Monday, April 11, 2011

Canning Chicken

Ever wonder what pieces and parts make up a can of "store bought" chicken? Sometimes it doesn't even look like chicken. And sometimes there seems to be more water than chicken in those cans.

I canned my own! Now, I can just open a jar of chicken and have chicken salad, chicken and dumplings, chicken soup, or chicken casserole in just a few minutes.

Here's what I did...

I simmered my chicken pieces until they were cooked thoroughly. Sometimes I pressure cook the chicken for 30 minutes at 5 pounds of pressure... it gets done faster. I added about a half teaspoon of salt to the water before cooking.

Next I remove the skin and pull the meat off the bones, shredding it into bite-sized pieces. Discard the skin and bones.

Now for the canning...

I sterilized my canning jars by boiling them upside down in a pan set on two stove eyes. I placed a dish towel in the bottom to keep the jars from tipping over, added two or three inches of water, and boiled them for 15 or 20 minutes.


And I sterilized my lids and rings by bringing just to a boil and simmering them for 10 or 15 minutes, keeping them hot until time to put them on the jars (don't boil the lids, just simmer).


Then I packed the chicken into the jars, leaving at least a half inch of headspace (I aim for where the threading area begins), and filled them with the broth the chicken was cooked in.





I removed any air bubbles by inserting a butter knife or a special handy-dandy air bubble removing tool sold in canning kits. I wiped the rims of the jars with a damp cloth (Tip: dampening the cloth with a little vinegar will help remove grease) and tightened the lids onto the jars.



I processed the jars in my pressure canner following the instructions provided with the canner.
For pints, process at 10 pounds of pressure for 70 minutes.
For quarts, process at 10 pounds of pressure for 90 minutes.



Turn the heat off from underneath the canner when the time is up and let it cool, allowing the pressure to go down. (DON'T try to hurry the cooling process, let it cool on its own! Don't want to break any of those jars!)

When the pressure went down to ZERO, I removed the lid from my canner and lifted the jars out, setting them to cool on a folded dish towel on the counter... setting them at least an inch apart so air can circulate around them.

When I heard the "PING" of the jar lids sealing, success is complete! It's a beautiful sound!

Leave the jars undisturbed for 12-24 hours, then check that they are still sealed, label with the date, and store in a cool, dark place.

Canned chicken breast meat.

Canning Granny©2011 All Rights Reserved




23 comments:

  1. Just joined your followers and looking forward to checking older posts, as well as newer ones. We be of one blood, ye and I!

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  2. Yay... welcome welcome welcome and THANK YOU for reading! ~~Granny

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  3. I also just joined! Looking forward to more! We are homesteaders and love it!

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  4. Welcome! Livin' the Dream!!!! ~~Granny

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  5. I wish i would have known you 10 years ago. :(

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    1. But Happy to know you now Carol! ~~Granny

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  6. Hello Granny,
    I'm so excited to get started on canning chicken...thank you so much for posting :)

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    1. Yay for you! And you are most welcome! Happy Canning! ~~Granny

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  7. I can chicken too and love it! Mine's a lot simpler though. We only like the white meat so I buy chicken breasts when they are on sale, boneless or bone in. I can it in wide mouth pints, because that's about all we can eat. A quart goes bad before we're done with it. If I'm using boneless/skinless I just cut the breast's in half and place in the sterilized jars...cold. About 2 breasts fit in a jar. I add a 1/2 tsp of garlic salt, put on the boiled lids and rings and pressure can for 65 min. It makes it's own juice and the flavor is amazing! I usually do 36 pints at a time. I've been doing this for 12 years and it turns out fantastic every time!

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    1. Just a question are you cooking the chicken and letting it cool or just packing it in there raw?

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    2. Chicken may be canned either way... cooked first or raw packed. ~~Granny

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  8. I forgot to add that when I use bone in chicken, I cut all the meat off and can it the same way. Then I take 2 big stock pots and divide the bones, add a bunch of vegies (whatever I have), herbs, salt and pepper. I cook it for an hour or so and then remove all the bones and take all the meat off. There is actually quite a bit! I get 2 or 3 really full quart bags, which I usually freeze for later use. We're not very hungry for chicken on canning day! I continue to cook the stock for 3,4,5 hours, depending how much time I have. I then take out all the vegies, ladle the stock into quart jars and can that too. I don't remember the time, but it's in the Ball Blue Book. I love having all this goodness on hand!

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  9. Just found you and am so excited. Quick question though, about what is the shelf life for this chicken?

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    1. Thanks Lori! Shelf life for canned chicken is at LEAST a year, probably much longer, (1-5 years) I'm still using canned chicken I canned a year and a half ago. ~~Granny

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  10. Love This!!! As soon as chicken breasts are on a good sale, I am doing this. Thank you.

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  11. i was wondering how long you have to cook meat with out a pressure cooker my wifes mom used to do it but she has been gone for a few years and never found out how ???? please help

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  12. I followed directions using cooked chicken and covered my chicken with hot water prior to placing in the pressure cooker. I lost a lot of liquid during the cooking process. The jars sealed properly and pinged. Do you have any suggestions?

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    1. I will be fine as long as you didn't lose more than half the liquid... Liquid loss is usually caused by cooling too fast, pressure dropping too quickly, or lids too tight. ~~Granny

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  13. I have tried store-bought canned chicken and tried it in a couple of our favorite recipes, and I can’t taste a difference, but the texture is off. My hubby on the other hand thinks it smells like tuna, and absolutely cannot get over that fact when he is eating it – and tells me never to use canned chicken. But I want to venture into the canned chicken arena.

    Here’s my dilemma. One of my hubby’s favorite meals is just a simple pasta dish with Alfredo, artichokes and chicken. Perfect for shelf stable, right? I usually cut the chicken into 1 inch sized pieces and brown it in some olive oil. It has a “formed” texture and distinct taste, even in the Alfredo. The canned chicken I’ve tried seems to be more shredded (granted I have never canned my own). Is this just with store-bought canned chicken? Or does that just happen because it is stored in the water/juice? I'm wondering if it is possible to retain the solid pieces and even brown them after canning. Any tips?

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    1. You're gonna get pretty soft chicken when you can it no matter what you do... I have found it's a bit more firm and holds its shape a little better if you raw pack it rather than cooking first... cut into the size pieces you want, pack it in jars raw and process for the same times/pressure as above, it will make its own broth so no need to add water or broth. ~~Granny

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  14. Sometimes the weird canned taste is "removed" by rinsing it in cold water.
    We always rinse our canned potatoes too...it just seems to help improve the taste for us.
    Just don't run the water over them too hard or it will start breaking up the meat (and potatoes too)!

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