Last week we showed you the magic of how to freeze chicken without freezer burn. After I took care of that 40 lbs of chicken, I still had 40 lbs more left to can. I love canned chicken because it is a great way to store your chicken for a long period of time and shelf stable. So let me show you how to can chicken to add to your home food storage. It is much easier than you would think!
Canned chicken for easy meal prep.
The other great thing about canned chicken is that it not only puts a lot of food on your shelves, but it also makes meal prep really easy! Since the chicken is already cooked, then all you have to do is open the bottle, and use! Either use cold or warm it up. Or mix it into your recipe like a comforting Creamy Chicken Enchiladas.
To begin you need a
- pint jars ( I prefer wide mouth) or Quart Jars if you prefer
- new lids and rings
- Chicken bouillon granuals (not in cubes, you need the powder form)
- All American 21.5 Quart pressure canner.
Step 1: You want to make sure you have your pressure canner out and ready to go. I use an All American 21.5 Quart pressure canner. It is amazing and has some truly brilliant safety features, so it takes the fear out of pressure canning!
Step 2: You want to ensure your jars are clean and sterile. I clean out the dishwasher and run my jars through a hot sterile cycle and then leave them in the dishwasher until it is time to fill. You don’t want a cold jar going into the pressure canner!
Step 3: Soak your lids in hot water (not boiling) while you process your chicken so they will be ready once you start filling your jars.
My last Zaycon Chicken order I picked up 80 pounds of chicken to process. This is to keep our family provided with chicken for a few months and so we can have farm fresh chicken at a better price than the grocery stores offer. We buy in bulk to save money and build up our food storage. Plus the chicken is just amazing!
Anyway, I had 80 lbs of chicken to process! I froze 40 lbs of the chicken which left me with 40 lbs to can. I used mostly Pint jars because that is all that is needed for our family for a single meal. So I can just grab 1 pint and create a meal around it. But I did process a few Quarts for when we need to make an extra big meal. Cases like that include if we are sharing with neighbors, or taking a meal to someone who is sick.
Step 4: Time to prepare the chicken. The chicken comes in large chicken breasts that are still connected so they almost look like a butterfly. We need to cut them in half and trim the excess fat and gristle.
Then slice the chicken into small chunks to add to the jars. If you have read any of our other canning (like canned beef stew) or freezing posts, you will know how much I insist on a good quality slicing knife! It makes a tremendous difference in how quickly you can process the chicken!
Once you have all your chicken sliced into chunks we can begin filling the jars.
Step 5: Take the jar and add 1/2 Teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon to the bottom of each pint jar (1 teaspoon of each for quart jars).
Step 6: Fill the jars. You will simply add chicken chunks to each jar until you have about 1 1/4 inch headspace for expanding during canning process.
Step 7: Continue until your first batch of jars are ready. You only want to fill the number of jars that can be processed in a single batch at a time. If you prep all the jars then they are left sitting on the counter cooling off. Then when you place them into the Pressure canner for the next batch, the glass is likely to break and you will lose your precious chicken (Trust me, this is exactly what happened!).
So only prep jars for the amount that will fit into each batch of the pressure cooker at a time. You can begin prepping the next batch of jars as you are waiting for the first batch’s pressure regulator gauge to read 0 at the end of the processing.
Step 8: Wipe the lip of each jar with a clean wet cloth. Add the lid and screw the ring on but not too tightly.
Step 9: Process in your pressure canner according to your elevation and Pressure canner instructions. For our canner we attach the lid and seal it up. Then turn the heat on high. (Do NOT add the pressure weight yet.)
- Pour 2-3″ of water into the canner
- Place rack in bottom of pressure cooker with rim facing down.
- Place sealed jars on rack in pressure cooker. Stagger the top layer if you are doing pint jars and there are two layers of jars (using a rack between them).
- Secure the lid to the canner following canner’s instructions
- Turn high to high until a steady stream of steam escapes from the vent pipe.
- Time for 10 minutes of steam escaping at steady stream.
- Add pressure weight over vent pipe with the proper weight for your elevation. We require 15 for chicken at our elevation.
- Start timing from the first jiggle or rock of the pressure weight.
- Adjust the heat until the pressure weight jiggles only 1-4 times in a minute. Never turn up the heat to the point of a constant flow of steam is escaping.
- Cook Chicken for 75 minutes for pints or 90 minutes for quarts at 15 psi. (10 psi for altitudes lower than 1000 ft.)
- When time is finished turn off heat.
- Allow the pressure dial gauge to return to 0 before doing anything.
- Remove pressure weight with hot pad and wait 2 minutes
- Remove lid according to your pressure canners instructions.
- Remove Jars.
Step 10: Remove the Jars from the canner and allow to cool and seal on a warm towel. You don’t want to put on a cold counter. The shock of temperature change can cause the jars to break. Do not move around or play with the jars until they have cooled and seal themselves.
Step 11: Label the jars! You will want to label each jar with the date and contents. If you did multiple batches you may want to also include which batch that jar was processed in. That way if something went wrong with contamination or such in one jar, you won’t have to throw all of your jars out. You will know exactly which batch they were from and can double check each jar from that batch.
Step 12: Store and Enjoy! Now that they are labeled you will want to store your chicken on a sturdy shelf in a pantry or storage room outside of direct light. This helps to preserve nutrient and food quality.
Optimal nutrition value is within 3 years of canning your chicken. But some have reported still eating their home canned chicken at 10 years. But never eat anything you think might be spoiled. But I won’t be too worried about that as our chicken probably won’t last that long anyway. We’ll eat it all up!
To help you enjoy your home canned chicken I will be bringing you a great collection of recipes using canned chicken! So stay connected via our email newsletter to know when that releases!
Watch our canning process in this fun video!
Get your Zaycon Chicken ordered now!
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What will you make with our Home Canned Chicken?