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~ Kathy M.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Canning Cornish Game Hens:

This morning, Darlene (Cary's Mom), and I drove into Bend to run some errands, go shopping and eat lunch.  We ate lunch at Applebees, which was really good, as always.  I had the Three Cheese Penne, and Darlene had the Hawaiian Chicken Bowl.  Yum. 

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

At Food 4 Less, I bought 7 cornish game hens for $13.95.  I thought to myself, hey these little babies will fit nicely into a canning jar!  I was so excited.  And, the pressure cooker holds 7 quart jars!  It was clearly meant to be, you just had to be on the lookout for the signs from God. 

I set them out to thaw when I got home.  I used a baking rack so that they could get air underneath them and thaw faster.  I made that up on the spot, and was very proud of myself for quick thinking.

As they were thawing, I pulled out my canning books and reviewed them.  One of them told me how to can cornish game hens, thank goodness.  I also learned that if you are canning at a higher elevation, your stuff has to cook longer in the pressure cooker.  That was a handy little hint, since we live at 4200' (maybe one reason why we had snow a couple of weeks ago.)

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

When the hens were thawed, I went to work.  I plopped a chicken bullion cube in the bottom of each jar and then put some baby carrots in there too.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

I took out my jar of minced garlic from Costco from the fridge.

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

I dropped in a teaspoonful into each jar.
Ooops, a bit got caught on the rim.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

Then, I added a dash of poultry seasoning, a dash of pepper and a couple of tablespoons of salad oil.

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

Then, I added a cup of nearly boiling water.  I chose that amount because that is what the bullion cube recipe called for.

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews
Looks like a good little carrot marinade to me!

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

I put the jar into a paper towel dish so things wouldn't get so messy.

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

After that, I rinsed the hens carefully and removed the livers (if they had any, most of them didn't).  Mange got to eat the livers, and she liked them.  After the hens are rinsed off, squeeze them well to get the extra water off, and try to make them long and skinny.  They will go into the jar better.  Go slow as you stuff them in so the marinade will not splash out all over you and go to waste.  I am starting to see why people wear aprons, now that I am really getting into cooking.

 Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy ~ Kathy Matthews

Work out the air bubbles!  I put lids on these, and put them in the fridge to marinate overnight.  It is 8:22 p.m. right now and nearing my bedtime, so I decided to actually can these tomorrow.  I will work out more air bubbles tomorrow and slowly heat the jars and contents up before getting the pressure cooker revved up. 

As you know, I am NOT an expert canner, this is only my second attempt.  If you think you want to do this on your own, read your canning book, ask questions of experts, and check out the canning website on the sidebar for times and temps.

I'll let you know tomorrow how everything works out!

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