My First Attempt at Canning Raw, Bone-In Chicken

4 cut up chickens waiting to be canned & turned into stock

4 cut up chickens waiting to be canned & turned into stock

This past week, a friend of mine was giving away 4 roosters, which I was happy to take off of her hands.  We picked them up on Tuesday and then processed them Wednesday morning before our weather turned cold (again).  Since we didn’t have anything invested in them but time, I figured these would be great to try my hand a canning raw chicken!

I followed the instructions in my Ball Blue Book & covered them with water, leaving 1 inch head space.  I canned the quarts of raw, bone-in chicken for 75 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure.

While the chicken was in the pressure canner. I put the backs, necks, wing tips, hearts & veggie scraps into my roaster & added a splash of vinegar, some salt, peppercorns, & bay leaves, covered with water & cooked all night.    I put the chicken livers in the freezer for my dad.  We don’t care for them, but he loves them!

The process was very easy to do.  I canned them in wide-mouth quart jars.  Each jar held 4 pieces, and I canned 2 quarts of chicken breasts, 2 quarts chicken thighs, 2 quarts chicken legs, & 1 quart chicken wings – cut apart.

Canning Chicken - before being processed

Canning Chicken – before being processed

I will say that if/when I do this again,  I will definitely not put as much water in the jars as is recommended because the raw meat makes its own broth while it is in the pressure canner cooking, and I lost a lot of valuable broth that way.  I was also afraid that the jars might now seal since there was so much broth in the water in the canner itself, but they all sealed!  I will probably add enough liquid to fill the jar no more than half way.  But, you should follow the instructions in the Ball Blue Book for your canning instructions, pressure, and time.

After the chicken had been in the pressure canner for the recommended amount of time, I turned the pressure off and let the canner slowly return to zero.  Once the pressure returned to zero, and I removed the lid, I removed my jars & tightened the lids down according to Tattler Resuable Canning Lid instructions, covered with a towel, & let cool.  All 7 quarts sealed and did wonderfully!  They have been washed, dried, & placed on a shelf in my pantry.

Canning Chicken - after being pressure canned

Canning Chicken – after being pressure canned

Since these birds were a little over a year old, they would be a little on the tough side, anyway, so pressure canning the meat should help to tenderize it.  The meat will probably be used in either soup or casserole dishes.  I will let you know what we think when I get around to opening one in the near future!

Here is the post with my update to canning raw chicken.

This post is linked to:

Heritage Homesteaders Blog Hop #4

Homestead Blog Hop #151

Farm Blog Hop

Clever Chick Blog Hop

Oak Hill Homestead

Homemade Beef Stew

IMG_2024I love beef stew and have been making it in my Crock Pot for many years because it was so easy to throw everything together in the morning and let it do it’s thing all day. But, I recently made it in my Lodge Dutch Oven and all I can say is, “Why haven’t I been doing this all along?!”  It was so much better!  It has a nice, thick gravy, and the flavors really do meld better.  I’m pretty sure that I will be making it this way from now on.  In fact, I made it again and decided to share my recipe with you. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take pictures throughout the process.  But, beef stew is super easy and can be ready in about an hour for dinner.  Especially, if  you keep all the ingredients on hand in your pantry.

Beef Stew (made in a cast iron dutch oven)

1 lb stew beef

4 medium-sized Russet potatoes, peeled & cubed (can also use red or gold potatoes – leave peel on, if you do)

2-3 medium-sized carrots, washed & sliced (I do not peel my carrots since most of the nutrients lie just beneath the surface of the carrot.)

1/2 cup each of dehydrated peas & corn (I have used frozen, too)

1 medium onion, chopped

1 Tbs.garlic – minced, optional

approx. 1 cup flour

salt & pepper to taste

1 tsp. garlic powder, optional

1 Tbs. smoked paprika, optional

Place flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, & smoked paprika in a bowl – mix well.

Next, I cut my stew beef into smaller pieces (mostly just cut the pieces in half).  This lets the meat distribute better in the stew, and it makes it feel like you have more meat. Place meat into the flour mixture and coat meat thoroughly.

Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the dutch oven.  I used lard, but you can use a combination of olive oil and butter, too.  Once hot, add meat and brown.

Once your meat has browned, add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add enough hot water to fill dutch oven about half way. Add remaining ingredients, including a bit more salt and pepper.  Finish filling dutch oven with water.  Bring everything to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low.  Cover and continue cooking until potatoes are fork tender.  Serve with fresh, hot, homemade biscuits & enjoy!

This post has been linked to:

Heritage Homesteaders

Chicken Chick Blog Hop

Homestead Blog Hop

April’s Homemaking Meal Planning Link Up

You’re Gonna Love it Tuesday

Oak Hill Homestead

Down Home Blog Hop

Canning Chicken Stock & Chicken

6 pints canned chicken broth & 2 pints canned chicken (*All jars canned according to Ball Blue Book Guidelines)

6 pints canned chicken broth & 2 pints canned chicken
(**All jars canned according to Ball Blue Book Guidelines**)

I had cooked some chicken a couple of nights ago to be used to make some BBQ chicken.  Of course, I saved the stock I cooked it in. (I’m not about to waste some delicious stock!)  So, yesterday evening, after I was done with my running for the day, I brought my stock back out and started heating it up to can.  I also saved some of the chicken to do a trial of canning chicken.   It’s something that I’ve been wanting to try, but just had not gotten around to it yet. It also gave me another chance to use some of my wonderful Tattler Lids!  I love how they look, don’t you?  And, knowing that they are reusable makes me very happy!

And, since I had the canner going, I also added a few pints of water to make a full run.  Why can water?  Well, in cases of emergency, we would have sterile water to use for drinking, cooking with, brushing teeth, etc.  This jars will also be rotated out.  I used jars that were already empty and just waiting for canning season to go into full swing.  What happens if I need those jars?  Well, then I can use the water to water plants, give to the pets, drink, etc., and use the jars for my canning needs.  I also used “used,” clean, seals for the water – no new seals, since it’s not food that I’m worried about keeping for at least a year.  I have to admit that it looks a little odd seeing water in jars all canned up, but it’s actually very pretty, and it’s nice to know that the water in the jars is consumable in an emergency.

Next up on my canning agenda……. I’ve got beef bones & chicken backs/necks that I need to turn into stock.  Maybe I can get started on that this weekend…..