Friday, August 10, 2012

Creative Girls Night Out: Part 1 - Canning Chicken

Mrs. Giggling G came up to me after one of the Creative Girls Night Out nights and said, "Winter, I don't know how to make anything crafty or cook anything fancy, but I do know how to can chicken. Do you think anyone would be interested?"

You can can chicken?!? [cue "can-can" music]

Apparently, she uses this already-cooked chicken in everything--salads, soups, casseroles--everything, because it's already thawed and cooked. All she has to do is pull it from the shelf and shred it up--easy!  I didn't know if anyone else would be interested, but I was interested. So we set it up!

Mrs. Giggling G teaching us

We actually set it up as a two-part Creative Girls Night Out. The first part, we'd learn about canning chicken. The second part while we were waiting for the chicken to process (it takes 2-3 hours), we'd learn hair tips, maintenance and style (more on that in another post).

We met at her home on a Saturday morning, bright and early, and had breakfast first and played with Mrs. GGs daughter before we started.

Doting over Mrs. GGs daughter

 Mrs. Tron brought this French Toast Casserole. All that caramelized goodness...yum!

French Toast Casserole!

Now on to the chicken!

Mrs. Giggling G and I purchased all the supplies the night before: pint-sized canning jars and lids and chicken breasts (boneless and skinless). We also needed a pressure cooker and salt, but Mrs. Giggling G had those items already. Everyone pitched in a few bucks so we each could take 2 to 3 jars home.

Sterilized jar lids

We each cut up a couple chicken breasts and stuffed them into our jars. It turned out to be a pound of chicken for each jar. Mrs. GG buys the chicken when it's $0.99 a pound and cans a ton of it at once.

Mrs. Tron doing her thing

Chop chop!

Gem and Smiling C

Then you add salt. We added about 1 teaspoon of salt for each jar. I think I'll add less next time I do it though, because it was saltier than I preferred when I used it in enchiladas later that week.

Adding salt

You can also add a little bit of water if you want to the jars. I did one with water and one without and I didn't see too much of a difference in the end.

Jars stuffed with chicken

Then we screwed the lids on and loaded them into the pressure cooker.

Into the cooker

It took about an hour and a half to process the chicken (to get the pressure up and cooked for the recommended time). But then it took almost another hour for the pressure to come down enough to open the lid. Pressure cookers scare me, but this one was pretty easy to use.

And voila! Our chicken!

Canned chicken looks weird, but it's so easy!

I think the chicken looks a little weird in the jars, but it was extremely easy to use. I used my three jars in one week! I drained the broth and shredded the chicken and I had my enchiladas in the oven within 15 minutes.

Very nice! Thanks, Mrs. Giggling G for hosting and teaching us!

Mrs. Giggling G extolling the virtues of canned chicken

Part 2 will be coming soon!


  1. I always do half pints for chicken because you can pack more in than beef and pints for beef. It just seems like a half pint of chicken is plenty for a casserole and plus the half pint is the perfect amount for 2 chicken salad sandwiches. Just FYI

    1. Good to Janell! Thanks for letting me know. You can beef?!?!

    2. Yep, we buy roast when its on sale and basically do it the same way as chicken but the beef is denser and takes up more room. Fatty or poorer cuts of meat are great because it cooks off the fat and tenderizes it as it cans.

    3. Nice! I will have to give that a try sometime!

  2. Wow. I've never canned anything in my life, but this is pretty cool! Did the chicken taste OK? I sort of want to try it now!

    1. It tasted like chicken. I will put in less salt next time since it was saltier than I would have liked, but it was quick and easy!


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