Jenn Boswell, a professional chef and a volunteer for the Birmingham track adoption program, did a presentation at Beach Bound Hounds in 2014 on how to make home-made canned food. Jenn states “that this whole recipe wouldn’t of been made the way I make it with out the help of Heidi Choquette telling me how to make the crock pot chicken. The rest of the ingredients were my ideas.”
Here it is for all to use and enjoy.
Home Made “Canned” Dog Food
– 1 10lb bag chicken leg quarters
– 1 large box macaroni noodles OR 1 large bag rice
– 1 large bag frozen green beans
– 1 large bag frozen peas and carrots
– 1 small jar minced garlic*
(In the demo, I also had Greek yogurt, salmon, coconut oil, frozen mixed veggies, oatmeal, and I used egg noodles in place of macaroni)
– 1 6qt Crock Pot (or better yet, a 7qt! Roasting ovens can be used too.)
– 1 large slotted cooking spoon
– 1 five gallon bucket (I’ve since changed to a concrete mixing tub as it’s easier to mix stuff up in, then super easy to clean it up.)
– 1 metal potato masher (plastic are too flimsy) — or just get some yellow kitchen gloves and mix it all up by hand. Honestly sometimes I find this much easier.
– several Gladware dinner containers
1. Open the bag of chicken leg quarters, empty into sink, and rinse off all chicken, pull off the skin and discard the skin or else it will be too fatty
2. Place chicken in crock pot (yes, a 6qt will hold all 10 pounds), add water enough water to cover chicken, then sprinkle garlic on top of chicken. I use 1 tbl for an entire 6qt pot
3. Turn pot on low and forget about it for a full 24 hrs (or about 250F for a roasting oven). I normally
start this in the morning and don’t use it until the following evening since I pack my crock pot full, anyone else heavily packing their pot should do the same.
4. After 24 hours, take the lid off. Use the potato masher to mash up your chicken AND bones. You read correctly, the bones. The crock pot will slow cook the bones until they turn into mush at the very slightest of pressure, so you can feed your hound that good calcium and marrow – this is “home-made chicken meal”, in case you’ve wondered what chicken meal is in your dog food. PLEASE NOTE – IF YOU HAVE AN OLD CROCK POT OR BAD HEATING ELEMENTS IN YOUR POT, YOU’LL QUICKLY FIND OUT! How you ask? Easy. Some bones will not be soft! If they are not, just let them simmer for another 6 hours. If they’re still not soft, DISCARD ANY THAT ARE NOT EASY TO MUSH UP!!
5. Use the slotted spoon to scoop out the chicken meal into the 5gal bucket. (In my case now, it’s the big plastic concrete mixing tub, found at any hardware store; they’re really handy.) Add the macaroni (or rice) to the crock pot and let it cook in the left over chicken broth. Add more water if needed. Yes, you can cook the macaroni or rice separately and discard the broth if you really want… but the chef in me says to save that broth for some awesome chicken and dumplings, home-made soup, chicken and dressing, etc….
6. Pour frozen veggies into bucket. Once noodles/rice is done, pour pot ingredients into bucket and thoroughly mix. The hot chicken and hot noodles/rice will cook the frozen veggies. Yes you can pre-cook them when they’re room temp if you want.
– Only chicken will break down in 24 hrs. Beef, pork, turkey, etc… have too dense of bones.
– Get creative with this dish. Add ground turkey or ground beef or fish! Add different veggies, or different carbs (yams, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, potatoes, barley, oatmeal), or even add fruit.
-If you want portion-sized amounts, put this mix into mini-loaf muffin tins. These rectangular mini loaves fit exactly 1 cup of the mix. Let the loaves freeze, then pop them out and store in gallon sized Ziplock baggies in your freezer until needed. Simply pull one out of the bag from your freezer, pour HOT water over it, let sit until it thaws out, mix your kibble in, give it a good stir, and let your hound enjoy. It’s that simple. Even simpler, just put the desired amount into a baggie and skip the muffin tin step.
* The garlic may be omitted if you have worries about it but the amount in the recipe is far less than the amount necessary to cause hemolytic anemia.
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