This Chicken and Gravy in a jar forms the basis for a wonderful chicken dinner.
The name is actually a bit misleading: you actually make the gravy after you open the jar.
In any event, this smells wonderful. It will make the kitchen smell like a good old-fashioned Sunday roast dinner with all the trimmings. People will salivate.
The prep work for canning is also really fast: the entire mixture is raw pack.
This recipe comes from the Ball All New book (2016).
You may wish to double or triple this recipe to get a full canner load: if so, just do your calculations on paper first before proceeding so that you aren’t trying to do mental gymnastics in the thick of things.
Jar size choices: Half-litre (US pint / 16 oz) OR litre (US quart / 32 oz)
Processing method: Pressure canning only
Yield: 2 x litre (US quart) jars
Headspace: 3 cm (1 inch)
Processing pressure: 10 lbs (69 kPa) weighted gauge, 11 lbs (76 kpa) dial gauge (adjust pressure for your altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet.)
Processing time: Half-litres (pints) 75 minutes; litres (quarts) 90 minutes
If you don’t have a pressure canner, you could freeze this in plastic containers or straight-sided jars with no shoulders. (Water-bath canning is not acceptable for safety reasons.) Cook when you thaw it.
Chicken and Gravy in a Jar
- 175 g onion (chopped. 1 cup / 6 oz)
- 125 g celery (finely chopped. 1 cup / 4 oz )
- 175 g potato (peeled, diced. 1 cup / 6 oz)
- 1 kg chicken (boneless. 2 lbs)
- 2 teaspoons salt (OR non-bitter, non-clouding salt sub)
- 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons white wine (dry. 50 ml / 2 oz)
- chicken stock (or water, to fill jars. See recipe notes)
- Wash, peel, chop onion. Add to large bowl.
- Wash, chop celery. Add to large bowl.
- Wash, peel, dice potatoes. Add to large bowl.
- Cut chicken into 5 cm (2 inch) chunks. Add to large bowl.
- Add all remaining ingredients except broth to bowl.
- Put a kettle or pot of water on to boil for you to make your chicken broth from, if you are using bouillon cubes, powder or liquid. If you're using home-made, start heating it in microwave. Mind the surge when you remove it.
- Using your clean hands or a very sturdy spoon, mix the contents of the bowl.
- Jar size choices: half-litre (1 US pint) or 1 litre (US quart)
- Pack the hot jars firmly (but not overly tightly) with mixture.
- Leave 3 cm (1 inch) headspace.
- Top up the jars with hot chicken broth.
- Debubble; adjust headspace.
- Wipe jar rims.
- Put lids on.
- Processing pressure: 10 lbs (69 kPa) weighted gauge, 11 lbs (76 kpa) dial gauge (adjust pressure for your altitude when over 300 metres / 1000 feet.)
- Processing time: half- litre (1 US pint) 75 minutes; 1 litre (US quart) 90 minutes.
How to pressure can.
When pressure canning, you must adjust the pressure for your altitude.
For salt substitute, Herbamare Sodium-Free was used.
- To be clear, you don’t heat or pre-cook the mixture before packing it in jars. This is a raw pack. Ball says, “These easy raw pack recipes are an innovative way to create delicious ready-to-eat meals for your pantry all year long. Raw ingredients and seasonings are combined, packed in the jar, and covered with hot broth; all of the cooking takes place right in the jar! Note: To ensure proper pressure and temperature is achieved for safe processing, you must process at least 2 quart or 4 pint jars in the pressure canner at one time.”
- As this is a raw pack, there are two points we want to bring to your attention:
- (1) Raw packs can sometimes stick to the insides of jars a bit, so wide mouth jars if you have any available can be easier to clean.
- (2) As this is a raw pack, there will be shrinkage during processing. Thus they want you to pack the jar “tightly.” But that doesn’t mean squish it down, either. In fact, we’re going to suggest you consider packing it not quite so tight. Raw pack meat, and particularly poultry, really contracts when it is processed. The result is that it will shrink in the jar, leaving you with a huge amount of air space in the jar even if no venting of liquid occurs from the jar. That was our experience in round one (see photo below.) Better you should pack it, we think, not quite so tightly, and leave a bit more room in the jar from more broth, which will stay in the jar and help prevent the exposed meat darkening in the jar.
- How much broth or water to fill the jars? Ball doesn’t give any amounts. It all depends on how the chicken is packed in the jars. Per loose-packed batch, you may not need more than 1 to 2 cups (250 to 500 ml / 8 to 16 oz), if that even. If you do pack it as tight as they seem to suggest, then you might get no more than a couple tablespoons of broth / water in per jar.
- You can multiply the recipe as many times as you want. Just do the math first and write it down on paper, and work from that.
- A food processor is ideal for the celery and onion, but do the chicken by hand, and probably the potato, too, unless you have a miraculous dicing gizmo.
- Note finely chopped means finely “chopped”, not so small as to be called “minced.”
- If you don’t have poultry seasoning, instead of the 2 teaspoons use: ½ teaspoon dried rosemary, ½ teaspoon dried thyme, ½ teaspoon dried marjoram, ½ teaspoon dried sage (yes, there is sage in poultry seasoning.)
- Instead of dry white wine, you could use any white wine, or white vermouth, or white Dubonnet, or a rosé wine or a very pale sherry. (You probably wouldn’t want red wine, wrong colour for chicken.) Or, omit. It’s just there for flavour. Don’t use white wine vinegar — you don’t want pickled chicken for supper.
- You can use any kind of boneless chicken you wish (e.g. thigh). It will affect the nutrition, raising calories and fat level, if that matters to you.
- Ball says “dice the potatoes.” In cooking vocabulary, there’s actually a small, medium and large dice. Ball doesn’t say which. We opted for “large dice”, which is 2 cm x 2 cm x 2 cm (¾″ x ¾″ by ¾″).
- You can reduce or omit the salt, which is just there for seasoning, and add it instead if you wish at the table.
Transfer contents of jar to a microwave safe jug, or to a pot. Stir in 1 tbsp flour for half-litre (pint) jars; 2 tablespoons of flour for litre (quart) jars.
- Microwave: zap for a minute, stir, then zap for a few more minutes until heated.
- Stove-top: bring to a simmer over medium-heat, stirring frequently to ensure that flour doesn’t form lumps as it thickens.
Serve with all the trimmings: mash, veg, etc. Even boxed stuffing / dressing (Stove Top or Paxo) is a welcome addition on a weeknight.
Butcher, Meredith L., Ed. The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving. New York: Oxmoor House. 2016. Page 275.
Serving size: 1 cup (250 ml)
Based on skinless, boneless chicken breast.
Note: does not include thickener. Nor any possible sodium from the broth for that matter. Allow for that in your mind as well if that matters to you, unless you made your own from scratch salt-free.
Regular version (with salt)
Per 1 cup (250 ml): 158 calories, 836 mg sodium
Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 4 points+ (3 SmartPoints)
Per 1 cup (250 ml): 158 calories, 267 mg sodium
All other nutrition information same as above.
* Nutrition info provided by https://www.myfitnesspal.com
* PointsPlus™ and SmartPoints™ calculated by healthycanning.com. Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.