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

Our Newest Additions to the Homestead

Wednesday, we welcomed 12 new additions to our farm – 12 Speckled Sussex chicks!  These are my all-time favorites.

Speckled Sussex chicks on the ride home!

Speckled Sussex chicks on the ride home!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ones I had before were so sweet!  And they laid the prettiest eggs!  I picked these up at our local Tractor Supply store, so I’m praying they are all healthy & that I have several pullets!

Speckled Sussex chicks - in new home!

Speckled Sussex chicks – in new home!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here they are – their first night in their new home!

Speckled Sussex chicks - first night home

Speckled Sussex chicks – first night home

Spring Cleaning in the Coop!

Main Coop after fresh bedding!

Main Coop – 3 days after putting down fresh bedding!

Here’s a little of what I’ve been up to this week:

This week gave me the perfect weather for doing a spring cleaning in the coop!  The first of the week gave us great spring-like temps, which is what I had been waiting for.  Our main coop was in desperate need of being cleaned out after the long winter.  During the winter, we have used a variation of the “deep litter” method, which is where you add fresh bedding on top of the “old” bedding periodically instead of removing the old and adding new.  This allows a bit more insulation in the colder weather.   We had already cleaned out from under the roost a few weeks ago, but, when the weather is warmer, we try to do it more often – about every 3-4 weeks.   And, it was just time to clean it out.  Since we had tackled the worst of it a few weeks ago, I was able to remove all of the old bedding in under an hour!  And, it was all moved down to garden area and spread out.  This is the really good stuff that is completely broken down & has very little “fresh” poo in it, so my garden will love it!

After all the old bedding was removed, I allows the coop to “air out” for a few hours, and my girls enjoyed several hours of free ranging! It’s so funny to watch them chasing after bugs at the beginning of spring.  I don’t think they touched their feed all day – just gorged themselves on lots of fresh, tender blades of grass & bugs!

This post is linked to:  Heritage Homesteaders Blog Hop #4