Tuesday, July 30, 2013

CSA Week 8 & Canning Chickens

So here we are in week 8 of our Geauga Family Farms CSA shares..  Time is just flying by..

Todays bag was really nice and Im looking forward to munching down on some good old fashion Southern Style Cooking.  Im going to saute those yellow wax beans with some new potatoes and Im also going to make fried new potatoes with onions & squash. 

I havent decided what to do with the eggplant & cabbage yet, but the blueberries we'll eat out of hand and the tomatoes & lettuce will make great salads.   I added the cucumbers to a cucumber salad I have marinating in the frig..  Thats what I use for a salad dressing and I dont need much else.
I think I'll just boil up the beets, add a pat of butter, and have for a side for our Swordfish & salad tonight.

One of the  GFF Farmers  offers stewing chickens that they've culled from their flock  These are layers not producing well enough for their keep. The meat is a little bit tougher than meat birds but it makes fine chicken stock and meat for soups and stews.

As I did last year, I called and ordered 10 of these birds.   And this is what I did with them.

As you can see.. I can fit 5 at a time in my roaster so I put the other 5 in the freezer while I was working with these.  I cooked them overnight & half of the next day, then I removed them to cool.  While they were cooling, I was de-fatting the broth.. not that there was much fat on these birds to start with.

My mom taught me this awesome trip to quickly remove the fat from hot liquids if you cant manage to do it another way.  This roaster pan was heavy and this is the best way to tackle this.  You get a lot of ice cubes or crushed ice... place it in a wire strainer and skim the top of the broth..  or as I did in the picture above, toss them in & quickly skim the ice out before it melts.  Its tough to do to try to get a photo but that is ice quickly melting in the photo above. :)

 As you can see in the photo above, the fat sticks to the ice and is nicely removed from the broth.

Here I have 15 beautiful pints of pure chicken broth.

This is the second bunch of just meat that I canned.  There were 11 pints of meat from 5 of the birds and the other 5 birds, I used the meat to make Chicken & Vegetable Soup.   I'll use the soup to make Chicken & Rice or Chicken Noodle with Veggies Soup, Chicken Pot Pie, or Chicken Rice Casserole. 

 In this final photo you can see jars of broth with different colors..  The lighter clear broth on the front left side is pure chicken broth.  The jars of broth on the right hand side are chicken bone & veggies broth.
One batch was made with leftover broth,  lots of vegetables like carrots, celery, onion, and chard.  The other batch was made with chicken bones & broth, onion & garlic.

I also canned 6 pints of chard from my little front yard garden..   All told I got 87 jars of broth, soup & chicken.  There are a dozen jars of broth not in this picture.. I didnt realize I'd already put them in a box and were hiding under the table on one of the chair seats.. mad   Oh well..  it was quite a few days worth of work but I count it well worth it.  I'll have chicken & broth to last me a good long while.

As I was leaving the farm, the lady who sold me the chickens asked me "Will you want some more chickens this fall?"    eek    Maybe!  smile emoticon


  1. I have always been afraid to can meat or poultry. You've given me courage. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

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    1. Oh Mary, Dont be afraid! Just follow the USDA Canning Guidelines and you'll do fine! If you've ever eaten canned meat, you'll love it! Canning meat requires a Pressure Canner and more time than Water Bath Canning, but its not difficult at all. And its so tasty too!!

      Here is a link to the online USDA Canning Guide.. just follow their direction and you'll have nothing to worry about. http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html

      Thanks for stopping by! You have a wonderful week too!