I was getting a little bit low on jars of sweet corn and frozen corn was on sale this week. There was a bit of a glitch in my order and I got only 6 lbs. of corn rather than the 10 I ordered. No big thing. It happens once in a great while. I won't complain. My groceries are delivered. I no longer need to spend an hour on the bus to go grocery shopping or to haul the food up the stairs. I'm happy.
As soon as my order arrived on Wednesday afternoon, I put the corn into a stock pot, added enough hot water to cover and set it on the stove. I didn't want to cook it - just thaw it out and heat it up. That done, I filled jars and fired up the pressure canner. I wound up with 10 pints. When the corn goes on sale again I will order enough to fill a couple cases of half pint jars.
While the corn was processing, I tackled the 40 lbs. of chicken leg quarters. I separated the drumsticks from the thighs and bagged up the drumsticks for the freezer. I got 8 quart bags of drumsticks.
The thighs went into stock pots along with water and couple of carrots and some onion for flavor. When the meat was falling-off-the-bone done, I removed it from the bones and bagged it up for the fridge. It was getting too late in the day to start canning the chicken. I strained the resulting broth, poured it into a clean pot and put that in the fridge as well.
This morning I filled half pint jars with chicken and processed them for 75 minutes. I have lots of chicken and turkey in pint jars on the shelves, but few half pints. A half pint jar is just right for a couple of sandwiches or to add in a chicken salad or chicken and rice for one or two. I got 22 half pints from the thighs. There was still about a quart of diced chicken left after the canner was full, so I bagged that up and stuck it in the fridge to use for my meals the rest of the week.
I skimmed most of the fat from the broth, added a little chicken bouillon to enhance the chicken flavor, heated it up and filled 12 quart jars. Those I processed for 25 minutes.
Some have wondered why I would bother canning chicken when I already have lots on my shelves. Two reasons. The first is that prices don't go down - only up. A year ago this same sale on chicken legs packaged in 10 lb. bags was 39 cents a pound. I paid 49 cents a pound yesterday. Who knows what the price will be next year or if the store will even run the same sale.
The second reason is that for under $20, I got 16 meals of chicken drumsticks (I can get two meals out of each bag.), 22 meals of canned chicken and 12 quarts of chicken broth. That much broth alone, at Sam's Club, would run $19.92 at their price of $1.66 per quart
Yes, there is some work involved, but I'd say that I got some pretty good mileage out of my $20 investment!
I also got a good price on bell peppers. The lady who does my shopping is really good at picking out the freshest produce and always gets me the biggest peppers. This time there was a combination of red, orange and green peppers. While the chicken was cooking I cleaned and diced the peppers and got them in the dehydrator. On peppers I have dehydrated before, the skins tended to stay a bit tough when rehydrated, so now I grind the dried peppers into tiny pieces and use them as flavoring.
That being done, I believe a nap is in my near future.
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