I am ALL about convenience, so when I am reading a recipe that calls for cooked chicken breast and I don’t already HAVE cooked chicken breast, then it is not happening. So when my mom gave me a jar of her canned chicken and it actually tasted good I was SOLD!
I was even more amazed at how easy and simple it is to can your own chicken. This is now my 4th year of canning chicken and it is a staple in my pantry. I use it for chicken enchiladas, soups, chicken salads, pizza, calzones, etc. Anything that calls for cooked chicken! It’s SO awesome!
Let’s get started on how easy this process is:
I usually purchase my chicken breasts from the local grocery store in bulk. I get a better deal that way.
You want to take the chicken breast and trim off any fat. That way your don’t have any chewy, squeaky parts. Then you stuff those babies as tight as you can into the jar size of your choice, leaving 1-inch headspace at the top. I usually use pint size jars, as that would be about two cups of chicken, which I have found most recipes call for.
Once the chicken is in the jars, add 1/2 tsp of canning or pickling salt to each jar. Following the salt, wipe the rims of the jars clean. If the rims are not clean then the jar will not seal properly and you will have spoiled chicken.
While you’re wiping those jars clean, you want to have your canning lids in boiling water for a few minutes so the rubber is nice and soft and ready to seal.
You want to use a pressure cooker to process your jars. My jars processed for 75 minutes at 13 lbs pressure. Your pressure will be different according to the altitude in your area. You can call your local extension office to find out the safest way to process your meat for your altitude.
After the 75 minutes, you wait for your pressure gauge to go back down to zero before taking the lid off. Pressure cookers can be dangerous if used improperly. Taking the lid off before it reaches zero could cause the pressure cooker to explode.
Take your jars out carefully and allow them to cool on the counter. You will hear the lids begin to seal. After 12-24 hours you can check to see that your lids have sealed. Do not check your lids until after at least 12 hours, as you can cause a false seal by pressing down on the lids before they have had time to seal themselves.
Good luck and enjoy your ready to eat chicken!