There are days that I just need to can something. Today was one of those days.
We have a lot of chicken in our freezer right now after our last harvest of meat birds, and I really like to keep some easy meals canned up in the pantry. Sunday night we used the last jar of chicken soup, so, it’s only logical that I would start having this inane urge to get some more jars in there! Or so I tell myself.
Once you start becoming self-sufficient, when you get the first taste of a years worth of food put away for your family, when you see the shelves lined with the fruit, (or vegetable) of your labor, when your freezer is full of the meat that you raised, the garden overflowing with the produce that grew from tiny seeds you held in your hand, the honey that came from the busy bees that harvested the nectar from the garden that you grew, the cheese and yogurt that started with the udder of a cow that you milk, all these things make it impossible to go back. There is a driving force that propels you forward into eternally preparing, making ahead, figuring out more and better ways to do things yourself and not rely on the grocery store to provide.
Here’s a very simple recipe for one of my favorite chowders ever.
You will need a pressure canner if you want to preserve this in mason jars.
Chicken Corn Chowder
Makes appx 14 quarts.
You can half or quarter this recipe for a smaller batch using parts of chicken or use a whole chicken in a smaller batch for a meatier chowder.
1 whole chicken
3 lbs of potatoes
2 large onions
4 lbs of corn
Basil, thyme, garlic, bay leaves, salt and pepper
Boil your chicken up until it is falling off the bone in a large 3 gallon stock pot. Let cool and then de-bone, putting the meat back into the pot with the broth that it boiled in.
Add 1 Tbsp each of Basil and Thyme, 2 Tbsp garlic powder, 2-3 bay leaves and salt and pepper to taste.
Return to a boil, making sure to add water so that you stock pot is half full.
Dice potatoes and onion and throw into stock pot.
Boil until potatoes and soft.
I like to use the back of my stirring spoon to squish the potatoes against the sides of the pan to break them up real well.
If you want to can your chowder, you will do so at this point.
So, warm up you mason jars and lids and rings.
Warm up your pressure canner, according to it’s directions.
Ladle chowder into quart jars leaving 1 inch head space.
Process for 90 minutes at 15lbs of pressure.
Let cool and remove jars.
When you are ready to enjoy a meal of this scrumptious chowder, just pop open a jar and dump it in a pan. Heat to slow boil and then add 1-2 cups of cream, or 2 cups of milk with 1/4 tsp Xanthan Gum for thickener. Whisk very well until completely heated and thickened.
I know we did for dinner tonight!