Canning for the Pantry
My selection of convenience home canned meals was running low. I decided to can chicken cacciatore. Since I didn’t have a recipe I ended up with more ingredients than I needed and I so I used the rest to make soup and can that. In all I ended up with 14 jars of yummy home canned easy to prepare food.
My plan was to make chicken cacciatore and I started out with 12lbs of chicken, 2 - 67 oz. jars of Prego spaghetti sauce, 3 large onions, 3 green peppers, 2 ½ quarts of chicken broth and about 15 cloves of pressed garlic.
The picture shows everything but the chicken broth…
I poured both jars of spaghetti sauce into my 8 quart stock pot and added 2 cups of chicken broth so the sauce was not too thick.
While my sauce was heating up I put 7 quart jars in my sink and filled them with boiling water, I put my canner on the stove and let that heat up and got my lids soaking in hot water. Now I was ready to start filling up my jars.
I filled about half the jar with the veggies and then poured a little spaghetti sauce over them (because the sauce is thick I wanted to make sure that it covered the veggies and there were no air pockets.
Then I put the chicken meat (boneless thighs, not cut up) on top of the veggies/sauce. I added more sauce to cover it all.
Wiped the rims clean, put on a lid and ring and set in the canner and proceeded to do this to the next 6 jars.
I canned this at 10lbs of pressure for 90 minutes. This can NOT be done in a water bath. It must be pressure canned.
All the jars sealed which made me very happy!!
A few days later I used one jar to make a small meal for hubby to take to work. I poured the contents of the jar into a sauce pan and let it heat up. I kept it warm while I cooked a bit of spaghetti. It tasted delicious!!
When I had filled all of my jars I still had about 8 cups of sauce left, 5lbs of chicken and lots of veggies. So I decided to make the rest of it into soup. I added 2 quarts of chicken stock, cut up the remaining chicken and added it, plus added all the remaining veggies. I brought this to a boil and let is simmer while I waited for my canner to finish with the chicken cacciatore.
I filled another 7 jars with boiling water and when the chicken cacciatore was done I canned the soup. I had 7 quarts of soup I was able to can and all those jars sealed as well. As far as the picture is concerned the jars look about the same. I made sure to label them before storing so I would know which was which.
But in all it was a productive day in the kitchen and I ended up with 14 jars of convenience food in my cupboard!