How To Substitute Ground Chicken for Beef, Pork or Turkey - Made From Scratch With My Kitchenaid Mixer
Awhile back, my wife started making an interesting change when cooking and shopping. Very rarely, did I see ground beef on the shopping lists. It turns out that she was actually substituting ground turkey in many of the recipes instead of ground pork and beef. To be honest, I didn’t even notice the change when it came to things like Hamburger Helper, chili, and when she made tacos and burritos. Once I knew she made the switch, I became a bit more aware that this was a much healthier option. The only problem is that ground turkey can be quite a bite more expensive in the store. Luckily we found a way to help reduce the costs.
When it came to bulk meats, we generally shop at either Sam’s club or BJ’s Wholesale club and buy tons of meat and freeze it. We found that by buying the ground turkey in packages of 5 to 10 pounds, actually made the price comparable to what we would pay for regular ground beef in the grocery store. Last month though I discovered that I could lower the costs even more!
On our massive shopping trips to Sams, we usually buy chicken breasts by the case. Their boneless, skinless chicken breasts are usually very affordable as it is, but by purchasing an entire case of chicken we were able to reduce the costs by another $.50 a pound. A case costs around $45 or so. I decided to actually try out one of my beloved kitchen gadgets: the meat grinder! Figuring the chicken breasts hovered right around $1.50 a pound, it was cheaper than the ground beef, and the ground turkey. I figured I could make my own substitute.
I took one of the packages of chicken and ran it through my Kitchen-Aid meat grinder and much to my surprise, ground chicken had the same effect on my pallet as the ground turkey. The benefit though, is that I could control the seasonings, and just how lean the mix is as well as reduce my costs. The process was very simple and required very little prep work. I simply assembled the meat grinder with the coarse grinding disc and slapped it in the accessory port of my Kitchen-Aid mixer. I then went to town on the package of chicken. All I did was cut each breast into three or four strips, and when I had sliced the entire package ran it into the grinder.
I have a few pictures of the process and finished product, but wanted to share a few words of advice. If you know you want to make things like taco meat, you may wish to add the taco seasoning before you freeze the ground chicken, as it will give the seasonings time to absorb into the meat, but it isn’t absolutely necessary. I don’t bother to add seasonings until cooking time, but you do have the option. When prepping the chicken, feel free to trim off any fat to improve the healthiness of the mix, but remember sometimes a little fat can add flavor. Also it can be a messy process, so be sure to wear an apron or at the very least an old T-Shirt; sometimes, you can get a bit of liquid on you from the pressure of the grinder. Last but not least, be sure to either use the ground chicken promptly, or freeze it to preserve freshness.