Thursday, July 22, 2010

Repurposing KFC leftovers: Dog Treats

My dogs are loving me today.  It all started with a bucket of KFC.  Ewww... but it makes wonderful dried dog treats. To recap, I took my kids and the rest of the neighborhood to the beach yesterday.  In a mad rush to get lunch for 7 kids on a budget, we did a KFC drive through for a bucket of chicken.  Luckily it was enough food to feed everyone with leftovers. 

The dilemma:  what to do with the leftovers.  I hate wasting food.  It's a combination of depression-era respect for the plenty of the American food supply (even KFC); a new respect for the work that goes into producing food (a lesson from my gardening and bread making experiments); and the fact that our local garbage service is both expensive and restrictive. 

And so, necessity being the mother of invention, we made chicken jerky dog treats.  Eating the chicken didn't seem smart.  It was kind of disgusting when the bucket was new, and truly disgusting after the kids had pawed through, but it made really great dog treats.  (Hey! Dogs will eat much worse when you leave them to their own devices).  Here's how you can do this at home with any meat leftovers.
  • Set the oven to around 200 degrees.  
  • Slice the meat or chicken into thin pieces (1/2 to 1/4 inch). 
  • The size doesn't really matter as long as they are thin.  
  • You can cut with the grain or across the grain as you prefer.  
  • Set the slices on baking trays in the oven for about 1-2 hours until they are dry
  • Store in a container in the 'fridge for a few weeks or frozen for months.

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