How to Can Chicken

Instead of buying the little tin cans full of various chopped up chicken parts at the grocery store, can your own chicken.  You won’t believe how easy and delicious it is.  Furthermore, if you are like me and source your meats carefully, you will be assured that you have put aside chicken that is hormone and antibiotic free, organically fed, and humanely raised. This is also a great way to make the most of chicken that you picked up on sale at the grocery store!

Raw-packing skinless boneless chicken results in a delicious tender poached chicken that is delicious cut up into chicken salads or shredded and seasoned to be used in enchiladas or other chicken-containing recipes. If you are starting with a whole chicken, debone it before canning it.

Chicken on the bone may be canned, but as it sits on the shelf, the bones begin to dissolve into a gelatinous mess. We find it extremely unappetizing.

For the sake of versatility, this recipe contains only very mild seasoning.

Each 1-quart jar will hold approximately 3 average sized chicken breasts or 6 chicken thighs.  The following recipe is per jar– multiply the ingredients as needed.

Ingredients:

  • 3 skinless boneless chicken breasts or 6 skinless boneless thighs
  • 1 clove of crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp of black pepper
  • Water as needed

Directions:

  1. Place one clove of garlic in the bottom of each sanitized quart jar.
  2. Add raw chicken pieces to the jar, pushing them down to pack tightly.
  3. Add salt and pepper, and then top up the jar with water, allowing 1 inch of headspace.
  4. IMPORTANT:  Skipping this step may cause your jars not to seal.  Carefully slide a table knife or other narrow utensil down the interior sides of the jars, removing air pockets.
  5. Wipe the lip of the jars with a cloth or paper towel that has been dipped in white vinegar.  This gets rid of any fat that may be lingering on the lip of the jar – skipping this step can cause your jars not to seal.
  6. Lid the jars and process in a pressure canner for an hour and a half at 10 pounds of pressure, adjusting for altitude.

You can see in the picture above that the chicken is still boiling.  I’ve noticed that when you remove a jar from the pressure canner, the contents often continue boiling on the counter for about an hour. If they stop boiling right away, 9 times out of 10, the seal is faulty.  That is because the lack of seal causes the ingredients to cool faster.

Your end result is tender poached chicken in a light broth.  When serving the chicken, reserve the broth for cooking rice, veggies, or quinoa.

Resources used to make this item:

Recipe: The Organic Canner

Pressure canner

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