Wednesday, August 22

Poached Chicken Logs - Solar Style

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 egg
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. 



  1. hi, dearh
    This sounds delish.....a bit Turkish/Greek/ favorite cuisine.
    I may just try it without the Solar oven. Please forgive. of my pet charities is Solar Cooking Intl which teaches people in 3rd world countries to use Solar and supplies the ovens. Do you know of them?

    1. Oh, Lo, do try it without the solar oven and use your conventional oven no higher than 250F. Believe me, it will cook. The High on a crockpot is only 190F. In fact, if you cook at 250F most of the time, it will bring your utility bill down quite a bit. All my recipes can be done in a conventional oven. I rarely change anything for solar cooking. Let me know. And, yes, I'm a member of Solar Cooking Intl and so happy to discover we share a very important cause. I knew we were of one blood!

  2. wow... I think I say it every time I stop by... you never cease to amaze me! YUM!

    1. Thank you, Paloma. You're quite awesome, yourself! Thanks for stopping by and have a great day.

  3. Ohhhhhh, I don't have problems with my teeth and this sound delicious, as does the gravy with tarragon.

    1. Well, this has enough texture that you feel you're eating meat, but it's never tough! And, go ahead and make the gravy -- yummmmm! Thanks for stopping by. Always love hearing from you.

  4. what an amazing technique! thank you! You've taught me a thing or two there. :)

    1. If you try it, you're gonna love it. Everything is so tasty. Depending on the binder used, it will either crumble like scrambled hamburger or stay firm for slicing. Either way, it's delicious. Thanks for stopping by. Now, get back to those wonderful wedding cake toppers that you make. Holidays will be here, in no time!


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