Friday, May 15, 2009

Homemade Baby Food- Chicken

Even though today was a little rough, I did manage to make a chicken for Tyler. I make a lot of his baby food because it just looks better than the stuff in the jars. It's also cheaper and I know what's in it. I bought a whole organic chicken yesterday. I don't always buy organic for Tyler and I almost never buy organic for us, but I feel like it's important for him to have the best proteins possible when he's so little.

When he does eat baby food from the jar, I try to buy the Earth's Best baby food for him. I get it for about $0.40 per jar by waiting until it goes on sale for buy one get one free at Publix and using a coupon on top of that. Super Target has it for about $0.75 per jar, which is the cheapest I've seen it at regular price. I checked my Walmart, but they do not carry it, at least here. I've also checked out and their price is decent when you factor in $10 off your first order. Even the Earth's Best food it not all that appetizing when you pop it open... it makes me think of condensed soup which does not make me think fresh or nourishing.

So enter this chicken. Here's what I did- I washed the chicken. I didn't worry too much about drying it. I put it in the crock pot and started it off on high. I turned it down to low when we left the house. About 6 hours later, I pulled the chicken out of the crock pot, reserving the liquid in the bottom. I let the chicken cool, took the skin off it and pulled all the meat off the bones.

I used a ladle to remove the liquid from the crock pot and put it in the fridge so that the fat would come to the top and I could remove it. I used my food processor to grind up the chicken, using as much of the liquid as I needed to get the right consistency. I will use a few ice cube trays to make chicken cubes and also freeze some of the chicken in empty baby food jars. I can mix the chicken with various vegetables and rice to keep things interesting for Tyler. He ate some already tonight with carrots and peas, which I also made for him. I promise that it tasted better than anything from a jar!

If I had roasted this chicken for my husband and me, I would have followed the same method, but added some celery and carrots to the bottom of the crock pot and also some salt, pepper and poultry seasoning to the bird. Then, I would have saved the liquid from the bottom of the pot as super concentrated stock. This freezes really well in breast milk storage bags, if you have any left over!

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