Wednesday, August 22
With the success of the Solar-Poached Beef and Pork Log that I prepared for the Solar Cookout, I decided to create a similar dish with some ground chicken I had on hand. This is really an ideal way of preparing meats that you can count on to be well-seasoned, moist, and easy on older teeth that have become pressure sensitive. We don't often think about it, but people who have been on long-term medication often have the side effect of sensitive and fragile teeth, making it difficult for them to enjoy many recipes we take for granted. You can't go wrong with a poached log.
Here's my recipe, but this is a time when you can feel free to use any of your own favorite spices. The cheesecloth I use has a much finer weave than the cheesecloth you buy at craft stores and/or the grocery. You can find some here. I can open mine out into a single layer and not worry about food slipping out of the weaving. And, each length can be cut in half for double usage. You can also use large cabbage leaves and/or large chard leaves but then you end up with a different type of recipe. It's all delicious; just different.
Poached Chicken Logs
1 pound ground chicken
1 cup precooked rice
1/4 cup steel cut oats
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons Hoisin sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground Mace
1/2 teaspoon ground anise
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground Stevia
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 10-ounce can chicken broth + water to cover
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat solar oven to 225°F 3-quart covered casserole
Pre-cook rice and oats together, put 1 cup in large mixing bowl and let cool.
Sauté onions and celery in olive oil over medium-high heat until softened; add to rice and oats, stir together, and let cool.
Combine all dry ingredients together before adding to cooled rice-oats mixture; add ground chicken and egg and mix thoroughly.
Lay cheesecloth on cutting board, place one third mixture on cheesecloth near bias edge and begin rolling toward opposite edge; secure each end with kitchen string or, my favorite, rubber bands. (By just laying the cheesecloth over the roll and using the cloth at either side, you can easily roll it into a loose log.) You want it to be somewhat loose inside for expansion.
This is the bias edge of fine cheesecloth.
When all logs are placed in casserole, gently pour chicken broth over top and then add enough water to just barely cover the logs. (So that I don't slow down the cooking process, I use my microwave to bring the broth and water to just under boiling before adding it to the casserole dish.)
Cover and bake in the solar oven for approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The logs have increased in size and are just above the liquid line, now. If you press your finger against one, it will feel firm with little give.
Remove logs to the cutting board and let rest for about 10 minutes before removing cheesecloth. Serve with your favorite sides. I had made a double recipe of the rice and oats combination, so used that as a starch side and used some frozen peas for color. Sometimes, I will use the stock to make a cream gravy with tarragon, but decided against it, this time. Just a little juice over the log is fine.
If there are any leftovers, this is a great mixture to add to other dishes and/or slice one-half inch thick rounds and fry, to serve with your favorite side dishes. Poaching, itself a gentle process, is perfect for solar cooking.
Posted by SharleneT at 1:30 AM