One of my pet peeves in grocery buying is lunch meat. Looking for healthy choices is quite a chore, especially in the local mainstream stores such as Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons, etc. I was excited when I found Oscar Meyer had natural choices that were not made with preservatives. These were the first I had seen and were not “bad” but were not what I would call tasty either and still have additives of some kind, although not as bad. Nonetheless, if you need to make lunches, it was a healthier choice than some others with Sodium Nitrate in them.
So, for several years now I have been purchasing the roasted chicken, smoked ham, etc. from Walmart lunch meat section. The cost is about $4.00 for a small amount of thinly sliced meats that are almost tasteless (except for the ham).
Then, this year, I ran across some improved quality and taste with no preservatives from a Tyson Chicken product, Chicken Bol0gna in various flavors, including BBQ style. I found these to be great tasting, but a little hefty on the salt but the cost factor is about the same as Oscar Meyer, the food is purer, more natural tasting in this Tyson Chicken brand.
Still not really satisfied with what the choices are for lunch if you are a person to pack a lunch every day, I pulled out my “Make your Own Groceries” book from back in the 70’s. Wouldn’t ya know it? there it was! homemade lunch meat! I began to read through the recipes and decided I would try the chicken one first. I had all the ingredients and it seemed simple to follow. To my utter amazement, it worked and 2 lbs made enough of chicken loaf to slice and prepare about 18 sandwiches! No kidding!
You gotta be a homemade loving person to do this. Just the thought of it sounds a little over-board, but does this say something about our society now? Have we begun to take all the processed foods, even the healthier ones, for granted that is what we eat?
I wanted to share this experience with you because it was a very enlightening and positive step, empowering if’ you will. First, once I compiled the chicken and veges and started the pot to boiling the whole house smelled like the beginning of the holidays! deep, rich smell of whole veges and chicken cooking with spices and water rivaling the smell of Thanksgiving! So, I put together what could be called the recipe for “Stone Soup” like the children’s reader of long ago. There is no stone in there, but the smell of these veges cooking will bring you back to your humble beginnings.
Here it is: 2 pounds of chicken, washed and skinned, bone-in. Place the veges on the bottom. Place the lemons right on top as well as the Parsley.
3 medium sized orange carrots
3-4 long pieces of celery even with leaves
4-6 whole peppercorns
1 large quartered only onion
3 slices of lemon (washed well and thinly sliced)
2 large tablespoons of dried Parsley
Large stew pot
enough water to almost cover the entire mix
Knox gelatin (2 packets)
Bring this to boil.
slow it down to 1 or 2 to simmer for 2 hours
When its has completed this 1st step, remove the chicken from the rest of the pot and set aside to cool a little. Take off the skin of the meat (if any), take out bones and other little unnecessary pieces, keeping the pure meat.
In clean pot, take your clean hands and start pulling meat apart and hand shredding it. Once this looks pretty well done, take most of the broth from the other pot and pour it through a wire mesh strainer (quicker) or you can use cheesecloth. If cheesecloth, throw away the cloth when finished with it.
Now, back to your clean pot with the shredded meat. Add about 2 cups of clean strained broth to this pot and stir into the meat until it disappears, looks almost like pudding, not soupy though. Turn on the heat and heat the mixture through. Turn off the heat, remove the pot and add two packets of Knox unflavored gelatin and now set the timer for 3 minutes. Stir this vigorously for 3 minutes. You can rest about every minute. You can now add some garlic, salt, pepper or whatever spice you like to taste. Pour this into an 8″ long x 2 or 3″ deep loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours.
You will be amazed! You can slice about 1/4″ thick, 2 slices per sandwich and this will last you through about 18 sandwiches. Tastes best with mustard and sweet onion, perhaps relish and lettuce. This does not taste good with mayo. Don’t even try it.
The recipe says this will last in the refrigerator for 2 weeks. I believe it. Still eating off the 1st loaf I made about 10 days ago.
Now, the day you make this, start early so that when you get ready to put it together, you can serve your dinner as a chicken soup, probably serves 4. You will not regret it! What a savings as well as great taste! About $3.00 for 18 sandwiches worth of this recipe. Only one thing I did not understand, the recipe said do not freeze it. Okay. That’s fine. There are several others using lamb, beef and turkey. You can use this recipe and just use turkey instead of chicken. Check back for more recipes of make your own sandwich meat!
Chemical free, all natural cooking! Umm Umm Good!