Thursday, December 30, 2010

Half done!

So far, so good!

As with so many such skills that have intimidated me in the past, halfway through I'm wondering what the big deal was. This is generally a prelude to hubris-related disaster.


This is my victim. Costco is a wonderful thing, but I can't take this home with me or most of it'll spoil. I've pretty much given up on the whole "refrigeration" thing.


First, boil the chicken till it's 2/3 done.


Second, pay better attention to what's happening with the boiling chicken.


Once it's nearly done, take the hot jars out of the dishwasher, stuff them with chicken, and pour nearly full with broth.


Stick'em in the pressure canner, and religiously follow the intricate schedule for zapping them into a state of perfect sterility.  Get it right and they'll last on the shelves for years - not that they'll have to.  Get it wrong, and face agonizing death.  Either way - chicken!  What's not to love?


And there they are!  Now I'm cooking up the second half.

9 comments:

The Grey Lady said...

Heeey wait a minute here, that looks like a ceramic top stove your land lady has. I haven't made the investment or the jump to my all American canner because it says POINT BLANK. Do not use on a ceramic top stove, the heat or weight can/will crack it. catastrophy, calamity all manner of evil will beset me if I use it.

I happen to have a ceramic top stove and don't have the where with all to change to a gas stove right now.

Are they, all American, full of totally unnecessary nanny state warning type dodo? Perhaps you are using a stainless steal pressure cooker instead of the cast iron?

This inquiring mind wants to know.

SWEETHEARTS MOM said...

To make it easier on you...you don't have to pre-sterilize the jars because you are canning for 90minutes. Try raw packing; pack the jars full of raw meat; pour boiling lightly salted water or broth over it up to 1 inch of head room; let it sit a minute to heat up the jars; when they are too hot to touch comfortably, lid them and put them into the pre-heating pressure canner; in the case of meat pre-heating is so that the jars don't break as you set them in the canner; I did all my chicken raw packed; looks just like yours. t

Big Wooly said...

I'm impressed, Joel. I haven't tried to dabble in the magical canning arts yet. You are an inspiration to all of us old dogs that thought we couldn't learn new tricks. I might have to give it a shot next fall if, you know, you don't die of food poisoning or anything like that there.

John Venlet said...

Joel, that Step 2 is important.

suek said...

Sweethearts Mom...

Very interesting - and glad you said that. I've wondered why it was necessary to precook meat when you pressure cook it for 40 minutes or so. Seemed like an overkill...

In any case - _DON"T_ go boiling your chicken - even if you plan to eat it immediately...much less can it! You need to learn the meaning of SIMMER!
In fact, even for the thicker chicken breasts, my fail safe method is to bring the water to a boil, put the meat in, bring it back to a boil, cover tightly, turn off and let stand for 20 minutes. Breasts come out cooked, tender and moist. _not_ stringy. I haven't used that method for thighs, but have no doubt it would work - it's just that we usually use breasts for salads, and the thighs we usually use for cooked in the frying pan type foods.

I haven't thought about canning meats. We have a freezer, and I've stocked up on other canned goods. My husband thinks I'm nuts already - if I started canning meats, I think he'd call the men in white jackets. Or do an intervention. Or something!

SWEETHEARTS MOM said...

suek I lost my electricity for 4 days last year and because I didn't have back up power I lost my whole freezer. So I started canning much of my meat; Since my total canning time is 90 minutes, I know that the meat is as cooked and sterile as it will get. I have washed my jars in mild bleach water and am using new lids.

The Grey Lady said...

I found out I lost all the contents of my freezer just a few days before christmas, some one had accidently knocked the plug out by stashing a present behind it.......

Five green garbage bags full of home-made meat pies, fruit pies, my chilli, speg meat sauce, free range hormone free chickens, what was left of my beef order, everything gone.
I know it happens to just about everyone but when it happens to you??? Ouch....

suek said...

Grey Lady...

What a Christmas present! Truly a reverse one!

I have two freezers - an old one I bought when I had my kids living at home, and a small one that was my Dad's until he died. The small one has an led light on the front of it that is obvious from across the room - if it's off, there's a problem. I haven't shopped for a freezer recently, but that sure seems like a good feature to look for. If they're putting them on the new ones, in any case.

As for power outage...has anyone any idea what the power requirement would be using a generator? how long per day it would require to keep the food frozen??

Anonymous said...

I recently did this with a turkey that was on sale. 19 lbs for $4. turned into 7 quarts of canned meat with broth and three quarts of pure broth.
One good reason for cooking first (at least with the turkey) is it is easier to get all the meat off the bone. Also I cooked the turkey in the oven.
The second trick is after the meat is off the bone to simmer the bones and skin (and everything) for 3 hours or so to get the most out of the turkey and into the broth.
Another point, for those of you, like me, who have always considered the amount of work going into preparing a turkey and getting it on the table to be excessive; let me say for a couple of reasons it is so much easier to prepare it for canning. Because I cook it one day and then put it in the fridge. Then the next day I cut the turkey up and can use my hand to pull the meat off the bones (it's not hot, you see) it goes really fast. Then everything that isn't meat (little scraps of meat go in too) goes in the stock pot with 10 quarts of water and simmers for 3-4 hours, So the project is broken down into manageable pieces and the schedule is flexible unlike Thanksgiving dinner. It was so much fun I am considering doing it once a week all winter. I would have a treasure trove of canned turkey and I do love turkey...