A documentation of my preservation and preparation of local foods as I work through the seasons. This will serve as a reference tool for me in the future and as a sharing guide for family and friends...and anyone else interested. Hopefully, I can offer some useful methods, tips and recipes to share with everyone--be they novice or pro--and encourage them to join me in the exciting world of preserving and cooking with local foods.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Canned Chicken Soup

Leftover roast chicken and an assortment of fresh veggies in the fridge--good time for canning chicken soup. It's best to plan for equal amounts of broth and solids (mix of chicken meat and veggies). 
For the Broth
I put the chicken in a pot, cover it with water--a few inches above the chicken, and bring it to almost boiling.  Take the chicken out to cool and then pick all the meat off.  This method makes getting all the meat from the bones much easier.  Chop the chicken meat and put in refrigerator until ready to use.  Put the chicken carcass back into the water and simmer for a few hours.  Remove from heat, strain broth, cool a bit, then refrigerate until ready to use--preferrably several hours or overnight so fat turns solid. 
The Veggies and Chicken
Retrieve the broth from the fridge, take the fat off the top and use the broth to partially cook lots of cut-up fresh or frozen veggies (green beans, onion, green pepper, corn, carrots, celery, potatoes, peas, a little garlic and some herbs) just until the veggies start to soften.  Add the cut up chicken and continue cooking until chicken is heated through.
--Fill hot jars half full with solids (chicken meat and veggies). Ladle broth to fill rest of jar to within 1/2" from top. (leave a little room for herbs)  Add a Tablespoon total of dried herbs to each jar.  Best herbs include parsley, oregano, Italian seasoning, dill weed, thyme, tarragon.  I use 2 tsp of Italian Herbs and one tsp dill weed.  Do not use sage or poultry seasoning as the sage will turn bitter and overwhelm the flavor.   Instead of salt, I also add a Tablespoon of chicken boullion granules (or 3 cubes) for a richer chicken flavor.   Process in pressure canner at 10 pounds of pressure: pints 60 min, quarts 75 min.
 Just what the (country) doctor ordered!

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