Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pressuring Chicken

 It's coming into canning season again.  I love it!  Plus my bottled chicken was all gone.  I use it regularly in Chicken Noodle soup.  I just realized I haven't posted that recipe.  I promise I will do that soon.

Anyway, I've discovered that Costco Business is a great resource for bulk chicken.  It's not really cost effective to get it at the grocery store, unless they are having a screamin' deal on boneless chicken.

I've also learned that there are more than 2 Costco Businesses.  One in Lynnwood, WA, one in Phoenix, AZ, one in Las Vegas, NV, and one in San Diego, CA.  There may be more now, but those are the ones I know about.  I've been lucky enough to live reasonably close to 2 of them.

When I tell people about it, they always ask if you have to have a special card to get in. Nope. Just your regular Costco card.  I try to make a trip there between once a month, and once every other month to stock up on bulk things you can't get at a regular Costco.  Try it sometime.  I promise you will like it, but don't be expecting a regular Costco.  It's not. It's designed for businesses.

All that said, I got 40 lbs of Boneless Chicken Breast for about $56.  Just about $1.40 a pound.  They have all kinds of cuts of poultry and beef.  I may try some beef next time, but for now it's Chicken.

The Breast cuts were huge so I trimmed them down.  You can't really tell but I am using a glass cutting board.

Fill each jar with the chicken all the way up to the bottom ring.  Add 1 tsp kosher salt.
Add water to finish filling the jar. I used a chopstick to poke down the sides to release any air pockets.

 Put your lids in a pan of hot water and heat on low until just before boiling.  This softens the rubber on the lids so they will seal properly. When you're ready, fix lids and rings on jars and wipe with a clean cloth to get any raw chicken off the jar or lid.

 Fill your pressure cooker with the jars and hot water.  I can do 9 pints.
Close and screw on your pressure cooker lid.  Follow your manufacturer's instructions for processing.  Mine was for 90 minutes at 10 lbs pressure.  You have to wait until the cooker top weights have a constant movement before you can start the timer.  This takes a while so be prepared.  You also can't leave the pressure cooker alone, so find something else to do in the kitchen for the 2 hours so you can keep an eye on the pressure cooker.  When it reaches pressure, I usually bring down the heat to Medium-Low.

When the time is up, turn off the heat and slide the cooker off the burner. Allow the pressure to come down naturally.  Since it's off the heat, you can leave it alone now.  I ran some errands, then came back and the pressure was gone and I could remove the jars.  Place them on a cooling rack and let rest for about 24 hours.  This makes sure the seals form correctly.  Don't be tempted to touch the lids until after 24 hours. 

Lable the lids with the date and add to your pantry.

I don't know why, but that looks so good in my pantry!

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