Home Canned Rosemary Chicken
Home Canned Rosemary Chicken is a great gourmet addition to any food storage or pantry. This canned chicken is shelf-stable and ready to use when you’re in need of moist, precooked chicken in a pinch. No thawing or cooking required when you have a jar of this delicious rosemary chicken in the cupboard. It can be a lifesaver on busy nights when you don’t have a lot of time to prep.
I love canning and enjoying home canned food. There’s an added freshness and appreciation that comes from home-canned food, whether it’s rosemary chicken like this, fresh green beans, or other fresh fruits and vegetables. It makes life a little easier when I can just grab a jar of precooked chicken and dump it in a soup or shred it for sandwiches. It tastes great and I don’t have to worry about running to the store or grabbing frozen items out to thaw.
A few other awesome things about home canning:
- The foods you put up have less preservatives than the store bought stuff
- You know exactly what goes into it (no weird ingredients here that you can’t pronounce!)
- You typically use glass jars that are washed and reused for next time
To me, this means I can feed my family more clean foods, save the planet one jar at a time, AND save some moolah. 😉
My favorite things to can are the items I can get for cheap or free. This last year, I was able to can fresh green beans, pickled beets, tomato spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, basil pesto, strawberry jam, and salsa all out of produce from my garden. I was able to get my hands on peaches and pears for free from my grandpa. YUM!
When I find chicken breast for a really good deal, I like to purchase a large amount then freeze or can it. This helps me stretch my protein grocery budget which is always a great thing, right? I love freezing whole chicken breasts in freezer bags and pulling one out as needed, but I still have to thaw it. That’s one more reason why canned chicken. Is so awesome–no thawing required.
This last year, when I was on a pressure cooking high, pressure cooking everything in sight, I decided to try my hand at canning chicken. When I found boneless skinless chicken breasts on sale for $1.59 a pound, it was time. I picked up about 20 pounds and canned it. I was so pleased with my first batch of plain chicken, I decided to try a variation, Rosemary Chicken. It turned out fabulous. It had a hint of rosemary which was perfect in soups, chicken salad, and chicken sandwiches. I’m sure there are so many other ways to use this chicken but these are a few we’ve tried and loved.
Canning this chicken was actually very simple. I only used 3 ingredients… chicken breast, fresh rosemary sprigs, and salt. That’s it! Don’t you love how clean that is?!
I used pint size jars for my chicken. A pint size jar holds about a pound of chicken. Before filling the jars, make sure to sterilize them via a dishwasher or hot, hot water.
To fill the jars, I cut a 2 to 3-inch long piece of rosemary and stuck it in the bottom of each jar. Then I cut the chicken into about 2-inch thick pieces. You can go as big as you want. I chose this size so I could remove the chicken while still keeping it whole. I filled them to about 1 1/2-inches from the top then added the salt and another small sprig of rosemary.
There’s no need to add any liquid to the jars. Actually, DON’T add any liquid. As the chicken cooks the natural juices will release, and the chicken will make its own broth. How cool is that?! Run your finger around the rim of the jar to ensure there are no chips or cracks. Make sure to wipe each rim with a wet washcloth to ensure a strong, clean seal.
Next, add a sealing lid and ring to each jar. Now, the jars are ready for the pressure cooker. Eek! I always get a little nervous and excited when I use my pressure cooker. It’s still a little new to me, but I love knowing that I am building my food storage.
Now it’s time to pressure cook these babies. I won’t lie… up until recently, pressure cooking freaked me out. The thought of a metal pot full of hot water and jars under pressure… yikes, BUT I’m here to say, my pressure cooker has become one of my favorite summer/fall kitchen tools. It’s saved me so much money because I can preserve my home-grown fruits and veggies or meats I get for a low price. With that said, make sure you read the instructions to your pressure cooker before using.
The amount of pressure needed to cook the chicken will vary depending on where you’re located. I live in Utah at about 5500 feet above sea level so I needed to keep my pressure cooker at or above 13 lbs. Also, the process time varies depending on the size of jar you’re using (typically pint or quart). I made my rosemary chicken in pint size jars so the process time was 75 minutes. If I had canned the chicken in quart size jars, I would need to process for 90 minutes. Remember the processing time doesn’t start until the pressure cooker reads the right poundage (for me, that was 13 lbs). Once they were done processing, I let the pressure cooker cool completely. Make sure you allow yours to cool properly. The last thing you want is a pressure cooking disaster that leaves you or someone else injured.
Look at you! You’re a pressure-canning pro! 😉
Once cooled, I opened the pressure cooker. I used canning tongs to lift and remove the hot jars. I set them on a cooling rack. You could also use a towel. As they cooled, I could hear the lids make clicking pops as they sealed. It is the best sound ever when it comes to canning. I like to call it the sweet sound of success. To confirm the lids were sealed, I examined each lid after 12 hours. When the lids seal, they become concave. All of my jars sealed within the first couple hours of cooling. If you have jar or two that do not seal, store them in the fridge and enjoy within a week or so.
As hard as that may have seemed, it’s NOT! It is so worth the time now for the convenience later. Trust me! As for the added rosemary in this chicken… it’s the BOMB! It makes this chicken taste “gourmet,” if you could call canned chicken such a thing.
I found in my research, some say home canned chicken will store for 3+ years as long as the lids have sealed correctly. After that it may begin to lose flavor and nutritional value.
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What else have you canned?
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