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This weekend it was time to do something not so fun, but necessary Clean out the chicken coop. We’ve had a problem ever since we had the skunk issues and our chickens have stopped laying completely. Well, a good homesteader knows that when chickens are no longer good for eggs it’s time to find another purpose for them. We started to do just 4 at a time to make canning chicken easier on me! So after the not-so-fun part was over it was time to get on with cooking and canning the chicken! I started by cleaning the chickens very well and making sure there were no feathers or fuzzies left on them. We cut them into pieces and put them into 2 large crockpots. I turned the crockpots on low and left them overnight (for about 12 hours, maybe a little more).
After the chicken finished cooking I removed it from the crockpot and put it in a bowl to let it cool so I could de-bone it.
Seriously…look at how amazing this broth is! I left some organ meats in and it made the richest broth I’ve ever seen.
When I de-boned the chicken I put it in clean quart jars (I always either run them through the dishwasher or clean them with hot soapy water first.)
Don’t fill the jars all the way full with chicken so you have lots of room for broth. I filled mine about half way full with chicken.
Fill the jar the rest of the way (leaving about an inch headspace in the jar) with the broth. If you need to, add a little bit of water to get it to the top.
Clean off the jar rims and add the lids and rims. Make sure to screw the rims on tightly!
Place in your pressure canner. Meat MUST be pressure canned. A hot water bath will not seal the jars correctly because meat is not acidic. Make sure to follow the directions on your individual canner. (I have a Presto 23 qt Pressure Canner, I love it!) Cook for 90 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure. (If you ever want to know canning times/temps reference Putting Food By!)
Make sure to let your canner completely de-pressurize before you open it. If you have any jars that did not seal you will need to re-can them or just eat them now. And that’s canning chicken! Before I learned how to do it I always thought it was going to be a hard thing to do but it’s just as easy as canning anything else! Use these to make some easy Chicken Noodle Soup or open and use the chicken in a meal and the broth in another meal. So many possibilities and my favorite part is canned chicken doesn’t take up any fridge or freezer space! (You could also make Dried Chicken Broth to save freezer space!)
Make sure you check out all the free Canning and Preserving Recipes we have on Little House Living! And don’t forget to check out The Canner’s Cookbook, it has recipes on how to use all your home canned goods!
Have you ever canned meat?