Chicken soup from Scratch!
Now that fall will soon be turning into winter..it is time to start thinking about cold and flu season. Believe it or not..CHICKEN SOUP is one of the best friends you can have when that season hits.
This year I had 6-7 older laying hens that were ready for the soup pot. So that's EXACTLY where they went. Then I canned them against to coming colder months!
* Warning* The ONLY safe method for canning anything with meat is in a pressure canner. These are one of the most handy things to have..and well worth the initial $130 expense outlay.
You will need..
6-8 pounds of chicken..
( legs will do..if you don't have your own birds..try buy a few whole FRYERS with skin intact..Boneless skinless chicken is nice for cooking ..but for soup..you NEED the skin and bones.)
3-4 pound bag of carrots
2 WHOLE stalks of celery
3 pound bag of onions
15 cloves of peeled and sliced garlic
3 Tbls sea salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup parsley
4 Bay leaves
About eighteen 500 ml ( pint) jars with new lids and rings.
Or about a dozen one litre jars with lids and rings.
A small rubber spatula.
A canning funnel.
and a clean cloth.
At about 7 am
Put your chickens In a large stainless stock pot, COVER with COLD water..( cold water is important to start with as it cooks the chickens evenly and draws out the essential nutrients from the tissue and bones)
Add the salt , pepper, parsley, garlic and bay leaves. Cover, bring to a boil..turn it down to medium, recover and allow to simmer until the meat is slipping off the bones when you stir it and the skin is dissolving. About 4-5 hours. While your chicken is cooking..Prepare your veggies.
Once your chicken is cooked..pour the pot through a strainer. Put the broth back into the stock pot, cover and keep hot on low. Spread the meat and bones onto a clean cookie sheet and pop into your freezer to cool while you prepare your jars and lids and canner.
Wash your jars thoroughly and rinse. Leaving them in a sink full of HOT water. Wash and rinse your lids and put in a small pot, cover with water and bring to a coil..then turn to low setting to keep them hot. Set you rings in a bowl on the counter within easy reach.
By this time your chicken and bones should be cool enough to handle. Wash your hands and begin to "pick" through your meat and bones. THIS part is extremely important to use your hands..as there may be tiny little bones that only your hands can detect. Place all your meat in a separate bowl. Leaving no bone undetected.
Have all your ingredients on the counter ready to go ..And your stock simmering on the stove..
Fill your Jars with equal amounts of chicken,onion, carrots and celery..Then using the canning funnel..ladle hot broth into each jar to one inch from the top.
NOW..this part is VERY important
Run the spatula around the inside of the jar..bobbing it up and down as you go around the sides of the jar..being sure to release ALL the air bubbles.
Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth so that the lids can make a clean tight seal.
Screw on lids and rings firmly with HANDS ( as opposed to a jar tightener..I have heard of such things..but never used one)
And process in a pressure canner at 10-11 pounds pressure ( depending on your model)
75 minutes for pints and 95 minutes for one litre jars. If you are on well water..be sure and add a splash of vinegar in the canner with the water..so that your jars come out nice and clear with no mineral residue!
Once your canner has cooled down THOROUGHLY..remove jars and place on a towel to cool for about 8 hours..make sure all lids have "popped down" thus ensuring a good seal!
Aren't they lovely? These can be eaten as is..or you can add more broth and veggies..or even noodles!
This link above is to my youtube video of how to make fresh egg noodles. Remember!! REAL chicken soup is Grandmas penicillin!