Tuesday, March 27, 2012

White Chicken Chili Verde...Meal in a Jar (52 Method Continues)

This is a new one! How can a jar, packed with dry ingredients (including beans and real chicken!) be shelf stable 7-10 years and...
 ...end up looking like this in 20-25 minutes?  I didn't even have to cook the meat or anything! Savory with a hint of lime juice, green chiles, and lean white meat chicken. It's a hearty satisfying meal that will stick with you for a while. Add to that the fact that it's also very low fat and freak! Freak! Freak! I'm a totally happy girl!

My  Meals in a jar will be the theme all week! So, if you like what you  see, plan on visiting all week. I'll try to have at least 4 new posts up this week with new recipes and some that I've re-vised to be more natural and user-friendly. If you are new to the meals in a jar, go here and get some details on how the meals are done as well as the basic safety guidelines. If your scroll through the rest of the  posts, there are a lot more recipes, ideas, and helpful tips when making the meals. I answer a lot of questions in the comment sections as well. If I had to re-cap each detail in each  new post, it would take a lot of time and space. So. That being said there are a few things I will always re-cap in each post.

1. You will be using a method some have called "dry pack canning" but it's actually called Vacuum packing. No liquid or pressure canning is necessary. If you opt to use the freeze dried meat in the recipes  NOTE: The repacking of Freeze Dried Meat must be done within 24-48 hours of opening the can and must be done in a dry environment. Once repacked you must use an oxygen absorber to make sure there is a vacuum oxygen-free environment. I recommend using a 300 cc oxygen absorber for each jar. This will make the vacuum packing effective. You can use a Food Saver with a jar attachment for this in place of the oxygen absorber but will need to make sure your machine is designed to be used with the jar attachment. Some of the food Savers are called "meal savers" and are actually not designed to use with the attachment. I called the FoodSaver company myself to be sure that the attachment I had was right for the machine I was using

2. You can also pack in mylar bags (the ones that are silver-colored), but again need to use the oxygen absorber. This size I use is designed to absorb a gallon size amount of air, but I'd rather err on the side of over-vacuum than not enough. No. You can't use the foodSaver clear plastic bags for long term storage. They are not designed for that purpose. When I say "long term" I'm talking 3-5 years. 

3. Enjoy. Share these recipes with your friend! Get the word out that they are here!  PLEASE...make sure my name stays with the recipes.  Try to think how it would feel if you had worked on the recipes yourself. You'd want not only the credit, but also a way for people to contact you if they had questions. I ask you to please be mindful of that. Plus, they are my copy-written work and that is just the law. Thanks. 

Today I'm sharing my newest recipe for White Chicken Chili Verde!
Troy at Preparing Wisely in Mesa, AZ had these quick cook Whole navy beans in the store. I was so excited to see them! I know I'm a food storage geek when I squeal in a store over beans. For the record, Troy still can't hear out of his left ear. I bought two cans of them a week ago and have enjoyed playing with them in my recipes. I'm totally impressed with how firm and perfect the little beans turn out when cooked. Yes, they also only take 20 minutes to cook so they're perfect for the meal-in-a-jar scenario. 

Here's what they look like in the can. 
 If you want to make your own quick cook beans from beans you have on-hand, see my tutorial here.  One thing Troy also had was Freeze Dried Green Chiles! Holy cow! That's awesome! My brain just started thinking of all the recipes I use every day that call for those little bad-boy green chiles of love. Oh so stinkin' excited! They are made by THRIVE and yes, no added chemicals or preservative.  
I've used Chicken bullion in a few of my recipes. The one I prefer is called HACO chicken base because it is vegetable based, lower in salt and has no MSG. It's also got a really good flavor. It costs more than the big brown jars...but the flavor is remarkably better. To me, it's worth the extra cost because of how much better it tastes. 
 The Green chiles are pretty fine chopped, but also don't have the seeds, so the heat is a lot lower than if they were packed with their seeds.  You may need to make the recipe once and see if you need to adjust your heat level.  
Chef Tess' White Chicken Chili Verde in a Jar
2 cups quick cook white navy beans
1 cup Freeze Dried Chicken
1/2 cup Freeze dried diced green chilies
1/2 cup dehydrated onion
1/4 Freeze Dried Celery (dehydrated will work, I just prefer the flavor of the freeze-dried here)
1tsp HACO chicken base
1T Lime Juice Powder 
1T Chef Tess Southwest Fajita Seasoning
Jar Directions: Layer ingredients in a wide mouth quart size mason jar, top with an oxygen absorber (note that oxygen absorbers need to be sealed within 20 minutes of opening the package so that they will still absorb air in your jar!). 
To prepare: Combine the contents of the jar with 6-7 cups of water, depending on how thick or thin you like your chili. Simmer in a 3 quart heavy pot, 20-25 minutes until beans are tender. Yield 6 cups hearty chili.

Garnish with fresh cilantro if desired. It's also amazing with avocado, cheese, and sour cream!

There you go. White Chicken Chili in a Jar! 

I'm a fan of the nutritional content as well. This one yields about 7 cups of hearty chili. That's 4 servings (1 3/4 cup each). Each serving gives you 240 lean calories, 28 grams of fiber, 2.5 grams of fat and 110mg of sodium. 

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess


Anonymous said...

Looks awesome and I will definitely get the ingredients you recommended and make some jars up. Thanks so much for doing this!! It's wonderful and everything looks so good!!

Holly said...

I am really excited to try this! I just used the Thrive Chilis and Instant Black beans yesterday to make Taco soup and they are wonderful =).

I love having these meals in jars. It makes life so much simpler...especially now that the weather is getting warmer and things are sprouting up in my garden. I will be outside all day and loving it, and then be able to pop open a 'can of dinner' and serve it up in a heart-beat. (After I shower, of course!) Thanks for sharing another great recipe!

Anonymous said...

Where can I find freeze dried diced green chili's ?

Chef Tess said...

Those are from Thrive, though I don't sell them I have a few friends who do. It depends on what you want on those, but you can also just dehydrate green chilies in a food dehydrator and they will be fine in this recipe straight across. It's not always the case, but for this it will work.

Anonymous said...

Can you recommend reliable mylar bags? I might go that way.
All is so interesting. I plan to follow you and read comments before I invest in all those products that are unfamiliar to me.
You are something else! (that is a compliment)
God Bless

Chef Tess said...

I get my mylar bags from our local Honeyville store. I'm not sure if they sell them on the online store yet but I've been told they are coming soon. Get the thickest ones possible.

Unknown said...

Pretty lady Chef Tess! I just wanted to take a moment and say thank you! I'm new to this whole prepping thing and since I'm so late want to really jump in and get going! I've seen tons of youtube videos and the food just didn't look that appealing, then I saw someone cooking one of your meals and I looked delicious and it was vegetarian! Yaaaaay! God bless you for all your hard work and dedication and I can't wait to make some of your meals!

Anonymous said...

Chef Tess, where can I find quick cook navy beans? I have tried to get to Preparing Wisely's webstore but it says it is closed for maintenance. I have emailed Troy but have not heard back from him. Can you help me out?


cbilhart said...

I also had a hard time finding the quick cook navy beans. I finally found them at harmonyhousefoods.com in a variety of sizes of packages. I found some on Amazon too, but only in a very small bag.

Anonymous said...

I also had a difficult time finding the quick cook navy beans. I found them in a small bag on Amazon. Then I found them in a variety of size packages at harmonyhousefoods.com Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Can you use dehydrated chicken instead? Will that decrease the shelf life?

Anonymous said...

Chef Tess! Where can I find the Haco chicken base? I found one that is a paste. Will that work with this?