I no longer am preparing food in the one pot, all ingredients combined method. The final poduct, after dehydration, became a jagged sharp bag-popping vacuum sealer nightmare. And vacuum sealing is important because it keeps the water in the air from going to work on the dehydrated food. Now, I am preparing, cooking, and dehydrating each component of a dish separately. This will reduce bag poppage, plus make the rehydration process easier. I’ll give an example in the form of a new recipe.
Vegetable, Potato, and Chicken Curry with Rice
1 eggplant, diced
2 small red onion, diced
1.5 cup carrot, diced
4 cloves garlic, cut in slivers
3 red potatoes, small dice
Curry spice (from a spice shop)
Chicken and Sauce (this will be enough for this recipe, and a following recipe: tortilla soup)
4 chicken breasts, trimmed of all fat
35 oz can whole tomatoes
6 oz can tomato paste
5 cloves garlic
2.5 cups white rice
4 cup chicken stock
Place the potatoes and vegetables on baking trays and cook until done. (At 450 degrees the potatoes took me about 10 minutes and the vegetables about 5 to 7). Toss with salt, pepper and curry spice.
Before and after
In a crock pot, combine all chicken and sauce ingredients and cook on low for 4 hours. Remove chicken. With an immersion blender, puree the tomato mixture. At this point, set aside 2 of the chicken breasts and 3 cups of tomato sauce for use in tortilla soup. Dice the other two chicken breasts. In a bowl, combine two cups of the remaining tomato sauce, salt, pepper, and lots of curry spice. At this point, I combined the sauce and the chicken and dehydrated them mixed together, in the future, I will dehydrate the sauce and the chicken separately (see picture below)
Cook rice like you normally would, except add curry spice to the pot/rice cooker.
I dehydrated the rice and vegetables/potatoes st 135 degrees for 12 or so hours. The chicken took three trays (I also diced and added Mexican spice to the two left over pieces of chicken and dried it at the same time, on two separate trays) at 160 for 15 hours. Here’s a picture of the curry chicken (tossed in sauce), and the Mexican chicken (not tossed in sauce):
That’s the same amount of chicken in each bag. Notice how the one tossed with tomato sauce (right) is about double the volume of the one on the left (without sauce). It’s also much more jagged. I had to food process it to break it up. Next time, my sauce will be dried separately and processed into a powder for easy storage.
Combine the final dried ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Portion it out and vacuum seal it. Notice how nicely all these ingredients fall together? No more crazy “bed-head” food that sticks out all over the place (see the final product of the Mexican rice).