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Old 11-09-2006, 06:17 PM   #1
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Default Jennifer's original homemade "canned" food

For those who are interested, here is the original homemade "canned" food recipe from which the one I posted was ultimately derived. My thanks to Jennifer B. of CBD Therapy Dogs for permission to post the recipe from her website, here.

Jennifer's recipe on her website has been refined since the one she shared with us several years ago was posted on that board. I'm going to try this version, exactly, and see how it differs from what I've been doing. I've been cooking it for 24 hours, and she appears to be cooking hers for closer to 36. I've been using rice (instead of wheat pasta) and estimating how much of that I need based on the remaining liquid. I think I start out with more water, since the recipe I've always worked from said to add water to cover. I do have to ladle off excess broth, but it didn't occur to me to spell that out. I use whatever frozen mixed vegetables I can find, cheap (but only one big bag not two), thaw them, put them through the blender, and I've been putting the puree into the broth with the rice to increase digestibility without losing nutrients. I expect some veggie nutrients are broken down by the heat. That would not be the case if I added the veggie puree (uncooked) directly to the cooked meat. I'll have to try that....


Home Made Canned Food

RECIPIE

Ingredients and tools needed to make recipie can be found at your local Walmart Super Center

Tools Needed
  • One 6qt Rival Crock Pot
  • One slotted cooking spoon
  • One metal potato masher
  • One five-gallon bucket
  • Several Gladware 1qt food containers
Ingredients
  • One ten-pound bag chicken leg quarters ($3.90)
  • Two large 32 oz boxes Great Value (Walmart brand) macaroni noodles ($1.29)
  • Two frozen bags Great Value frozen peas and carrots ($0.80 each)
  • One large bag Great Value frozen green beans ($1.09)
  • One jar Great Value minced Garlic ($1.15)
Preperation
  • Open the bag of Chicken leg quarters and rinse chicken off in sink before putting them in the crock pot
  • Fill crock pot 1/4 full with water, sprinkle 1 large tablespoon minced garlic on top of chicken
  • Put lid on crock pot, turn on LOW, and let slow-cook for 24hrs. I start this early in the morning and leave on until the following evening
  • Scoop out chicken with slotted spoon and put into five-gallon mixing bucket
  • Pour macaroni into crock pot, mix with the remaining chicken broth, add more water if needed
  • Use metal potato masher to mash up chicken and chicken bones. If any bones are still not soft enough to mash up with the marrow, remove from bucket
  • Add frozen veggies to bucket. Once Macaroni is done cooking, add remaining pot ingredients to mixing bucket
  • Thoroughly mix meat, veggies, and pasta. Once thoroughly mixed, store in Gladware containers until needed
  • When needed, just place Gladware container in microwave and warm up! You can put some of the mix in mini muffin tins or cup cake tins, then freeze, and make individual servings to store in Ziplock bags, or just put individual servings in Ziplock Snack Bags. You can also put the mix in a Ziplock freezer bag, flatten it out, and make "stackable" bags in your freezer to save space
NOTES

This recipie will freeze very easily. It does not "have" to be made with just pasta and the listed veggies, I have posted this because this is the recipie I am using during the testing of DocsBlend Hair of the Dog. Rice (white and/or brown), potatoes (regular or sweet), yams, barley, oatmeal, etc.. can be substituted for the carbs. Any veriety of fruit or veggie can be used. Ground beef or ground turkey can be added.

ONLY CHICKEN BONES WILL BREAK DOWN IN THE CROCK POT. You can add beef, turkey, lamb, etc... bones for added flavor, but they do not break down. They will have to be removed before feeding the 'canned food' to your hounds. Canned Salmon and canned mackeral will break down if you choose to add fish.


NOTICE ON CROCK POTS / SLOW COOKERS

Not all crock pots and slow cookers cook the exact same. Older crocks/cookers may have worn out and take longer to cook, others, like mine, are brand new and cook faster. If a few additional hours does not finish breaking the bones down, then discard those bones. Overfilling your crock pot also makes it cook slower, and "just a few chicken quarters" would make it cook faster. This is just one reason why I noted (above) that I normally *start my crock pot in the MORNING and don't take the chicken out until the FOLLOWING EVENING - because I pack the crock pot full. Don't expect to pull out "mush". You will pull out whole bones! Once you put the slightest amount of pressure, the bones will mush up! Hince the reason I use the metal potato masher to mash up the bones and meat. If this recipie has too much fat for your hound, then remove the skin from the chicken thighs.

Moisture Content (how to prevent messes)

One complaint I have heard is that "it boils over and makes a mess". Here are a few tips on how to prevent that from happening.

Everyone who makes this will be using different crock pots. I use a 6qt Rival oval Crock Pot. Normally I can fit all 10lbs of chicken in it, if I layer it just right. The fat from the chicken will create a _LOT_ of broth. I start the pot off with 1/2 full of water. As the chicken cooks, I make sure to use a ladle to scoop out the excess broth. I never let it get over 3/4 full or else it will bubble over. If you don't want to make extra broth, or you don't have time to ladle off the excess broth, then only add enough water to the pot to make it 1/4 full. If you do choose to make extra broth, it only takes up 10 minutes of your day (about 2 minutes every hour or so) to scoop out the excess broth, and you'll get at least a gallon (or more!) of home-made chicken broth. You can mix this in with the home-made food or save it for later to mix in with kibble (or even use it as a base for your own cooking!).

In general, I keep no less than 1/4 crock full of water, I try to keep it at 1/2 full, but I don't let it get over 3/4 full.
Thanks to Heidi Choquette for the orginal recipie of cooking chicken in a crock pot!
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Old 11-09-2006, 09:27 PM   #2
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Default From Jennifer, the originator of the recipe/website

Hi everyone, this is my first post here, so I hope I can answer several questions. I am posting this here and on the other thread where this was started

I get these same questions many times a month from various dog people. First off, I feel that I have to give Heidi credit for the recipe since the origins of it came from her. She makes a very good point, which I do need to add to my website - to make sure that the chicken is submurged in water in the pot.
With that being said, please note several things here.

1. I use a brand new 6 quart crock pot. It cooks fast and holds a lot of chicken. My crock pot does NOT cook like everyone elses. A 10 year old crock pot will cook on a lower temp and slower than a brand new one. I've also found that some brands of crock pots cook slower or faster than other brands.

2. I PACK my crock pot full of chicken!! Because I pack it FULL when I start to make it, its a bit hard for me to submurge the chicken in water with out it overfilling very quickly. I pour the pot 1/4 full because all the moisture from the chicken and the fat from the chicken ends up filling it and submurging the chicken. Also because I pack it FULL, I leave it on for around 36 hours to make sure all the chicken is done. IF it is not done, then I discard the hard pieces. HOWEVER, I only fill the pot 1/4 full IF I don't have time to watch it. 99% of the time I fill it 1/2 full and ladle out excess broth before it bubbles over (once the chicken starts to cook, that 1/2 full pot quickly fills to the top with broth!!). I don't let it get above 3/4 full of water, but I NEVER let it get below 1/4 full.

3. As the chicken cooks, I also push the chicken down into the broth to make sure that it is submurged. Heidi IS CORRECT that the chicken does NEED to be submurged. I need to make that note on the website

4. DO NOT COOK IT ON HIGH!!!!!! IT MUST BE COOKED ON LOW!!!!


5. The bones are very slowly simmered in broth for 24 hours. In my case its longer because, as said, I overfill my pot. As noted on the website, when you get done, the bones do come out "whole". It just takes very little pressure to mush the bones into a paste. It is the way these bones are cooked (slow simmered) that they are able to be turned into "mush". If ANY bones are not softened enough to mush up, DISCARD THEM.

6. this recipe makes a LOT of broth. As noted above, once the pot starts to cook, what I filled 1/4 full quickly fills to the top (again, because I pack my pot full and all the moisture and fat from the chicken fills the pot full). Often though I start it with 1/2 pot full of water so that I can make a few gallons of extra chicken broth to cook with. I'm a chef and I use that broth for lots of stuff. THe main key is, to have enough water in the pot to have the chicken submurged.

7. The recipe also high in fat from the chicken. If your dog is too fat or is prone to pancreatitis, then REMOVE THE SKIN from the chicken!

8. some people complain that it makes the house smell like boiled chicken. WHen I don't add the garlic, yeah... I guess it does... but I'm a chef so I'm used to smelling food all day long. Adding the garlic makes it smell like roasted chicken in place of boiled chicken. If the smell bothers you that much, then put it in teh garage <grin>

9. NO OTHER BONES BREAK DOWN IN THE CROCK POT!!! I have cooked a turkey carcass after Thanksgiving to get the turkey broth and peel off any leftover meat, but the turkey bones DO NOT BREAK DOWN AND WERE THROWN AWAY. I have also talked a butcher into letting me buy large beef bones to put in the crock pot, again, I simmer them for the marrow and to make broth, and once done, the bone did NOT break down and was thrown away. THe hounds, however, enjoyed the beef broth <grin>

If I have forgotten anything, feel free to ask.

Jenn
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Old 11-09-2006, 10:02 PM   #3
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Hello Jen and welcome to Dogforum.org.

Thanks for your input.

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Old 11-14-2006, 06:16 PM   #4
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Well. I did a half batch according to Jennifer's recipe, so no rice, and less water. So 5 lbs of chicken, 32 oz. of pasta, one bag of peas, one bag of carrots, and a half-size bag of green beans.

Two pounds of pasta made way more pasta than looked right, to me, so I didn't end up using it all. I think I would use 24 oz of pasta, if I didn't use rice, next time.

I used my old 4-qt slow cooker, instead of our new 6-qt digital for this test. I used only two cups of added water. The chicken was fully submerged within 6 hours, and the chicken was falling to shreds and the bones were mushy at 22 hours. By cutting way back on the water, I didn't have to ladle out any juice, but the chicken was still submerged for most of the cooking time, and the bones still turned to mush. This batch required much less tending that what I have been doing, and I'll never go back to covering with water at the outset. Because I was using pasta, and not rice, I thawed the vegetables, ran them through the blender, and then added them directly to the mashed meat.

The hounds inhaled it, as usual.
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Old 05-03-2007, 11:55 AM   #5
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I'm going to try to make a batch this weekend! Thank you. Gotta run out & find some Ozzy-meal-sized containers for freezing.
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Old 02-12-2009, 12:42 AM   #6
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Is this the total diet you would feed then or is this just meant for sometimes or mixed with dog food?

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Old 02-12-2009, 01:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sherrymyra View Post
Is this the total diet you would feed then or is this just meant for sometimes or mixed with dog food?
You should also read the other thread about this recipe for additional discussion of its use.

I treat it as a high quality supplement, but because it is cooked, and cooking breaks down enzymes and nutrients, I do not treat it as a nutritionally-complete, balanced diet. As a supplement and occasional meal, the hounds love it. You can see how I use it in my feed program.
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:32 PM   #8
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Thank you.

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Old 05-26-2009, 07:17 PM   #9
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Wow. Sounds like good stuff.
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Old 08-27-2011, 08:52 AM   #10
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Hey folks, I haven't been on this forum in YEARS, I admit... but I came across this when I was sending the recipe to someone last night.

VA Greys - the reason the recipe time "changed" is due to my old 6 quart crock pot. I didn't realize that it was dying. No wonder it was taking 36 hours to cook!! I got a new 7 quart crock pot, which I absolutely LOVE!!!!! and it is taking just the normal 24 hours. Also, it changed to just 1/4 full of water in the pot out of trial and error that I found it still worked with out submurging the chicken.

Also, as for this being used as a "nutritionally complete meal" I must say this....

I never made this as a whole diet. My dogs do not eat "just this", though I'm sure they would love to. I made this to REPLACE store bought canned dog food, though it did serve as a whole meal source for my 21 yr old Afghan Hound (he was dying of cancer and at that point even the vet agreed, what ever he'll eat, feed it to him but that's a whole other story). When I feed it, I generally mix up 1 cup of this to 4 cups of kibble, depending on the individual dog.

An example of what my hounds daily diet is right now, I'll use Tigger, a 111 pound Borzoi:
1 cup (actually 1 mini-muffin loaf) Home Made Canned Food
5 cups kibble
1/4 teaspoon Source Micronutrient Supplment
1 tbl Doc's Blend Hair of the Dog
1 tbl local honey
1 tbl omega 3/6 fatty acid oil

Where as I also have Maverick, a 40 pound Silken Windhound who gets
1 cup (1 mini-muffin loaf) Home Made Canned Food
2 cups kibble
1/8 teaspoon Source
1/2 teaspoon Doc's Blend Hair Of the Dog
1 tsp fatty acid oil
1 tsp local honey
1/2 cup warm chicken broth
I guess Maverick could be my special needs dog... He broke his jaw as a puppy and still has wires in his jaw due to it. It hurts him to eat dry crunchy food, so his food is heavily moisoned, he gets more of the home made food, and he eats it as a "gruel".

The kibble I feed is one that I found worked best for my hounds. I'm a firm believer in that there is no perfect dog food. What works for one dog isn't going to work 100% for all, so I found what works for my guys and stick with it.

As for adding more pasta, I guess I have been used to using more pasta due to trying to get some hard keepers to add weight. That's the beauty of a recipe though, if it looks like it needs more of something or less of something, you just add more or use less! ;-)

Jenn
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