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Canning chicken thighs

Posted by john__showme__usa 5/6 (My Page) on
Sat, Oct 15, 11 at 13:42

Bought a bunch of chicken thighs and want to put them up in quarts.

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And I was really surprised at the simplicity of the NCHFP site instructions. NCHFP chicken

Are there better ways to can chicken thighs? I was going to broil for a few minutes because like the flavor of broiled, but broiling is not in the above instructions.

When adding salt or other seasonings to a jar when canning, do you put it on top of the filled jar or on the bottom before adding the main ingredients?

Any suggestions?

jt


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Canning chicken thighs

i added the salt to the top after i put in the chicken when i canned some boneless/skinless breasts yesterday. I just raw packed the meat and topped with salt, sealed, and processed according to the NCHFP guideline.

I am really excited to hear about your results with dark meat, especially since thighs and legs go on sale all the time here.


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RE: Canning chicken thighs

Hot pack - Boil, steam or bake meat until about two-thirds done. Add 1 teaspoon salt per quart to the jar, if desired. Fill jars with pieces and hot broth, leaving 1-1/4 inch headspace.

We MUCH prefer hot pack to raw pack for the chicken and there is no reason why you can't roast them or broil them too. Especially if you broil them on a broiler pan that keeps the fat drippings away from them. It's a good way to remove most of the fat and that is the main goal.

As to a "better way"? Don't know that it is better, just a preference. We much prefer to remove the skin and de-bone first rather than can with the bones in. The bones impart a different flavor and a much thicker firmly gelled broth that we don't care for. But it is your choice.

Dave


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RE: Canning chicken thighs

Just wondering - NCHFP says to use "freshly killed and dressed" chicken. Are grocery-store chickens fresh enough to can? Or should you freeze?

I don't have a PC, so just curious - esp. since it says "Dressed chicken should be chilled for 6 to 12 hours before canning." Obviously, store-bought meat has been chilled lots longer than that, I think that was a minimum, but the way it's worded just makes me think that NCHFP really recommends (or assumes?) that you buy these "farm-fresh" or even "DIY"? Is there a lower quality using store-bought meat?


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RE: Canning chicken thighs

Lower quality? Sure just as there is a difference between fresh grown vegetables and fruit or fresh butchered meats and store bought with just about anything.

Store bought isn't as fresh, may have been frozen, may contain hormones from feed additives and/or transporting and processing stress, may be water injected, has a higher fat content, sometimes has additives and preservatives, etc.

But store bought is the only option for most so that is what they buy and can. If they ever saw how chickens are cage-packed for transport to the factory like we see every day down here in Tyson country, or ever tasted a free-range chicken freshly killed and dressed they would never buy store bought chicken again.

Dave


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RE: Canning chicken thighs

Thanks all for the input!

Dave writes: "We much prefer to remove the skin and de-bone first rather than can with the bones in. The bones impart a different flavor and a much thicker firmly gelled broth that we don't care for."

That surprised me and now am not sure what will end up doing. I don't want the fat, but have always liked the taste of broiled, roasted or pan-fried skin. And always have thought the bones added to the flavor. Never canned bones though, just stock made from boiling the bones. And I'm going to have to use some of that stock or plain water for the required amount of liquid I guess.

Time to get broiling...


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RE: Canning chicken thighs

Like I said John, it is just a personal preference. Try both ways and see which you prefer.

Dave


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RE: Canning chicken thighs

Interesting canning session yesterday and learned more than had hoped for.

Maiden voyage for the new 23 qt Presto. Used a 10# weight & observed the dial too. The dial read 11# when the weight was jiggling properly. The canner got up to pressure much, much faster than my old 16 qt Presto & I was again reminded of the importance of proper care and replacement (if needed) of sealing ring, overpressure plug & air vent lock gasket. My 16 qt has slight leaks that really slowed down my last session with it.

Didn't take long under the broiler to realize that I was going to have to trim a lot more fat and skin from the pieces. I couldn't believe how much fatty liquid poured out of the pieces into the broiler drip pan. Ended up leaving just a rectangular piece of skin on top that broiled nicely crisp & brown for flavor.

Tossed all the melted fat & liquid in the drip pan and used a low-salt/low-fat chicken stock for the needed liquid. Stuff I had canned a couple years ago & a good time to use it.

Suffered the first seal failure in a long time so will be testing that quart for taste soon. And there was some siphoning that I'll have to figure out why. If things go as I hope they do, the broiled skin flaps will easily pull free to be discarded & the bones easily removed.

Click for larger image:

I'm canning chicken mostly to be used in making burritos/tortilla wraps for the freezer.

Thanks for the help!


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RE: Canning chicken thighs

I just posted on the cooking forum about this topic. I should have posted here. This information is very helpful.
ajsmama, you can not can chicken unless you have a pressure canner.

Again, this info is very helpful!!

DL


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RE: Canning chicken thighs

Yep, DL, I know I can't BWB chicken. I was just reading the thread and following the link to NCHFP, was wondering about how fresh the chicken should be. I don't tend to can store-bought produce (except for the time I tried the Ball Lemon Ginger Marmalade) so don't think I'd can store-bought meat either, even if I did have a PC I could use on my glass-top stove. Just personal preference. Though I could see it for putting up "convenience foods" like soups and chili made from store-bought ingredients.


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RE: Canning chicken thighs

Correction...

"Tossed all the melted fat & liquid in the drip pan and used a low-salt/low-fat chicken stock for the needed liquid."

That should have read: "Tossed away all the melted fat & liquid in the drip pan and then used a low-salt/low-fat chicken stock for the needed liquid."

And you can still see a small amount of fat collected at the surface.

I wouldn't be canning chicken parts except my large chest freezer is absolutely jammed to the top full and I just wanted to try it anyways. Gots to have something different in my doomsday shelter too.


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RE: Canning chicken thighs

I know how it is John - my chest freezer has a turkey, a couple of whole chickens, 3 3.5lb pork roasts, chops, steaks, a couple of pies, lots of frozen veggies in microwavable bags, coffee, cranberries, etc. I can't fit a thing more in it! I've also been pickling green tomatoes and peppers for a fundraiser at the beginning of Nov, couldn't see canning them so my fridge is full too. Almost couldn't fit the leftover chili in from last night (though it wasn't from approved recipe so couldn't can the 4-5C I had left ;-))!

Ah, well, maybe some day (gotta work on that doomsday shelter - my DB said if things got bad he was going to grab his 2 kids, his GF and his GF's kid and come here!). I've got the dehydrator now - but I'm tempted to spend the next $75 on a steam juicer, not a PC.

BTW, I understood that you threw away the fat ;-)


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RE: Canning chicken thighs

Tried some of the thighs last night. What very little fat there was on top was easily removed & the meat easily came off the bones. The browned skin flaps were easy to take out.

Only problem was ... boring! Low-salt I want, but need to add some flavor that would be cooked in during the processing. Chopped onions? Celery? Bouillon cube in ea jar perhaps? Is there a browning & seasoning sauce for poultry?

Any suggestions?


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RE: Canning chicken thighs

I'm not an expert with canning meat, but if this is mainly for use in mexican dishes, why not add some chiles? Either a fresh one or dried ground chiles. I bet some ground chipotle or smoked ancho would be excellent. If you used low-salt broth, and no added salt, it may need a bit more salt, too. Maybe a couple of peppercorns?


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RE: Canning chicken thighs

For the most part the intention is to add flavorings AFTER the jar is opened.

But if you wanted you could can add any DRIED herbs or seasonings you want before canning it. Keep in mind that flavors may intensify while on the shelf so do it with care. Hot broth with added dried seasonings (lots of dried seasonings packets of mixed herbs are available), fully dissolved prior to jarring bouillon cubes, dried onions or dried peppers, etc. But NOT fresh low-acid vegetables. You'd be playing with both the density and the pH.

On the other hand you can do it like chicken soup mixed with fresh vegetables if you use the soup instructions and follow the no bones, and the half and half rule for canning soups.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: soup instructions


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RE: Canning chicken thighs

Thanks for the fast replies!

My goal was to keep it as chicken-flavored as possible and add the other flavors later. Mine turned out really bland and had very little chicken flavor. It would just be a "filler" in a burrito & add little else to the burrito. Not unlike the canned chickpeas that I do use as fillers.

So much better results when frying, roasting or smoking brined/marinated chicken for the freezer in my experience.

Thanks for your help. Not sure what I'm going to try next. Assembled steel shelving yesterday for holding even more canning projects. I prefer freezing, but am determined to do more canning and continue dehydrating.


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RE: Canning chicken thighs

Dave writes: "...fully dissolved prior to jarring bouillon cubes..."

Thanks, again. I would have just popped a cube into the jar before adding the chicken. I might try Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base to compare.


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RE: Canning chicken thighs

Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base - nope, not in canning. Lots of previous discussions on this one - it has thickeners and fillers added. Plain bouillon only please when canning.

Dave


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RE: Canning chicken thighs

Dave writes: " Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base - nope, not in canning. Lots of previous discussions on this one - it has thickeners and fillers added.

Darn, I sure missed them. Had thought a single tablespoon in bottom of a quart jar wasn't worth worrying about. Wrong again!

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Sure glad I mentioned it because some of the jars would have gone to my 92 yo mom.

Since having decided to start pressure processing almost everything had thought I would make fewer ingredient mistakes.

Thanks yet again!

anon


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RE: Canning chicken thighs

Aha! This is what I was thinking of & not the chicken base. I've used this before when canning meat & thought it very good.

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john


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