Saturday, November 17, 2012

Six "extra" roosters = 1.5 gallons of meat and lots of stock...

My friend, from whom I get fresh eggs, had 6 roosters that needed to be dispatched.  That's a nice sounding work for "killed."  :(  They were taking up space that she needed to use for milk goats through the bitter cold of winter we are expecting.  When I was there last week, she asked me if I'd like to have them.  Inwardly, I groaned a little, thinking of all the work it would entail, but rarely do I turn down free food, so I said I would like to have them.

Fast forward to yesterday.  Another friend and I (she wanted to learn how to butcher chickens) went and brought the poor boys home in feed sacks.  When I took the wiggly sacks out of my trunk, our dog, Badger, was fascinated.

We butchered and prepared them and all six of the carcasses fit in my huge stock pot.  I covered them all with water, and simmered them for about 3 hours.  Then I let it cool for a while.  Next, I removed the cooked chickens from the broth and let that cool enough that I could handle it easily and  removed the meat from the bones.

The bones went back into a 2 gallon pot with more water and about 1/4 cup of raw apple cider vinegar, and it is still simmering.  I like to cook bone broth for at least 24 hours to get all of the lovely minerals and gelatin into the stock.  Here is what it looks like this morning with about 12 hours to go:

I stuffed pint jars with the cooked meat, covered them with the cooking broth, leaving 1 inch of "head space."  The rest of the cooking broth went into a few more pint jars and I processed it all together in the pressure canner for 75 minutes.  (Consult a good canning guide for instructions.)  Here is what we ended up with:
Later, I plan to can the bone broth too, and we will have many nice meals from all of these poor, unwanted roosters.

I have frozen the feet and giblets to use later.  The feet make excellent and healthy stock.  The giblets... ah...  liver and onions, hearts and gizzards braised in butter with salt and pepper.  Oh, yum.

I'm grateful.  It was a lot of work, but with my friend here, and with my DH helping, it was also a lot of fun!  And, hey!  It was "free!"

Thank you so much, Deb.

10 comments:

  1. I am so glad you was able to get so many good meals from those guys. I am happy to have the room, and get ready for bringing the goats in for kidding. Enjoy!

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    1. You are always so good to me. Thanks again. :)

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  2. wowsers, that was a lot of work! But what wonderfully healthy food you will have this bitter winter. I make stock the same way you do. We picked up our beef quarter this morning from the butcher - going to make bone stock next week with the bones! I will probably borrow my best friend's pressure canner to can it as my freezer is full of beef.

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    1. That's great about your beef! If my DH doesn't manage to get a deer soon, I think I'll save up and get a quarter beef too. Canning stock (and meat) is so easy and saves freezer space. Good luck!

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  3. Wow, that is so cool, I am such a nervous canner. I can do jelly or jam, but I am shy of other things, mostly because I have no one to can with!

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    1. Bless your heart... I wish you lived next door. If you have any questions at all, please email me at ilovekefir@hotmail.com

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  4. Just letting you know, your link to mormon.org isn't working (not for me anyway). It made me happy to read "I belong" because the only words that could follow (for me) were "to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints."
    Jenny

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    1. Thank you for the heads up! It is working for me now. Maybe when you tried there was something wrong. God bless.

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