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.|
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