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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Canning Chicken (thinning the hen herd)

I've been busy canning a lot of stuff lately, it's just that time of the year for me.
I thin my chicken herd down before winter and can the meat and broth.

I clean the birds and soak them in ice water overnight.
Then place the cleaned birds in a big pot, cover with water and add onions, garlic, celery, thyme, basil, bay leaves, pepper corns and a bit of kosher salt.

When the meat is almost tender, I let it cool enough to handle and strain the broth...

I fill hot jars with the hot chicken meat, then top with the hot broth. Leaving 1" of headspace. Wipe the jars tops to remove any broth, then screw the hot lids on.

My canner calls for 3 quarts of water in the bottom.

The loaded canner... (I wish it held more jars at one time. lol )

Adjusting the pressure.

The chicken is canned at 12lbs of pressure for 90 minutes. This is different for everyone depending on your altitude.... you need to check for your area. :)

I have it figured out that the ratio of half chicken meat and half broth works out great for me. I can get at least two meals from each jar. I heat the chicken and broth, make a batch of noodles or rice to throw in. It's an easy winter meal for me. :)
From these 4 birds I should get at least 24 meals.


Anonymous said...

It appears to me that if'n you were to get sick (and by all means I dont want you too)but if you did you could make several batches of the Dr's cure-chicken soup recipe:)

Anonymous said...

ps Miss S...I need a pressure cooker!

cowgirl said...

lol Good idea Mr D! I still have your recipe and it is so tasty. I'm sure it helped me get through the bad bout with the flu last winter!
I think I'm going to get a flu shot this year and see what happens. :)

Yes you do need a canner! I'm sure you are going to be bringing in deer's nice to have some canned meat on the shelf.

Anonymous said...

That is the main reason I want one. The FIL would do this and give us some. I would eat it right out of the jar but was great for soups and stews.

Bushman said...

Makes me think about canned venison. The first time I did it my wife said no way. After making enchiladas she was eating it right out of the jar. Bow season opens Tomorrow so it won't be long. I have some pics of the smoker in progress at a simple life blog check it out.

cowgirl said...

Mr D, I think you should go out and get a pressure canner. Your FIL could show you how to use it!
Heck, if ya didn't live so far away I'd show ya. lol
You'll find lots of things to can in it! :)

cowgirl said...

Bushman, your smoker is looking good!! Can't wait to see it in action.

Isn't canned venison good? :) It's nice to keep on hand for a quick meal.

Good luck with the hunt tomorrow, I hope you bring one home!

Anonymous said...

Hey Jeanie! just droppin by to say hello... send some of that soup over here! a lot of people are paranoid about the swine flu!im sure some of that would boost the ol immune system :) hope all is well with you.



cowgirl said...

Hi Mike, Thanks for stopping by! :)
Hope the flu bug doesn't find you this winter. Last winter I caught a bug that kept me down for a couple of weeks... I had never been layed up like that before. This year I might try a flu shot. lol

All is well here...hope you are doing well and keeping warm in NY. :)

Chez said...

dang cowgirl, if ida knowed you was makin' soup like dat ... i wouldn't have got my flu shot yesterday!! chicken pot chicken pot chicken pot pie...

cowgirl said...

lol Chez, let me know if you feel a cold coming on, I'll run a jar up to ya! :)

Chris said...

Very interesting post, CG. I didn't know you could do that.

Well, I had seen THIS video on YouTube, but I'd much rather have yours:

cowgirl said...

lolol Chris! That's too funny! Thank for the link. :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Cowgirl! First post for me. I buy 10 # of legs and thigh meat from the market for $7.99 and can it up a few times a year. SUCH a good deal. When I'm done I have 6-7 pints of meat and at least 2 1/2 gallons of broth. Well worth the afternoon's effort.

Great job!

cowgirl said...

Hey Anonymous, that sound like a great way to make your own! You get to flavor your own broth too... nice! :)
Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Hi CG, I think I'm suffering from the Atlantic language gap (lol) - but what does the pressure cooker do to the jars of chicken/broth? And do you mean bottling when you say canning?


RodC (from Scotland & the SMF form)

cowgirl said...

Hi Rod, it's good to see you!
You are right, by canning...I mean bottling. The jars will be sealed.

The pressure canner stops the natural spoilage cycle of low-acid foods. (vegetables, meats and poultry)
The small amount of water in the bottom of the pressure canner turns to steam, creating pressure inside of the canner.
These temperatures can't be reached by regular methods of boiling water.
When the canner reaches a high enough pressure to destroy any bacteria, the jars are also they cool a vacuum is formed sealing them so that they will be safe to store on you shelf instead of being refrigerated.

(I'm probably not explaining this well at all! lol )

A water bath canner is used on foods like tomatoes or pickles that have a high acid level or have at least a 5% acidity vinegar added.

Sorry if I didn't explain it well Rod! lol
Let me know. :)

Good to see ya and thanks for stopping by!


Anonymous said...

Thanks Jeannie, you explained it fine. We don't do as much preserving of food as we used to over here. This year we've made a lot of jams/jellies & my Dad and I have a5 1/2 3 litre jars of assorted fruits in alcohol maturing for Xmas/New Year (New Year's Eve & Day - known as Hogmanay & Ne'erday are the BIG winter celebration in Scotland).

We've 6l of plums in vodka, 3.5l of blackberries, raspberries & blackcurrants in rum with brown sugar, and 3l of sloe vodka. Should be a good celebration ;-)

Thanks for the Blog BTW - I really enjoy reading it & have promised to do your cinderblock oven pig roast for some friends in the New Year - so may be back on asking advice.



cowgirl said...

Rod, Thanks again, I'm glad you understood what I was trying to say. :)

Your alchohol steeped fruit sounds great! Is there a certain length of time that you let them soak? Do you use them for drinks?
I'd like to hear more sometime when you have the time.

Thanks for reading my blog, I'd be happy to answer any questions you have on the cinderblock pit. It's an easy way to cook a whole pig and you can move it when finished.

Thanks again Rod, good to see ya!