You may remember me talking about the mistake we made in our purchase of a few “fill in” chickens; The Fatties. Well they had reach their prime as far as I was concerned. They were bigger than a small dog, ate and pooped way too much. For some reason Sunday has turned into chicken coop cleaning day where the whole thing gets a good deep cleaning and that Sunday I did not want to deal with those two fat, smelly birds any longer.
Butchering on Sunday just doesn’t seem quite right (however, neither does cleaning the coop) so they went to bed without a good cleaning and to be reckoned with in the morning.
The little boy and I went out and did chores as usual Monday morning. Went in had breakfast, read a story, played trucks; the normal routine. He then went down for a nap and headed to the coop.
Canning pot in one hand and axe in the other.
Out by the coop was the perfect chopping block already and I had an extra bucket out there for guts too. Now the only nice thing about an disproportionally fat bird is that you have no trouble catching it. So I grabbed the smaller of the two first. You see I have never butchered a chicken up to this point and I figured starting with the smaller may be better. Mind you, I have done enough bird hunting (usually rather unsuccessful) that I have the general “know how” to clean a bird.
Because I was only going to butcher the two birds that day I decided I wasn’t going to worry about plucking them which made the whole process much faster.
I will spare you the gory details; the just of it is, the head went on the block, I prayed I didn’t chop off my fingers and gave it a good chop with the axe. I then skinned the birds ( no plucking then), gutted them and gave them a good rinse in cold water to cool the meat as fast as possible.
In the house I cut the meat off the bones and placed it in quart jars for canning just as I did the venison last fall. The bones went into a stock pot and were cooked with some vegetables to make chicken stock.
The whole process went quite well.
In each 1 qt. mason jar I pack in the boneless, raw chicken meat topped with 1 tbsp. of kosher salt and 2 smashed garlic cloves, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace.
Using a water bath canner I processed the jars for 2 1/2 hours.
* You can add other herbs or vegetables to the jar before processing. I did not this time making the chicken a little more “universal”.
Chicken Bone Broth
There is no recipe to my chicken broth usually more a list of ingredients that is in amounts of “what needs to be used up”.
Salt and Pepper
Those are the “for sure” things I add. Then its “anything goes” after that.
Apples (give is a subtle sweetness)
Just to name a few
And of course chicken bones.
This will simmer for the afternoon. I can the broth and put the rest in the compost.
To can I leave 1/2 in headspace and process in a water bath for 40 minutes.