Tonight I made the most delicious Chicken Parmigianino. It was plump, juicy, and just plain perfect and I’m suitably convinced that it had a lot to do with the chicken that I had to work with. The chicken was only $1.49 a pound—natural, boneless, skinless chicken breast that has never been frozen. Why? Because it’s FRESH, really fresh. In fact, chances are my chicken was clucking away the week before I received it. They must have been chickens from Beverly Hills, though, because these chicken breasts were gargantuan! I made FOUR pieces of Chicken Parmigianino using a single chicken
Seriously though, this chicken is actually all natural and never pumped up with a bunch of yucky hormones, additives, or artificial stuff. In fact, this meat was more beautiful than some “organic” chicken I’ve purchased in the past at a significant increase in cost—at least 3 times more in cost per pound. (Did you know that the USDA allows for over 20 chemicals to be used in our food and still allow it to be labeled as “organic”?)
Anyway, I’ve been harping for the last several weeks about getting your meat reserves up as soon as you can. Unfortunately, nothing’s changed in the outlook in that regard. I specifically am watching the beef industry and I’m still expecting to see it increase to several times it is now per pound. Funny thing is, though, that just as I was wondering how I was going to kick up my own meat purchases for preservation, I was introduced to a great solution. Zaycon Foods.
If you haven’t heard of them before let me share a little bit with you. To start with I can best describe them as being very similar to Bountiful Baskets. Bountiful Baskets provides a whole lot of fresh, beautiful fruits and vegetables each week to consumers in specific areas. They only have a set number of “baskets” each week and if you want one you need to order just as soon as the “event” is posted. Unfortunately, in my area, I kept getting on too late and missed out on the deals week after week. Anyway, once you place your order, you’ll meet at a specific location each week (usually at the crack of dawn with a 90 minute window) and get gorgeous produce for a small fraction of what you would pay for it elsewhere; and, in my opinion, what you get is in much, much better condition! (To find a Bountiful Baskets location near you, just go to their website. They are a non-profit organization and operate strictly on volunteers. So if they aren’t in your area yet, you might actually be able to help them get going. )
Zaycon Foods reminds me of Bountiful Baskets except that they deal exclusively in proteins such as turkey, fish, chicken, beef, bacon, etc. For example, this past month they offered a 40 pound case of boneless, skinless chicken breasts. The month before it was big beautiful bacon. You’re given an assigned location to pick up your case of protein. You drive in, show them your slip, and they load it in your car for you. Now that’s service! When I got my box I was surprised to see the hefty box they came in, clearly in an earnest effort to keep them cold. Inside the box was a big plastic blue bag which held the massive chicken breasts. I just can’t even begin to describe how amazed I was at the size, the fresh smell, and the condition. I almost didn’t want to can them all! I gave in and kept one half of one out so that I could make the homemade Chicken Parmigianino. Granted, I pride myself on being a good cook. But frankly, this was the first time I’ve ever made the famous chicken dish. I’ve always been concerned that it would be too dried out by the time I was done cooking it. But this dish turned out absolutely perfect. Juicy, plump, and fabulous!
Now let me share with you a little dark secret of the grocery industry. A lot of times you’ll find this great deal on a food that is rather time sensitive, urgent, if you will, and you'll sadly find out why. Strawberries, chicken, milk, etc. Chances are, when you see a deeply discounted special on these kinds of foods they are actually at the end of their rope. They are referred to as “end of life” status. For example, last month I purchased an entire flat of big, beautiful strawberries for only $7! I was so excited at the prospect of the great strawberry pie filling and jam I was going to can. The only problem is, I ran out of energy that night so I just put it off until the next day. Unfortunately, the next morning the strawberries reeked and were covered in mold. Bummer. The meat industry is very similar. In fact, the last time I got to take advantage of a $1.49 a pound for boneless, skinless, chicken
breasts was at a store called “Buy Low” that is famous for it Friday and Saturday sales on meats. The last time I purchased from them, though, I brought the chicken home to can and it just didn’t smell right. In fact, it smelled a bit rank while it was in the pressure canner. Yup, learned my lesson well. Frankly, this understanding of “end of life” foods that are sold make me leery of so-called “great deals.” Then of course there’s the unfortunate industry practice I discovered of pumping the chicken and beef pieces full of water. You might get a great deal on the meat but you’re paying for water that's pumped into your meat. All of these considerations make me that much more pleased to find a good solution for acquiring sufficient supplies of meat without having to settle for polluted, hormone ridden, “end of life” garbage.
Here’s how YOU benefit from Zaycon Foods. First of all, you register at their website here. Then you wait for them to send you the announcement of their next meat event and when you receive that announcement in your in-box, hurry and order all that you want before it’s sold out! And guess what? There’s no limit to how much you can get! I was so psyched with the results from the last box of meat, I had to go and do it all over again! I’m convinced that I will continue to do so as long as they keep throwing these aggressive price cuts at me. Zaycon Foods is all over the U.S. but that’s not to say that they have made it to a city near you just yet. But don’t worry. If they haven’t, it’s quite easy to MAKE them come to you. *grin* All they need is 100 people registered in an area and they actually award you for referring people to their site in the form of $1 for every time someone you refer to the program makes a purchase. Hmmm… we might just be talking about great meat for FREE if you’ve got enough friends who participate in the program. While that's a worthwhile goal, I'm happy that with only a little bit of "shouting from the rooftops" I managed to get my cost per pound down to about $1 due to the referral bonuses. Pretty sweet, eh? Once you register, they will give you a referral number and a link you can use to refer other folks. When other people register using your number you will get a nice thank you note from Zaycon Foods. You can always check out who’s registered by going into “My Referrals” on ZayconFoods.com Again, you get the $1 credit for every time they order one of the special events, not just the first time. They do this instead of spending even one penny on advertising. Pretty cool, huh?
So at the very least, you need to register with them here simply by entering your information, including your e-mail address. I can assure you from experience that it’s not difficult to spread the word about these great deals. And if you'd like my help with getting them to a particular city, let me know. I'd be happy to spread the word for you on my Facebook group pages. Whether a person is well off or struggling financially, we can all use a little pressure release on our wallets and this is one find that I’m happy to shout about from the rooftops.
P.S.--I just received my Zaycon e-mail announcing their newest event--97/13 ground beef, again it's all natural folks. I just took a gander at the last pound of ground beef we purchased. (My husband does that when he's cooking instead of using my canned meat--haven't figured out why yet.) Anyway, we bought 85/15 for $3.99 a pound. 97/13 is usually about 20% higher and that's when it comes from "who knows where" with cattle that are raised under "who knows what" kind of conditions. So, yes, this is a very good deal on meat that you'd pay nearly $6 a pound for in terms of quality elsewhere. You can bet I'm going to take advantage of this month's deal and I LOVE the taste of my canned ground beef! Remember too that if you keep referring people to Zaycon, then you could end up getting these great meats like this for a song! (Yes, I'm sure a kazoo will be fine for you non-singers out there.) So again, here's the link to enroll. Remember, you're only enrolling to get notified of the sales event in your area-not making a purchasing commitment.
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