You might have snacked on beef jerky before, but have you ever tried chicken jerky? When it was first introduced, chicken jerky was mostly used as a delicacy for dogs. However, as its prevalence grew, homemade chicken jerky for humans became as equally loved as other jerky varieties.
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Table of Contents
Ingredients And Tools Needed To Make Chicken Jerky
Making homemade chicken jerky for humans is a fun way to spice up your culinary experience.
You will need:
Knife Or Meat Slicer
For starters, get yourself a very sharp meat slicer or straight-blade butcher’s knife. The essence of a sharp knife is to ensure some level of consistency with the chicken slices you cut.
Assorted Chicken Slices
There is no chicken jerky without the chicken itself, right? Source for skinless and boneless chicken breasts from reputable stores selling high-quality chicken jerky.
Having prepared your chicken pieces, the next thing you need is a marinade solution that is rich in flavor. To bring out the natural tanginess in chicken, blend together Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, garlic powder, honey, and black pepper to your taste.
You will need to use an oven or meat dehydrator. Set the temperature to ‘low’ mode to ensure that the chicken pieces dry and marinate slowly. If you are using an oven, you might want to include baking sheets to your list of items.
Choosing The Right Chicken
Before you can make savory chicken jerky, you need to get yourself the right chicken pieces. Organic chicken leaves you with a delightful snack that has enhanced texture and superior taste. While you can use any chicken cuts, it is better if you opt for boneless, whole, skinless chicken breasts. You can shop at the Jerky Brands to get the right chicken jerky.
Chicken breast meat makes a brilliant choice since it is less fatty. Too much fat content in meat can affect the jerky’s drying process, as it tends to be greasy and sticky. Chicken breasts are also larger in size as compared to other chicken parts, which means that slicing them is much easier to hack.
Preparing The Chicken
- Freeze the chicken breasts for an hour or so before cutting it into even slices. This helps to firm up the meat for easier slicing.
- Try getting as consistent pieces as possible for optimal drying and dehydration.
- Use a super sharp meat slicer or butcher’s knife. When cutting the meat, use a smooth motion and make sure that you make single long cuts.
- Try cutting quarter-inch thick slices. If the slices are any thicker, they can take longer to dry, or not dry at all at the center.
Marinating The Chicken
For chicken jerky, the most commonly used marinade is made by blending together soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and liquid aminos. Other ingredients used include garlic powder, black pepper, and honey. If you will be using honey, you can incorporate chipotle as a seasoning that will complement the honey’s natural sweetness. The bottom line is you’ll want some flavor in your jerky, as it’s always import to eat well when you’re in the outdoors!
Amp up the jerky’s flavor by adding in a couple of liquid smoke drops into the marinade solution. This contributes majorly to the chicken’s tanginess and smokiness. Be sure to throw in some curing salt to kill any harmful bacteria that might be present in the meat.
Use a large bowl to mix up all the ingredients into a consistent marinade. Pour this solution on the chicken slices. Gently massage the strips, ensuring that all the pieces are evenly coated in the marinade blend.
Do not let the jerky sit in the fridge for more than 24 hours as the jerky can start breaking down.
Dehydrating The Chicken
While there are several ways of dehydrating your chicken, the methods below are the most prevalent ones:
- Using an oven that has been preheated to low temperature
- Dehydrating over a meat dehydrator for the best results
- Drying the chicken slices over a smoker. This method, however, is more time-consuming and requires some little bit of labor.
Before you start the dehydration process, make sure that the residual marinade solution is drained off. To do this, use a strainer or colander. If you don’t have these tools, you can simply shake off the marinade from the cut strips, but do not wipe it off.
Also, make sure that the slices do not overlap as this would lead to constrained airflow between the pieces, affecting the drying process.
Most importantly, always follow jerky food safety guidelines when dehydrating.
Storing And Preserving The Chicken Jerky
- Keep the jerky out of any source of direct light.
- Store the jerky in an air-tight container
- Refrigerate the chicken jerky to increase its shelf life
- Do not consume the jerky after a week as it could have run rancid by then
Chicken Jerky – Conclusion
DIY chicken jerky recipes are a fun way to get everyone at home involved. The beauty with these jerky recipes is that you can get as experimental as you want without compromising the meat’s overall quality.
Are you a meat enthusiast? Have you ever made your chicken jerky at home? How was the experience?