Friday, January 22, 2010

Today in my life...

...I am canning chicken and bone broth, in addition to our school day. Since the canner is going, I thought I'd take a minute to show you how I prepare our home-canned chicken. I start with chicken breasts, thighs and legs, bone in, and cook in the crock pot for about 24 hours, adding water as needed to keep it full. When its nearly time for the chicken to be finished, I wash my jars in the dishwasher, even if they are already clean, to make sure there aren't any cooties in them that will contaminate my chicken or broth. Once they are done, I place them in my oven, set on its lowest setting, to keep them warm until I am ready to use them. I always have more ready than I think I will need.
I remove the skin from the chicken and place it to one side for the dogs...

...then I remove the bones and place them to the other side.

I use the tongs because the chicken is very hot! Sally Fallon says in Nourishing Traditions that the you can give the bones to your pets after such a long cooking time, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.
Next, I cut up the meat into bite-size pieces, and I mix white and dark meat into each jar. I can the meat in pints and the broth in quarts.

After the jar is full (at about the bottom of the rim; Stocking Up lists 1-inch headspace for canning meats), I add broth. I press down on the meat with my tongs to dislogde any air bubbles, making sure the broth covers the meat.
To seal a jar, I wipe off the edge of the lip with a clean, dry dishrag. I retrieve a lid from the pan (I have previously heated the pan of water just to boiling with the lids in it to soften the seals), dry the lid with the same dishrag, and seal the jar tightly.

When all the meat has been added to the jars, I place the broth into quarts, leaving about an inch of headspace.

Once the canner is sealed and vented, these will cook at 10 lbs of pressure for 75 minutes.

It takes a little time, but eating healthier, with no preservatives, is worth the investment.

There is joy on this journey, on my way home to my Father's house,
Cindy <><

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