Sunday, May 16, 2010

Putting Food By

I'm pretty sure chicken exceeds any other animal protein consumed in Central America, by a wide margin. This 'chicken ranch' was tucked just off the highway in Roatan, between the propane filler and a paint store.
While we were in the shipyard, plugged in, we ran the freezer and boy wasn’t that ice nice! To fill the rest of the space I bought some whole chickens, Pollo Rey, 2 sin menudos and 1 con menudos,
. Sometimes there is more to 'menudos' than anticipated, as from this Guatemalan chicken I processed last summer.

My plan was to can/jar the meat in the pressure canner I’ve been hauling around, so we'd have something to eat when we get to the San Blas. But it was too darn hot in the shipyard to even contemplate a few hours of steam.

Now that we’re on our own power, we can’t run the freezer without also running the engine, which we won’t do unless for propulsion (one of the secret rules). But we do have a good breeze ventilating the boat. So I’m canning chickens.

First, cook each one individually in the Galloping Gourmet method – submerge the whole bird in water, bring to a boil and let cool naturally. I'm under-motivated to dismember and debone them raw.
Pick off the meat, discard the skin and fat, (store overnight because I got a late start), make stock with onions, celery leaves and wilted carrots, strain it, reheat the picked out meat, wash out the jars....well you can see it’s a consuming project, and the boat smells, sort of incongruously,like the day after Thanksgiving. Seven pints of meat and a good tom yam Thai-style soup was the yield; for dessert some delicious mangoes from a local tree.

Some of the best advice I ever got about boat cooking was: Keep the floor clean, because you never know when you’ll be eating off of it. Next time, I’ll remember to do a little better under the stove as well. There’s many a slip between jar and dip!

1 comment:

Gerry said...

So where to next? take plenty $1 bills to the San Blas. They NEVER have any change!