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Canned Chicken
June 17, 2010
7:32 pm
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wvhomecanner
North Central WV
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BBB recipes should definitely say "Process ----- for pints and smaller" because this question about half pints comes up all the time. Yes, use the time for pints always for smaller jars. I do have a recipe for the corned beef hash, Miss Judy. It was (IIRC) a Food Network recipe that said that the staff there makes corned beef, cabbage, etc. just to make the hash. I will go gather it up and post on Farm Bell. I have pics too.

 

dede

in Lewisburg WV in a hotel!

If common sense were truly common, wouldn't there be more evidence of it?

June 17, 2010
8:26 pm
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Miss Judy
West Central MO
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Thanks so much dede!

A hotel?  Enjoy your staywave

June 17, 2010
8:48 pm
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wvhomecanner
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Welcome!

Yep, a hotel. So beautiful down here too in Greenbrier County as always. Work trip just one night this time.

Just feasted on Hot n Sour soup and steamed dumplings picked up across the road LOL.

 

dede

If common sense were truly common, wouldn't there be more evidence of it?

June 27, 2010
12:30 am
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mrtenne
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Just found your page tonight….I like it :-)  I canned several pints of chicken a month ago.  I decided to check the seals this afternoon.  All are nicely sealed, but it appears that some of the 'chicken' is sticking to the sides of the jars.  You know how when you boil chicken some chicken-y froth settles on the surface?  It sort of looks like that….I'm not sure what I'm seeing.  Can someone tell me if this is ok?  The chicken still looks the same in the jar….pinkish beige like it did when I put it away.  I processed it raw and added no water….I did add a tsp of salt to each pint and used a pressure canner.  It did 'create' its own broth, but the 'broth' did not completely fill the jar.  I was concerned about this…wondered if it was ok for part of the chicken to be submerged and part of it not.  Anyway, it's been a month and I'm wondering if any of you have experienced what I'm seeing.  I haven't opened a jar yet.  Is this (the white, chicken-y whatever sticking to the side of the jar) why someone here said to spray a little Pam inside the jars before packing/processing?  I didn't do that.

I am new to canning but was very careful to follow the instructions to the letter.

I will appreciate your thoughts.

June 27, 2010
8:41 am
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Suzanne McMinn
Sassafras Farm in Roane County, WV
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Where did you get the instructions that you used?  Just wondering!  I'm not an experienced chicken canner, but I haven't heard of doing it that way.  The BBB says to add water or broth over the meat (whether raw pack or hot pack) to 1-inch headspace then pressure can.

Clover made me do it.

June 27, 2010
8:46 am
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Suzanne McMinn
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Well now I read back through this topic and see several people are doing it that way, without liquid!  That's not what the BBB says to do, though, so I'm confused..........

Clover made me do it.

June 27, 2010
9:10 am
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Miss Judy
West Central MO
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Most of the state extension agencies give both ways for canning meat. Cold packed without liquid is one of the options. I went to the Alaska extension site to search out my canning info for meats. Not that I didn't trust the info I got here, I just like to see what's out there. I love this site because members are honest about how something works for them. happy-flower

June 27, 2010
9:49 am
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Pete
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My understanding, from reading here, there and everywhere, is that the meat inside should be quite safe.  The issue of it sticking to the sides of the jar does not affect the safety of the meat, only the difficulty in cleaning the jar once the contents are used.

Must admit to only having pc'd partially cooked meat one time.  That time I filled the jars with liquid to the appropriate head space and had a LOT of jar contents in the pc when finished.  It was a huge mess!!  Evidently the meat gave off enough addition broth to force the added liquid out of the jars.  (It had to go some place, right?)   That experience made me seriously rethink the advisability of adding liquid when canning meat.

Someone who has studied this more than I can correct the errors in my thinking, but it appears from here that the time in a pc would sufficiently sterilize everything inside that jar to a point that head space is not as big an issue as it is for water bath processing.  The general idea is to force air out and create a vacuum inside the jar in which no bacteria can survive.  That happens more completely in a pc than in a water bath.

None of us has ALL the answers, though!  Research, research, research!!  This is a great place to get information about a multitude of resources available out there.

Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!

June 27, 2010
10:23 am
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Suzanne McMinn
Sassafras Farm in Roane County, WV
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Miss Judy, it's always good to check more than one source for canning info!  My goal here is that we give the best and safest information we can, and if we don't know it, say so and try to find it.  There are already enough internet sites giving out bad canning information.  I don't need to fill that niche, it's already filled, LOL!

 

Clover made me do it.

June 27, 2010
12:14 pm
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wvhomecanner
North Central WV
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mrtenne said:

Just found your page tonight….I like it :-)  I canned several pints of chicken a month ago.  I decided to check the seals this afternoon.  All are nicely sealed, but it appears that some of the 'chicken' is sticking to the sides of the jars.  You know how when you boil chicken some chicken-y froth settles on the surface?  It sort of looks like that….I'm not sure what I'm seeing.  Can someone tell me if this is ok?  The chicken still looks the same in the jar….pinkish beige like it did when I put it away.  I processed it raw and added no water….I did add a tsp of salt to each pint and used a pressure canner.  It did 'create' its own broth, but the 'broth' did not completely fill the jar.  I was concerned about this…wondered if it was ok for part of the chicken to be submerged and part of it not.  Anyway, it's been a month and I'm wondering if any of you have experienced what I'm seeing.  I haven't opened a jar yet.  Is this (the white, chicken-y whatever sticking to the side of the jar) why someone here said to spray a little Pam inside the jars before packing/processing?  I didn't do that.


 

Your chicken is just fine. Yes, what you are seeing is exactly what you rationalized - the meat does cook in there and behave very much like it does when not being cooking under pressure in a vacuum - a bit of 'froth' and all that. Coating or greasing the inside of the jar (in my experience) works great because it makes the jars MUCH easier to clean later. Raw chicken (any raw meat) lying against 'dry' glass and then heated like the PC does can be one of the toughest protein yuks to get  scrubbed off. Several folks on Canning2 also prefer adding broth or water and say that it prevents the meat sticking to/cooking against the insides of the jar also.

I prefer raw packing boneless skinless chicken and with nothing added at all. The end result can be less head space after processing than you started with. It's fine, but if you are concerned, eat the ones that have the least head space first. Sometimes after months and months, meat above the liquid may turn a tad darker than the rest of the jar but as long as the seal is intact it's fine.

As an aside, if you are canning chicken from the grocery store (which is what I do) I recommend you do NOT add salt. Check the nutrition label on the chicken first - you'll be amazed at the added sodium content. Most commercially available (AND affordable) chicken has been 'enhanced' with a salt water solution.

Salt is totally unnecessary for canning (pickling is an exception) in terms of safety.

You can always salt your food when you eat it.

 

 

dede

 

If common sense were truly common, wouldn't there be more evidence of it?

June 27, 2010
8:27 pm
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mrtenne
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Thank you for your replies....and the advice about salt.  What caught me off guard, particularly, was that the whiteish-whatever wasn't 'stuck' to the jars initially.  I looked at the jars several times that first week - being my first canned chicken, I was a little overly impressed with myself shimmy - and nothing was on the glass.  Now that the jars have sat for a month, something is stuck to the glass inside the jars.  My first thought was 'oh no, mold'.  But the jars are nicely sealed, I followed instructions carefully, the chicken looks 'right', etc.

You've reassured me....sort of.  To a suburbanite like me, there's still that little piece of me that says there is something not quite right about canning raw chicken in a jar and then keeping it in a box under a spare bed.  Husband says I have to eat it first; if I don't get sick (or die), the rest of the family will give it a shot.

June 27, 2010
9:27 pm
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wvhomecanner
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you dig right in - it's sooo good.

Then tell him you don't want him to take a chance on it.

Then you eat some more.

They'll come around :)

That chicken is one of the MOST handy things to have on hand.

 

dede

If common sense were truly common, wouldn't there be more evidence of it?

June 27, 2010
10:23 pm
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Pete
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Had to laugh when you mentioned jars in boxes in odd places, mrtenne!  Won't even share some of the odd spots there are now boxes of jars, both full and empty, in the interest of keeping them from sunlight and such!!

What's in your jars of chicken include bits of connective tissue, the odd piece of fat and such so the jars will not all look alike.  (If you've ever opened a can of ham or canned chicken, there are some rather odd looking things in there, too.)  Over time, gravity will work on some of what is in the jars as well, so different things will appear after the fact. 

Question, now that the subject of varying headspace has come up.  Would it hurt anything to simply invert the jars occasionally so that none of the meat remains out of the broth from the time it is processed until it is used?

Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!

June 28, 2010
8:37 pm
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mrtenne
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Pete, I turned the jars and wiggled and jiggled them....I didn't think it could hurt anything.

But let's not talk about "connective tissue" and such  vomit ....I'm still 'processing' keeping chicken under the bed.

Thanks all; you'uns are a hoot.

February 17, 2011
9:26 am
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mrtenne
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Canned Chicken Update:  I canned several batches of chicken last summer and recently popped the top on one.  Fantastic!  Yummy!  I heated the chicken in the oven before using in my yummy poppy seed chicken casserole.  I haven't had the nerve to use/eat the chicken straight from the jar.  I thought you guys might appreciate the update.

 

Also, I enjoyed the canning and food preservation/storage so much that I converted a section of my (large) coat closet located under a set of stairs into a second pantry.  No more chicken under the bed chef

February 17, 2011
9:56 am
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Pete
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Wonderful!  We do indeed appreciate the update.    yes

You know that mentioning that recipe we are all going to want to see it posted over at FBR, right?

And congrats on finding a space to repurpose into storage of canned goods.  Hurray!  happy-flower

Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!

February 17, 2011
11:27 am
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CATRAY44
By a lake in S. Michigan
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Adding my agreement.... I have canned raw packed chicken with liquid added and without.  I much prefer NOT adding the liquid.  My canner was a mess when I was done, when I added liquid.  The only benefit to consider with adding liquid is, it may help get rid of any air pockets in the jar.

February 17, 2011
12:03 pm
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Pete
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Since we first started this discussion I have noticed that I have more spewing of liquid from the jars when there is more variation of temp/pressure during the process time.  This stove is nearly impossible to control most days!  The more variation, the more liquid seems to be lost from the jars.

Another thing that seems to be consistent with THIS monster/horrid stove is that the larger the load inside the canner, the easier it is to maintain a constant pressure.  At least to a point.  My next experiment may be with loading pints in the bottom filled with tap water because my most successful load to date was a full load of pints, with the greatest success/least amount of spewing from the jars on the upper layer.

Was looking at gas stoves a few days ago.  I had better get happy with this electric thing because I am NOT going to spend that kind of money on an appliance!  At least not willingly, or any day in the near future...

Anulos qui animum ostendunt omnes gestemus!

February 17, 2011
12:05 pm
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Ross
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I usually raw pack any meat that I can.last year I raw packed turkey drums and added water and all of the jars cooked over and spilled fat and broth into the canner. The turkey was very good most of the fine bones were cooked soft. The meat was very tender and had to be handled very gently to prevent it from shredding completely.

I put up quite a bit for when we go cruising on the boat, we don't have refrigeration, just have an ice box so we don't take fresh meat on a more than two day trip.

February 17, 2011
2:33 pm
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mrtenne
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The poppy seed chicken casserole recipe.....I'm a 'pinch of this and that' kind of cook:

1lb-2lb cooked, chopped/shredded chicken breast (use your canned chef)

8oz (give or take) sour cream

1 reg. can cream of chicken soup (straight from the can)

1 sleeve of Ritz crackers, crushed (you can use 1/2 sleeve and half the butter, but I prefer MORE)

1 stick of butter, melted

2Tbs (heaping) poppy seed

Black pepper to taste (I pepper my chopped chicken)

Little salt if you want (the crackers have plenty of salt for our taste)

Combine cooked, chopped chicken, sour cream, soup and black pepper in a bowl.   I like to 'mash' my peppered chicken w/a fork a little while adding the sour cream and soup.  Although the poppy seed is for the Ritz crust, sometimes I add addt'l poppy seed to this chicken mixture.  Turn into a lightly greased 1.5-2qt casserole.  I put my crackers in the bowl the chicken mix was in and use the side of a wooden mallet to press/crush them.  (When I'm really on the ball, I use the food processor to 'crush' a box or 2 of Ritz crackers at a time and store the crumbs for future cooking.) Stir in melted butter and poppy seed. Spread this cracker 'crust' mixture over chicken in the casserole dish.  Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes....til browning and bubbly.  It's best to let the dish cool a bit before serving.  More chicken = thicker slice-ability; less chicken = soupy-er; either way = tasty.

VARIATIONS: Add poppy seed to the chicken mix as well as the crust; add a little parmesan or mozzarella cheese to the chicken mix; add some chopped pecans to the crust mix; add a little chopped onion to the chicken mix.  A friend gave me the basic recipe a few years ago and I have fun with it.

I generally make 2 at a time and put one in the freezer for later.  Freezes well.

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