You may not miss the sliced deli meat that your parents used to put in your lunches, but it has its advantages: it lasts awhile, is easy to grab as you’re rushing out the door, and is much better on a sandwich than plain old grilled chicken. Too bad all the preservatives are so not worth it.
So I did my research and found a Japanese style of preparing chicken that essentially replicates lunch meat. The recipe offers a lot of variations in terms of length of marinating, cooking style, and spices.
I choose to marinate it for 24 hours, bake it based off of the recipes recommendation, and use thyme and rosemary. While it involves a lot of waiting, hands-on prep is minimal, and you can prepare enough over the weekend for a week’s worth of grab-and-go lunches.
Transportable, moist, and long-lasting like the store-bought stuff, homemade deli meat has the added benefit of being more cost-effective, customizable, and preservative-free.
Torihamu (Chicken "Ham")
- Prep Time:7-74 hours
- Cook Time:1 hour
- Total Time:8-75 hours
- 8 oz chicken breast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon spice (optional)
Place all ingredients in large re-sealable storage bag and massage chicken until well coated.
#SpoonTip: Because you’re letting it marinate in the fridge, it’s totally okay to start with frozen chicken breasts.
Press out all air and tightly seal bag.
Marinate in the fridge for five to 72 hours.
#SpoonTip: The longer you marinate, the more pronounced the flavor of the spices will be.
Rinse the chicken in cold water.
Soak chicken in bowl of cold water for 30 minutes
#SpoonTip: For every 24 hours you marinate it, soak the chicken for 30 minutes.
Dry the chicken and place it on baking sheet lined with parchment.
#SpoonTip: To get a more prominent flavor, sprinkle additional spices onto the chicken.
Bake at 250°F for 35 to 40 minutes, until the outside is light brown.
Slice as thinly as you would like and store in fridge for up to one week.