Chicken Experiment

No!  Not this chicken!
I was chatting this weekend with a friend who cans lots of meat and I decided to try canning chicken for my enchiladas.  Since the jars have to process for 1-1/2 hours, I was afraid the chicken would be a mushy mess and I didn’t want that so I tried one jar to see what would happen.  When I make enchiladas, I boil chicken breasts, with bones and skins, and spices so I did that as usual, then canned the one jar.

Looks like it worked fine but I won’t know about the texture of the chicken til I try it.  We were having chicken enchiladas last night but the chicken for those was already shredded so I will try the canned chicken next time.

Since I already can my cooked pinto beans, if the canned chicken works, fixing enchiladas and beans will be so quick and easy.  Guacamole is quick.  Flour tortillas are quick.  Enchilada gravy is quick!

The hardest part of this meal is not eating all the tortillas as soon as they come off the stove.  Add a little butter and I could eat a ton of these!

Sprinkle with a little chicken and onion, roll ’em up, add a little gravy . .

Sprinkle with some cheese, bake with the beans, make the guacamole, make a little cheese dip, open a jar of salsa . . one of our favorite meals.  Definitely not low fat but very tasty.

I’ll let you know how the canned chicken turns out.


  1. 1

    Lori in SD says

    I usually buy whole turkeys when they are on sale. In the spring and the fall when it gets chilly at night, I cook them whole (cut off legs and wings, cut them in half) and pressure cook them at 10# pressure for about 35 minutes. I can get 1 1/2 large birds in the pressure canner–I will cook 3 whole birds in an evening. First batch goes in the fridge overnight, the 2nd I set outside in the pressure cooker to cool overnight. I use the same water for both so that it has lots of flavor. The next day I remove the skin and bones, and cut/pack the cooked turkey into jars. Boil down the broth after removing the fat. I put celery, onion etc in the canner with the birds. Pour concentrated broth over packed turkey and process. It handy to have on hand.

  2. 2

    Betsy says

    My grandmother used to can chicken. It is so tender and flavorful! And canned beef makes the BEST hot beef sandwiches in the world.

  3. 3

    Linda Kay says

    When I was growing up, we lived on a farm, and my daddy canned everything to be able to feed four kids. I remember him canning chicken and it was very good. We used it in enchiladas, stew and casseroles. He also canned pork and beef. I was in charge of washing jars and handing him stuff but don’t really know how he did it. We always had a huge garden and canned lots from the garden. I wish I could ask him now how to do all those things. He was an amazing man! I mainly can pickles, salsa, and jellies. I love reading your blog. Thank you for writing it!

  4. 4


    Your enchilada gravy looks just like mine. I use olive oil, flour, chicken broth and spices. Is yours basically the same. I have only ever made cheese but the chicken looks good. If the gravies are similar I could make a pan of chicken at the same time I make the cheese. Seeing your photos made me hungry for a pan of enchiladas. Maybe next week!

    • 4.1


      Tomorrow I’ll post my whole recipe . . though it’s more of a narrative of how I do it rather than a real recipe.

  5. 7


    I can chicken and tuna and it turns out great. I would have a hard time buying a can of either anymore. The taste is so superior home canned.

  6. 8


    I guess I should feel funny admitting I have never even HAD an enchilada??? Seeing your photos makes me think I might have to try sometime.

    • 8.1


      You’ve never had an enchilada? Never? Really? They’re cheap to make and they’re so good! I’m posting my recipe tomorrow so you can try it.

  7. 9

    Cathy Stoddard says

    I purchased a pressure canner this year specifically to learn to can meat and to try and have veggies that are shelf-stable and not be dependant on the freezer. The ice storm of ’07 and the tornado the next year really changed how I look at things.
    I am looking forward to having pints (or quarts) of pulled BBQ pork and shredded chicken on our shelves. Did you raw pack your chicken? Can’t wait to see how you like it.
    Thanks for sharing Judy!

  8. 10

    Mary Beth says

    I can venison and them make stew during the winter months. The kids love it. I don’t cook the meat first, but instead it cooks while it is processing. Makes the best pot of stew ever!

    • 10.1


      Do you put the raw meat in the jars and then cover them with plain water or chicken broth or what? How long do you process it and at what pressure? Thanks!

  9. 11

    carol c says

    mine are a lot easier than all that, everything is bought, i cook the fajita chicken, cool and dice everythig, line the pans with layers rather than roll them anymore, use less tortillas that way. soup and sour cream for the “sauce”….cook and put on shredded monterrey jack, 15 minutes to melt-touchdown, ready for eating

    • 11.1


      Sounds like they work! I try to avoid anything storebought and make everything from scratch but that’s just me.

  10. 12


    I was just thinking on Sunday that the only thing you had left to can was meat! You’re so smart and resourceful! Yep, I’m definitely heading to your house in a disaster! Do you keep extra water, too?

    • 12.1


      In a disaster, if you can get here from there, you’re more than welcome to come and I’d be thrilled to have you and Penny. You know that . . any time . . even when there’s no disaster . . which I hope never happens. Yes, we have plenty of water, we have soap, shampoo, solar panels, batteries, first aid . . we have everything. All you have to do is get here.

  11. 13


    I TRULY admire your cooking and canning skills. I wish I could be nearly as good! I hope your guys appreciate you. Your son’s someday wife is going to be so crabby when he says, “I wish you would make it like mom’s”.

    • 13.1


      I don’t think I do anything admirable but thank you! What makes it weird for me when people think I’m doing something extraordinary is that I love to cook. I’m as happy in the kitchen as I am in the sewing room so cooking is never a chore for me.

      I’ve already told Chad he should never ever say that to his wife. I have been working on a little cookbook of my favorite recipes to give him some day. I also emphasize to him that I love to cook and not everyone does. If he marries a wife who doesn’t like to cook, Chad loves to cook so there’s no reason why he can’t be the chief cook in their family.

  12. 14

    Sandy says

    The chicken enchiladas sound tasty! I have always used that red or green canned enchilada sauce but your homemade gravy sounds so much better. Is it hard to make, Judy?


  13. 15


    OMG! Judy! I can’t believe you already weren’t canning chicken! We buy it on sale (boneless and skinless) usually at Sam’s by the 50 lb. box. By the time I clean it further, it takes about 1 lb per pint jar. I can it in pints, and stuff it full (less the 1/2″ head room), add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp granulated chicken broth, pressure cook for 1 hr, 15 minutes at 10 lbs *Presto Cooker*. We use it for chicken salad, enchiladas, quiche, burritos, soup – anything and everything. My grandkids won’t eat chicken salad anywhere else, because they swear that mine has magic in it. I started doing this to reduce the fat and salt in our diets when Hubby was having kidney dialysis and have continued it ever since! I also do Salmon when it’s on sale, but not as much since I am the only one that eats it. 1/2 pint makes 4 salmon patties – probably not even enough for Chad or Vince for lunch! LOL!

  14. 16

    Pat says

    Me again. I just have to ask if you also make your own tortillas from scratch. You really are an over achiever, aren’t you? I know you’re not trying to make the rest of look bad, but Judy! (Do you really wear a wonder woman outfit under your clothes?)

    • 16.1


      I do make them from scratch. They’re so simple. You won’t believe how easy they are. I’ll post my recipe tomorrow. Sorry . . no wonder woman outfit.

  15. 17

    Bob Leibold says

    I just started canning and very interested in your meat canning, especially chicken. Where can I find the recipes? ……Bob in central Florida

  16. 18

    Carline says

    I can chicken all the time and it is so good for anything from sandwiches, salads or casseroles. I make it easy and put raw chicken breasts (we only like white meat) in the jars with salt and process in the pressure canner. It is wonderful to have on hand. My mom always put her excess tomatoes into the freezer whole then used them to can sauce when the rest of the ingredients were ripe. Worth a try with your okra. I live in the Pacific NW and we don’t have okra here.