Martha Zepp, The Pennsylvania State University
Canned boneless, skinless chicken can be the basis of many dishes.
- Break up and layer the soft meat with refried beans, cheese, shredded lettuce, and salsa for a tasty taco.
- Roll these same ingredients in a soft tortilla for a delicious fajita. In fact, canned chicken is suitable for many Mexican dishes.
- After opening a jar of canned chicken, thicken the broth with a little flour or cornstarch; add some minced onion, celery and/or parsley flakes, and a few cooked or canned peas for a hearty creamed dish to serve over waffles, toast, or pancakes. Adding dry milk powder to the broth produces a richer flavored gravy.
- Make chicken and dumplings using homemade or commercial biscuit mix; just pour a jar of chicken into a pan adding additional broth or water, seasonings and/or vegetables, top with the dumplings and cook the dumplings as directed on the biscuit mix box.
- Flake canned chicken into a noodle casserole; top with buttered bread crumbs and slivered almonds; bake until golden brown and you have a dish suitable to serve company.
- To use it in cold dishes such as chicken salad, chill the meat first before cutting it into cubes.
- If you want large cubes of meat in dishes such as chicken pot pie, add chilled meat just before serving and cook only until heated through.
Procedure for Canning Chicken
Penn State Extension’s Let’s Preserve Meat and Poultry and the National Center for Home Food Preservation provide guidelines on pressure canning chicken.
Here are some additional things to keep in mind when canning chicken.
- Dressed poultry should be chilled 6 to 12 hours before canning.
- If poultry must be held for longer than a few days, freeze it at temperatures of 0°F or lower.
- Thaw under refrigeration when you are ready to can it.
- Carefully blot the chicken dry with a paper towel, remove excess fat. Fat left on the meat will melt and climb the sides of the jar during processing. If the fat comes in contact with the sealing edge of the lid, the jar may not seal.
- Cut poultry into suitable size pieces for canning.
- Chicken can be canned with the bone in or boneless.
- It can be raw packed or hot packed. Hot packed chicken has a clearer broth because the liquid can be skimmed before packing it into jars.
- Wiping the edge of the jar with a clean paper towel dipped in vinegar helps to cut the grease from the rim.
- Following the recommended processing times based on style of pack, whether or not canning the product with or without bones and the type of canner you are using.
Procedures for canning duck, goose, and turkey are the same as for chicken. No canning procedures have been tested for canning ground poultry or poultry sausage.
Traditional chicken soup recipes are not suitable for canning. Noodles, rice, dough balls, or thickening agents as in creamed soups interfere with the transfer of heat in the jar and may allow spoilage organisms to grow. Those ingredients need to be added after the chicken and broth have been opened and just before serving.
Chicken vegetable soup made with only vegetables, cooked chicken, and hot liquid may be safely canned following directions for canning plain vegetable soup. Let’s Preserve Soup provides step by step directions for canning vegetable soup using meat or poultry. Remember, as a low acid food soup will need to be canned in a pressure canner.