Friday, February 10, 2012

Chicken , chicken, who got chicken

I did, actually my mom and I did.
This is the second time we've purchased bulk chicken from Zaycon Foods.

This time we decided to try grinding the chicken to replace beef for my Dad. I don't have the attachment for my kitchen aide mixer but Mom had a couple of old fashion crank grinders hanging in her kitchen for decoration, so we decided to give them a try. It was slow but we managed to work our way through 6 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast.

We packaged them up in 1 pound packages and vacuum sealed them for freezing.  I still had a partial roll of plastic to seal them in. We also did 4 bags of chicken strips for the freezer. It is handing to have in the freezer for meal planning. I have already used 1 package of the ground chicken for a batch of chicken and black bean chili and it turned out really good.

The rest of the chicken (about 25 pounds became diced canned chicken)
I did 14 pints of chicken, while Mom made about 30 half pints. We added about 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice as a preservative and water. Mom took her's home to process while I went ahead and started the processing in the pressure cooker. I did 7 pints in the cooker for 90 minutes at 15 pounds of pressure. I found that once it reaches pressure I could turn my stove down to about 4 and maintain the consistent heat it needed to keep the pressure gauge rattling.  We have already used the chicken for a batch of Chicken and rice casserole. It is so nice to have it on hand and no that it is not overloaded with sodium and other preservatives.  My hope is to order chicken from Zaycon the next time it comes around and watch for tuna locally and do the same thing. Home canning is a passion of mine, I enjoy having the food in the pantry but I also like that I am not having a bunch of extra garbage when I open up a jar of food. I wash the jars and reuse them. I recently purchased some reusable seals as well so there will be no waste when I open someone I have canned at home. It is a simple thing we can do to live a "greener"  healthier life in the country.

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