They call it preserving here. We call it canning or can processing in the States. I’m not sure why it’s called canning when you put the preserved food into glass jars, but who cares? I only know that canning is a way of life on the boat that allows me to have lots of extra already-cooked food aboard that lasts a long time, without too much hassle and without refrigeration. I’ve talked about it before.
I had just done an inventory of our preserved chicken and ground turkey (mince) and found we were woefully low. We had Tasmanian apples and blackberries left, but not much else. Theoretically, home-canned goods, if preserved properly, will last for well over a year or two, but ours have never lasted that long – we eat them long before their “eat-by” dates. Since I’ve been back, it’s been easier to grab a jar of canned chicken and use it for chicken salad sandwiches or in chile or with pasta sauce on spaghetti, than making an hour long round-trip run to the local grocery to buy something else for dinner.
When I saw the sign in Farmer Joe’s for boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $8.99/kg (~$4/lb), I jumped at the chance to replenish the stock. I asked for 10kg (22 lbs). When the clerk indicated that a whole case was 12 kg and asked if I was interested in the whole thing, I asked if I could get a discount. One of the things about being a cruiser, we’re thrifty and we’re not shy. She consulted the manager and sure enough, I got my chicken for $8.50/kg. The 25 lb box’o’chicken was not very portable, but the clerk thankfully divided it up into three large, double-wrapped plastic parcels which fit neatly into my newly purchased trolley cart. Nothing else fit, but I was definitely chicken-rich and I headed back on the train to the boat.
Once back aboard, I dug out the pressure cooker and fired it up. I got all my jars and lids washed and proceeded to jar and process all the chicken. I use the raw method, so no cooking or prep required for the chicken other than cutting it up into chunks that fit easily into the jars. In no time at all, I had 24 jars of all white meat chicken breast, cooked and waiting for me to use during our upcoming passage. Along with the fish we expect to catch, we’ll have enough to last for several months.