Pantry Basics: Canning Chicken
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By Daisy Luther
Skinless Boneless Chicken
Lots of folks were hit by the power outage this summer across the North-Eastern part of the US. Not only were thousands of freezers full of meat ($$$$$) lost when the contents thawed out and people had no way to cook them, but residents realized that they needed foods that did not have to be cooked from scratch for future emergency situations. Many people realized just how fragile the power grid really is.
Instead of buying the little tin cans full of various chopped up chicken parts at the grocery store, consider canning your own chicken. You won’t believe how easy 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 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.
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.
· 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
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.
You can see in the picture above that the chicken is still boiling. I’ve noticed that the jars tend to continue boiling on the counter for about an hour if they are going to seal. 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 too cool faster.
Your end result is tender poached chicken and a light broth that is great for cooking rice or quinoa in!