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Pressure Canned Chicken in Broth

Having just add noodles chicken and broth in my cupboard is a convenience I just adore!
Prep Time3 hrs
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: canning,, dinner, Soup
Servings: 7 quarts

Equipment

  • Pressure Canner

Ingredients

  • 2 2-4lb stewing hens, roosters or sub for chicken legs/thighs/backs
  • 6 carrots
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 2 whole onions
  • 2 heads garlic sub garlic scapes
  • 4 bay leaves

Instructions

  • Put your whole chickens, fresh or frozen, in a minimum 4 gallons sized pot, with whatever broth add ins you want, above are suggestions, customize how you want.
  • Cover it all with water, you're aiming for about 3 gallons of water.
  • Bring to a boil, turn down to a gentle simmer, and put a lid on if you can.
  • Let it simmer for a couple hours, its going to depend on how tough or tender your meat is, but you want to be able to pick the meat off fairly easily.
  • When the meat is ready, pull it out of the pot into a bowl/platter, let cool until you can handle it, and then pick off all the meat.
  • Put the bones back in the broth to keep simmering until youre ready for it. Your broth will have simmered down a good bit. If you feel its less than 2 gallons of liquid, add a couple quarts of water to it. We're making a fairly concentrated broth as to take up less jar space, but you still want enough to fill all the jars.
  • Get your jars ready- You'll need 7 wide or narrow mouth quart jars. They need to be clean but not need be sterilized like water bath canning. Check the jars for cracks or chips, especially around the rim. Find rings accordingly, making sure theyre not bent, dented or rusty. Get your lids out, you dont need to presoak them for pressure canning!
  • Chop up your meat and divide it between the jars. I usually aim for 1 cup per jar, which if I used two decent stewing hens, it ends up about that. If you have much more meat than that, score! Save it in the fridge for a quick meal.
  • Get your pressure canner ready to load, according to the manuals instructions.
  • You can either strain all your broth in one go, or put a little strainer overtop of the jar and fill into each jar with a scoop/ladle.
  • Fill your jars, giving them a little more headspace than normal. About 1/2 inch more. The fat from broth can interfere with your lids sealing if you fill them to the normal fill line.
  • Use a clean wet cloth and wipe the rims of jar of any grease or broth.
  • Put a lid on each jar, then a ring, tightening the ring to "finger tip tightness".
  • Put your jars in the canner, and get it going according to your canners instructions- this will vary based on your canner. Look at your canners manual, for your altitude it may vary on pounds of pressure.
  • When it comes up to pressure, set timer for 1 hr and 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the pressure, move it slightly off the element if it gets too high. Its okay if it goes a bit higher, but if it goes lower, canning safety says you restart your timer. In my uneducated, not professional opinion, as long as its very briefly under pressure, I dont restart the timer. Most canning times are longer than they need to be food safety wise, to account for human error.
  • When the timer is done, take the canner off the heat and let it come down, according to your canners instructions.
  • When you can open the lid, do so with oven mitts on, and using a jar lifter, remove the jars onto a tea towel, somewhere where they can be left alone for 24 hours.
  • After 24 hrs, take off the rings, gently try the lids to make sure they really are sealed well, label the jars, give em a wipe and put them away! Congratulations! You canned chicken in broth!
  • To use- we pour one of these jars, plus a jar of water into a pot, bring to a boil and add noodles or potatoes as well as whatever vegetables (or not...) we are feeling like.

Video

Notes

The leftover bones and vegetables- since you did only a couple hour simmer, feel free to add more water, simmer much longer (upto 24 hrs on very low) and then can just broth! Quarts of broth cans for 25 minutes at whatever pound pressure is appropriate for your altitude.
Could I do pint jars? Yep! Processing times vary, so again, refer to that handy dandy canning manual, for pints vs quarts.
Why not try different flavours? Add herbs, add ginger, add different vegetables to the broth. Make it your own!
Can I use a different meat? 
Using this same method, you could make beef, venison, moose, goose, pork, you name it, in broth for quick meals! Double check your canners manual for processing times, but the method is the same. 
Could you add vegetables to this? 
Yes ma'am you can! This is one of the first steps to customizing and making your own shelf stable quick meals. Check processing times for different vegetables, make sure they are complimentary, I wouldnt add something with a really short processing time unless you're okay with it ending up melting into the broth when you go to heat it up. 
Could I prep the chicken and broth in an instant pot or slow cooker?
Yes you can! You'll probably need to use two in order to get the amount your after, but its most definitely an option.