. Since you're stuck with the braces, you'd better lay off the fungus. Hah!

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Dehydrating chicken on 01/23/2008 12:18:48 MST Print View

Heh...not to worry, this girl is hiking :-D

Btw, on the chicken do use canned - it rehydrates nicely, while on the other hand...fresh chicken doesn't (unless you pressure cook it first).

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
drying chicken on 01/23/2008 13:35:36 MST Print View

chicken cooked in a slow cooker or other method with a moist sauce (such as a tomato sauce or curry) and dried with the sauce works well too - plain roasted or grilled chicken tends to be problematic on the rehydration end of things

the pressure cooker is a great idea Sarah

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Dehydrating chicken on 01/23/2008 13:59:09 MST Print View

Btw, on the chicken do use canned - it rehydrates nicely

safe to assume that includes chicken "canned" in a foil pouch?

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: drying chicken on 01/23/2008 14:02:12 MST Print View

>> grilled chicken tends to be problematic on the rehydration end of things

For anybody that has not tried this, imagine eating a tasty meal with a hearty gravel texture. Lesson learned: if you buy a cookbook, follow the recipe. And if your spouse who knows about cooking tells you "I don't think that will work in your dehydrator", then don't try the results in her presence as she watches you spit out those chick'n'rocks.

At least she enjoyed my learning experience. You wives are so evil when you're right : )

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Foil chicken on 01/23/2008 15:44:59 MST Print View

Yep! It is the same as the canned version :-)

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
chicken on 01/23/2008 22:31:54 MST Print View

also shredding the meat (if you are drying something with a sauce) helps a great deal

Kathleen B
(rosierabbit) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Rehydrating chicken success on 01/24/2008 13:27:36 MST Print View

Well, blow me down. It actually worked. Last night I dehydrated my little foil pouch of chicken on a cookie sheet on the lowest setting of the oven. It only took 1.5 hours. Today I brought it to work for lunch, poured boiling water into it, and it inflated perfectly back into real chicken.

I will definitely go to Costco to get a bunch of canned chicken to dehydrate. Just knowing how to do this opens up a bigger world of combinations of dehydrated foods for edible dinners in the backcountry for me.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Rehydrating chicken success on 01/24/2008 13:57:47 MST Print View

Heh! I knew you'd like it (ok, I was hoping you would!) :-)

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: Rehydrating chicken failure on 01/24/2008 18:08:42 MST Print View

Another thing not to try...

Dehydrate several different frozen meals on different trays carefully. I had a cajun chicken veg mix on top tray, an Italian pasta next, a few more trays of various veggies. Over night during the dehydation, the cajun pieces strank and fell through. Many of the others did the same. So in the end, there was a collision of conflicting tastes.

The rehydration worked for most of the veggies and pasta that did not drop. However, the bottom tray's mix of corn and chicken and unidentified others, was worse than the grilled attempt.

Anyone just getting into this should buy these books AND FOLLOW the instructions.

Freezer Bag Cooking

A Fork In The Trail

(you can get them on Amazon.com)

Note: Don't deviate if you don't know anything about cooking unless you seek to amuse your spouse.

Edited by gmatthews on 01/24/2008 18:13:34 MST.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Dehydrating on 01/24/2008 20:02:18 MST Print View

On our website we do have a page just on dehydrating 101, with photos and easy to follow directions :-)

http://www.freezerbagcooking.com/dehydrating.htm

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Re: Dehydrating on 01/25/2008 23:29:43 MST Print View

Sarah,
The pressure cooking idea is great. I most always pressure cook chicken. Layer frozen chicken in the pressure cooker with sage, salt and pepper. Pour in a can of beer and maybe a little red wine. When the weight begins to rattle continuously turn the heat down to get an occasional rattle and begin timing. Twenty five minutes later take it off the stove, run under cold water and remove the weight before opening. Debone chicken and shred for dehydrating.

I can cook some nice Golden Pearl rice in the leftover liquor and get really tasty rice to dehydrate also.

This means I can get all the flavor and texture of dark meat for a trail-side taste delight.

Thanks for all you do. I sleep better every night on the trail with your tasty food in my belly.

Edited by redleader on 01/25/2008 23:31:42 MST.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re:Drool on 01/26/2008 15:58:52 MST Print View

Ok, that sounds SO good! Pressure cooking is so good :-D

Laurie Ann March
(Laurie_Ann) - F

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Re: Re: Re: Rehydrating chicken failure on 01/29/2008 06:16:47 MST Print View

Thanks George - Also for anyone who has bought or is planning to buy A Fork in the Trail. There are printable camp instructions at www.aforkinthetrail.com. I figured it would be a good idea and easier for people.