Food Storage: Creamy Chicken with Spinach and Bacon


The only reason I got to make this one is because a family member mentioned she had a bunch of spinach over grown in her winter garden/greenhouse since they aren't eating it very often (they usually only have it in salads in the summer, and she doesn't cook with it).  I of course am OUT of spinach in the freezer, and haven't had time to go through long term storage to look for my cans of it.

She dropped off a ziplock of really, really big spinach.  I told her it didn't even look like spinach anymore.  Ha ha.  But we were so thankful for it because it was the perfect thing we wanted to make this dish.


Regular readers know the first cans I brought out were the oldest (so I can rotate them out).  They were bought back in the early spring of 2012.  At the time, being brand new to buying long term foods and being on a super tight, non-existent budget, my first purchase was a 'kit' of fake meats.  

Vegetarian beef, chicken, taco meat and ham (or was it bacon bits?) was my first kit purchase, and had no idea at the time what it even really was, I was just feeling like I really, really wanted to start somewhere and it was the cheapest kit I saw. 

Thankfully that was the only kit of imitation meats I bought... after that I had to buy very very slowly, often one can at a time, but I started to only buy the real meat and chicken for long term storage.  

Here are the 'faux' freeze dried chicken pieces in chicken broth, starting to simmer and re-hydrate.

A few minutes later they are plumping up.  They don't really taste like chicken.  They taste good, and are pleasant tasting, but in order to give them more of a chicken flavor I would always rehydrate in broth and not water if and when possible.

And here is the leftover broth from the fake chicken, cooking some onion, garlic and bacon crumbles. 

Powered heavy cream....  I used this to make my "half and half" for the recipe, but also used a little bit of my dwindling stash of heavy cream from the refrigerator and some 'milk' made from my whole milk powder.  

The sauce... starting to simmer and thicken.  Normally when doing low carb or keto we would eat it this way with some cauliflower.  That's not important right now as we do our 100% food storage version so I grabbed the open box of pasta from the pantry and we served it with rotini.

The Original Recipe (not food storage)

Creamy Chicken with Spinach and Bacon

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs (6-8)
olive oil
6 t minced garlic
1 small onion
1/3 c crumbled, cooked bacon
1 1/2 c half and half or heavy cream
2 handfuls fresh spinach or a handful sized helping of frozen, chopped
1/2 - 3/4 c parmesan cheese
dried red chili pepper flakes
Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
pasta of choice to serve over if you wish (or cauliflower, etc.)

In an instant pot cooker, heat to 'saute' setting, add the oil.  Salt and pepper the the chicken and sear it in the oil.  Add about 3/4 c water to the cooker, seal and cook about 8 minutes until done.  Release steam.  If you opt to cook them in a pan on the stove, heat the oil, season them and sear them in the pan.  Once they are seared, add about 1/2 cup water and continue to cook until done.  Remove them and the broth from the pan and set aside.

In the skillet place the butter, cook the onion for 2-3 minutes until starting to soften, then add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.  Pour in the broth from the instant pot or the pan you cooked the chicken in.  Let this simmer to reduce a bit while you crisp the bacon pieces.  I use 'real bacon pieces' from the store and microwave them to crisp them but you can also dice or cook bacon slices and crumble them.  Add the bacon to the broth/onion/garlic mixture.

Add the half and half or cream and the seasonings to taste.  Add the spinach leaves, stirring gently to wilt them and mix in.  Add the parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes; let it simmer to reduce and thicken.



Food Storage Substitutes:  

Freeze Dried Vegetarian Chicken Pieces
Garlic from the fridge container
Onion from my dwindling fresh - only used 1/2 of what was called to make them go further.
Bacon crumbles:  I have imitation bacon bits in storage but also have real crumbled bacon pieces stocked in the freezer
Half and Half or Heavy Cream - powdered milk and powered heavy cream
Spinach - from the garden
Parmesan - the kind that comes from the 'green can' which I have on hand
Seasonings and pasta from the kitchen pantry

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