So I have These Two Chickens…

Do you find yourself starting sentences like that often?  No?  Just me?

I’m sorry for the big gap in posts.  I’ve been distracted lately with a $5 garage sale find…a Sunbeam BreadMaker!  I definitely have a crush on it…I never thought I’d get into owning a breadmaker, but I find that I am completely sold on it.  It’s once of the many pleasures of life I never knew I was missing out on!  My house has been smelling like freshly baked bread for two weeks now…I’m definitely addicted!

Well anyway, I have these two chickens in the freezer.  Had.  Past tense.  Now they’re in jars in my cupboards.  I thought I’d do a public service announcement and let you all know exactly how much product – and the easiest way to do it – you can get from two chickens.

You will need a pressure canner if you want to can chicken broth or meat.  Otherwise, you can freeze your bounty in baggies or freezer-safe jars just fine.

Here’s what I get from stewing two whole chickens:

  • 7 quarts of chicken stock (I technically got 10, but since I could only can 7 at a time, I chose to make the other 3 into soups and froze them)
  • 3 quarts of Italian Wedding Soup
  • 6 pints of shredded chicken meat, great for soups, casseroles, chicken salad, etc!

This post will take you to a tutorial on how to can chicken broth.  (This was my first post on pressure canning…I’ve learned a lot since then!  I no longer add chicken to the broth nor do I add noodles.  I just find that I use broth so often in cooking and I don’t always want chicken with it.  You can add chicken to the broth if it is more convenient for you to do so, but I do advise against adding noodles.  They just don’t hold up, sadly.  If you don’t add chicken, the broth only needs to process for 25 minutes.)  This is actually a better description of the process, with lots of helpful tips!  Below are the instructions for canning the chicken meat.

Canning Chicken

What You Will Need:

  • Meat from 2 stewed chickens
  • Pressure Canner
  • 6 Pint Jars or 3 Quart Jars

Directions:

Prepare pressure canner by making sure there are at least 3 inches of water in the bottom.  This is a good time to apply a thin coat of olive oil to where the lid and pot meet as well.  Bring to a boil on the stove.  In a separate pot, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil, and in a third pan, simmer the lids.  Heat jars in the oven at 225*.  When everything is hot/boiling/simmering, fill jars with chicken meat.  (Meat doesn’t have to be hot.)  Ladle boiling water into the jars, leaving a 1″ headspace.  Swish plastic tool around to release air bubble.  Wipe rims with vinegar.  Apply lids and tighten bands.  Place in pressure canner and lock lid.  Allow canner to vent 10 minutes, then set gauge to 10lbs.  Once pressure is achieved, process pints for 75 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes.  Turn off heat, let pressure return to zero on it’s own.  Wait 2 more minutes, then remove gauge and lid.  Let jars sit in the hot water for 10 minutes, then remove jars to a towel on the counter.  Let cool completely, then wipe lids with a damp cloth, label jars and store!

 

You feel pretty cool now, don’t you?  Stay tuned, fellow preservers!  It’s canning season, and as things are coming ripe in my garden, I will share more experiences!  (You know, if I can quit harassing my breadmaker…)  Coming soon:  Pickled watermelon rinds, green and wax beans, dill pickles, tomato sauce and other tomato products!

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