Monday, August 08, 2011

Canned Chicken

 Newly Canned Chicken Breast!

Chicken is on sale a lot. So it the time to stock up. I like to buy about 30 lbs. of skinless chicken breast and can it. You can buy whatever you like, thighs, drumsticks, backs, wings, boneless or with bones. I know many people like to freeze it. But nothing in my mind, compares to it being canned. It flavors it over time and protects it in case of power outages. Then you will have many quick meals!

Shopping for deals!

I have mentioned on here in a previous post, How I Can Ground Beef, that I like to shop at my local restaurant supply warehouse. MaineSource Restaurant and Party Supply Warehouse has the best meat in our area. Their prices are much better than my local grocery stores. Keeping an eye on my budget means being careful of what stores I shop at. I also like relying on a store that repeatedly sells me high quality food for a fair price.

Cooked Chicken Breast

Canning the chicken is not hard at all. I precook it. If you'd rather can it raw, that is your choice. They are both safe and good methods. Just follow the recipe in your canning book.

 Check Your Canning Book!

Be sure to have your canning book handy to refer to as you do your canning. It will give you clear instructions on how to do the canning. I always keep my book nearby and open to the recipe I am using. Even if I have done it many times. Just in case.

 Be Sure You Use A Pressure Canner!

You have to use a pressure canner......NOT a pressure cooker.......and NOT a water bath canner! It must be canned in a pressure canner, as the other methods will not bring the jars of food up to a safe temperature for canning. This is your life and your family's life you are protecting by using a safe canning method for the type of food you are canning.

 Cut Chicken In Cubes

After the chicken is cooked, since I am using boneless breast I cut it up in cubes. I think it is easier to use that way. I can use it in many recipes, shred it for salad or sandwiches. It is much more tastier than the canned chicken sold in the stores.

 Chicken Cubes In Water

Then I fill the pan with water and put it on the stove to boil. I just want the water brought to the boiling point. Take it off then, and I am already to get started. This water is what I will be adding to the jars as I can. It becomes the broth and is very good.

 Filled with hot boiling water

I fill my clean canning jars with hot boiling water and let them sit while waiting to be used. You can also immerse them in a pan of hot boiling water, but I find them hard to get out easily. This way works for me. It is up to you.

UPDATE: According to the USDA guidelines, you no longer have to heat the jars or simmer them in boiling water. I never did that anyway. I still put hot water heated to the boiling point in them so that they are hot when I put the hot food in them. I do not want to take the chance of one breaking from the hot food going into a cold jar.

 Dry the rim and lid

I put the rims and lids in hot water until I need each one. Wipe your jar lids and rims so they are as dry as possible. Remember the main reason why foods don't seal is due to grease between the rims of the jars and the lids. So make sure there isn't any there and you will get a good seal on all your food.

Then fill each jar one by one, with the chicken and add the hot boiling water. You may add a 1/2 teaspoon of salt for pints or 1 teaspoon of salt for quarts if you want for flavor. I do not. Wipe the rim of the jar and add your lid and rim and put into the canner which should be on the stove with about 3" of water simmering on the stove. Make sure you have a rack in the bottom of the canner or your jars will break.

 Canner Exhausting

After the canner is full, put the lid on and fasten it. Then turn your heat up a bit and wait for it to exhaust. You will see the steam coming out of the exhaust on the lid. It must do that for 10 minutes. It will make noise and sound like it is a rocket taking off. That is normal! Don't get scared of that.

 Regulator and gauge tell the pressure point

Then I put the regulator on it and let it come up to pressure. I use a regulator so it jiggles while at pressure. If it gets below the pressure point I am using, usually 10 pounds for my area, it will be silent. Then I know to check it. My canners have gauges so I can use them either way.

 Canning Season! 

When the time is up, I turn the stove off and let the pressure go down. It can take about 20 to 30 minutes to do so. Leave the lid alone until is done. First I take the regulator off, then let it sit for a few minutes before I loosen the lid. Open the lid away from you because the steam will be very hot. I let my jars sit about five minutes in the canner before removing them with the jar lifter to a thick towel in a safe place. Try to put them in a place where no one will touch them or cold air will hit them immediately on being taken out of the canner. Then let them sit for 24 hours.

Canned beef and chicken!

Canned meats, as well as canned vegetables, fruits and other foods will last many years in a safe spot. As long as your lids stay sealed they should be safe to eat. I have used jars of food canned many years ago. They taste like they were canned yesterday!

Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2011 Kathleen G. Lupole

Updated July 2016

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