In an effort to clean out our freezers for the upcoming gardening, chicken and turkey “season”, I have been making a lot of jerky lately.
My kids love it, my hubby loves it, and the dog loves it as much as she can. Well, when no one is looking anyway. After all the canning of chicken, (you can read that here) making of soup for the pantry (read that here) and broth galore,(read how I can my broth here) I needed to do something else with it. So, chicken jerky came to be in our home.
When I am cutting up a whole chicken, I usually save the breasts for later meals.
I also de-bone the thighs and use them like the breasts when I can. They are more versatile in recipes than the legs are, at least to me. So, it’s mainly leg meat I am using here. What you will need to do is cut very carefully down the leg meat and slice it in 1/2. Then, cut the main part of the meat off the bone. You will want to be using a very sharp knife for this, as it will minimize your risk of injury from it slipping.
The leg meat has a lot of tendons, and you will want to make sure to take as much off as you can.
This can easily be done with a sharp knife, and just cutting it as close to the meat as possible. Once you have your meat cut off the bones, stick the bones in some water and make some broth. Next, you will want to soak your meat in a marinade overnight.
I used my father’s recipe for beef jerky, tweaking it some for chicken.
What you need:
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
Simply add all the ingredients in a large bowl, and toss the chicken in. Stir to coat all the pieces, and allow to marinate for 12-24 hours.
Once the pieces have marinated
simply remove them, and place them on a dehydrator sheet. You can find the one I use here and dehydrate on medium high (145) for 12-24 hours. You do NOT want to be sampling this until it’s fully dry, or the germs may not be all killed. This is a great time to add beef jerky that the kids won’t touch, by the way. After 24 hours, check the pieces. They need to nearly break when you bend them. This way, you know the water is all out. Otherwise, you risk mold. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 months. Honestly, though, I haven’t had a batch last longer than a week…it’s that good!