Monday, January 3, 2011

But How Does It Taste? Home Canned Meat, Take Two

Last month I canned both chicken and ground beef. It was surprisingly easy but the question remained – would it be tasty? Recently, I decided to put the canned chicken to the test.

I picked a recipe that I knew would be a true test of the chicken's abilities. It’s called Creamy Chicken Fettuccine - sautéed chicken breasts thrown together with a quick cream sauce, peas, fettuccine, and Parmesan cheese. It's the kind of dish that is easy to put together on a weeknight and is definitely a crowd-pleaser. It’s also a dish where funky chicken would have nowhere to hide. I knew my canned chicken was going to have its work cut out for it in this recipe. I didn't tell Hubby Dear or the kids that I was using canned chicken so as not to prejudice their opinions beforehand.

I brought up one of the jars of chicken from my storage room and this is what it looked like upon opening:

Looks a little scary, doesn't it? I had to remind myself that this was going to be edible and deeee-licious.
I knew the chicken would be tender after being pressure cooked, but even so, I was a bit surprised at how soft it ended up being. If you've ever cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts in the crockpot, the texture was similar but even more yielding.
The original recipe calls for sauteeing the raw chicken breast in a couple of tablespoons of butter. Obviously my chicken was already cooked, but I thought briefly cooking it in the butter might liven it up and get rid of some of the canned taste.

Not so much. Mainly it served to break the chicken down even further. I continued on with the recipe as it was written and here's what it looked like:

In the finished product
The verdict:

Although I didn't reveal my secret ingredient until he had gone back for seconds, Hubby Dear could tell there was something up right away. He later told me the texture of the chicken reminded him of tuna.  We both agreed that canned chicken would be much better in a casserole. Of course, I knew that ahead of time, but I just couldn't resist the challenge.

Was the canned chicken horrible? No. But it was also not as good as fresh. 

Was canning chicken worth it? Definitely. It is a huge time saver to pop open a jar of pre-cooked, pre-trimmed chicken. Canning meat is super easy and you just need the right application for using it.

Coming up: Canned chicken in one of my family's favorite casseroles. Will anyone notice this time?


  1. Right after I read your post, I came across this one:


  2. Thanks for posting this! I've been wondering how they turned out. I can't wait for you to sample the ground beef.

  3. I don't add water to my chicken when I can it and the texture is nothing like tuna when we use it. The chicken makes its own broth. I also raw pack beef tips, sausage patties and turkey. They are all really good.

  4. Well, I agree with you. I raw pack my chicken and do not add water & it still does not taste like fresh chicken. The texture changes from pressure canning. However, it is absolutely delicious in chili and casseroles. You cannot tell at all. We have also used it with chicken tacos, & that is yummy too! :o)

  5. I add chunks of garlic and onions and sometimes peppers when they come to harvest. The chicken is still soft but the flavors are amazing. No canned tuna flavors any more. I ran across this site trying to help get rid of the canned meat taste in my ground beef. I m hopeful il figure that out. By beef nn sausage taste like cat food out of the can right now. Chicken is delish though.