Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Culinary Explosion

The humble chicken. I think the reason I can't be a vegetarian is that I would miss chicken too much. Well, chicken and bacon. And bacon covered chicken. I digress. Anyway, my local grocery store had buy one get one on whole chickens (organic even!) and I couldn't pass it up. I think a whole chicken is a little known way to save a bundle at the grocery store. Buying a whole chicken is CHEAP and getting two for the price of one is even CHEAPER. They freeze well and thanks to a fellow blogger I learned that you can just stick the whole bird (nasty gizzard bag removed) in a crock pot, sprinkle with your favorite spices and walk away for seven hours. The meat was super moist and after dinner you have great tasting leftover chicken for the next night's feast! AND....I put all the skin and bones back into the crock pot with the chicken liquid and  set it on low overnight and woke up to my own organic chicken stock which I turned into chicken noodle soup (with homemade egg noodles.) How simple is that?
Hubby and I also tried some more canning. We canned a week's worth (about 10 pounds) of zucchini, slicing them into pickles. We packed 12 jars, but ended up with eleven. One of the jars exploded. We put the lid on the processing pot and heard a pop. The bottom of the jar blew right off, in a perfect circle. Since we're still fairly new to the art of canning, we're not exactly sure what happened. I'm thinking that when hubby filled the jars with brine, he didn't leave enough head space causing the pressure in the jar to be too extreme and thus, it blew up. Good thing we had the lid on the pot. Watch out! Flying pickles!

We also experimented with another type of food preservation: salt packing. We had about a jar's worth of radishes that hubby washed and trimmed. He then layered them in a jar with salt, herbs and garlic. We're to let the jar cure for three days, then  fill the jar with hot water and return it to the pantry for three months. After said period of time, the radishes are cured and ready for eating. It sounds sketchy to me but it's worth a shot. Any type of food preservation that doesn't involve standing over a hot stove, or burning my thumbs on hot jars gets a big thumbs up from me!

1 comment:

  1. The salt packing should work because the brine inhibits the growth of bacteria and other nasties! I still say you guys had a faulty jar, combined with no head space and BOOM!!! Also, those pickles are going to be really HOT!!! Usually, on pepper will do! I'm so proud of how domestic you've become!