What’s Inside: In this article, I provide step-by-step instructions for canning mushroom chicken in garlic sauce in the Nesco canner. I show you how to prepare it and can it in the Nesco. I then show you how to thicken it up once you open the jar so that you can serve it over mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta. I’m super happy with how this turned out, and I know that you’ll love it, too.
Canning Mushroom Chicken in Garlic Sauce in the Nesco Canner (Video)
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If you prefer to learn by watching a video, I’ve got you covered. In the video above, I show you ever step in the process of canning mushroom chicken in garlic sauce, using the Nesco canner (Amazon).
This delightful recipe is based on a recipe in Angie Schneider’s book, Pressure Canning for Beginners and Beyond (Amazon). This is quickly becoming one of my favorite canning books, because it’s filled with delicious canning recipes, and it follows safe canning principles.
Before we dive into the cooking process, let’s quickly run through the ingredients you’ll need:
- 1 quart of chicken stock or broth (either works perfectly)
- 2 cups of white wine
- 15 cloves of minced garlic (yes, it’s a lot of garlic, but trust me, it’s worth it!)
- 4 pounds of chicken breast, cut up and par-cooked (more on this later)
- 1.5 pounds of mushrooms, sliced 1/2 an inch thick
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
Preparing the Chicken, Mushrooms and Garlic Sauce for Canning
Now that we’ve covered our ingredients, let’s get down to the fun part: the cooking. Start by pouring the chicken stock into the pot. The original recipe suggests adding the raw chicken at this point and boiling it for 8 to 10 minutes. However, I’ve made a slight tweak here.
I decided to bake my chicken first to eliminate the white, slimy protein that sometimes surfaces when cooking chicken. I baked it in a 425-degree oven for 30 minutes, which might be a tad longer than necessary, but it does the trick. The result? Chicken sans the white stuff.
Next, add in the rest of your ingredients: white wine, garlic, salt, pepper, and mushrooms. Give everything a good stir until everything is well combined. Once your mixture comes to a boil, let it boil for about 5 minutes.
Prepping the Jars
With the mushrooms and broth boiled, it’s time to move on to the next step: filling the jars.
But before we jump into that, let me share a quick tip I’ve picked up along the way.
To make the process smoother, I’ve preheated both the jars and the water in the Nesco canner. This ensures that the jars are hot and ready to receive the equally hot broth, and the water in the canner is also hot.
The way that I do this is I put the canning rack in the bottom of the canner. I then add 8 cups of water to the canner. I then fill my jars half full with water. I select the “Brown” button on the Nesco canner, and push start. As soon as the water and jars are hot, I turn off the canner, and close to lid to keep the jars hot until I’m ready to fill them.
Time to Fill Up the Jars
With everything nice and hot, it’s time to fill up the jars. Here’s where baking the chicken separately gives you an edge. It allows you to distribute the chicken evenly among the jars. So start off by putting equal amounts of chicken into each of the 4 quart-sized canning jars.
Next, use a “colander ladle” like this one on Amazon, to scoop up the mushrooms.
A colander ladle works great for this purpose, helping to distribute the mushrooms more or less evenly as well.
Remember, there’s no need for perfection here. The aim is to get more or less the same amount of chicken and mushrooms in each jar. As long as it’s close enough, you’re good to go.
Next up, we’ll use a ladle to pour the broth into each jar, leaving about 1 inch of headspace. As a general rule of thumb, the bottom thread on the canning jar is 1” of headspace.
Note that as I was filling the jars with broth, I realized that I may not have enough broth to fill all of the jars. Because I wanted every jar filled with flavor, I equally distributed the broth among the 4 quart jars, and then added just a touch of hot water to each jar to bring them up to the required 1” of headspace.
Debubbling and Checking the Headspace
Once you’ve filled the jars, it’s time to debubble them. This process involves removing any air bubbles trapped in the jars that could affect the canning process. After debubbling, check the headspace using a headspace measuring tool, like this one on Amazon. If necessary, add a bit more broth or water to achieve that 1-inch headspace.
Wiping the Rims and Putting on the Rings
The final step in preparing to can our delicious mushroom chicken in garlic sauce is wiping the rims and putting the rings on. Dip a paper towel in a bowl of vinegar, then use it to wipe the rims clean. This removes any debris that could prevent the jar from sealing properly.
Once the rims are clean, it’s time to put on the lids and the rings. Remember, we’re aiming for ‘fingertip tight’ here. As soon as you feel a bit of resistance, give it just a little more twist using only your fingers. No need to crank on it super tight.
And there you have it! Your jars are now ready for the Nesco canner.
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Canning Mushroom Chicken in the Nesco Canner
The Nesco canner (Amazon) is the canner that I’ve been using for years now. I simply love it! If I had to buy only one canner, this would be it. I love that it can handle quarts and can water bath and pressure can. It’s the perfect size, and is often available at a better price than other electric canners. If by chance you can’t get the Nesco, check out the Carey Canner, also available on Amazon. These are the exact same canners, so get whichever one is cheapest at the time.
Alrighty, folks! We’re at the stage where we put our jars into the Nesco canner. I’ve got eight cups of hot water ready, heated while I was cooking the mushrooms and broth. Plus, I’m adding the vinegar that I used to wipe the rims. It helps prevent any hard mineral deposits from sticking onto the jars. No worries if you forget this step—it’s not the end of the world, I promise! Having said that, if you have hard water like I do, your jars will end up looking dingy so do add the vinegar to the water if you can.
This recipe made four quarts, which is the maximum capacity the Nesco can handle. Once you put the jars in, close the lid, and turn it until it’s in the closed position.
Start with the Pressure Valve in the Exhaust Position
Note that even though this is a pressure canning recipe, you’ll start by placing the valve on your Nesco canner in the exhaust position.
Initiating the Canning Process
This is a pressure canning recipe. So, select ‘high’, and for quarts, then set the timer for 90 minutes (75 minutes for pints). Once you hit start, it’ll display a digital chase. When it reaches the correct pressure, it’ll show E10 on the display and start counting down.
During this time, it’s perfectly normal for the canner to make quite a racket, as the steam escapes from the pressure valve.
Switch the Pressure Valve to Airtight
Once the display on the canner counts down from E10 to E0, switch the valve to airtight. You’ll notice the sound of air escaping stops. That’s one way that it will be obvious to you that you’ve moved the valve into the airtight position.
It’ll stay at E0 for a bit while the right amount of pressure builds up. Unlike stovetop canners where you have to guess when it’s ready, the Nesco will automatically show 90 minutes and start counting down when the pressure is right.
After a little bit of E0 blinking and some digital chasing, it’ll beep and display 90 minutes—that’s our set time. However, don’t get too excited—it will take around 3 hours before you can remove the jars from the canner.
Allow the Pressure to Come Down Naturally
After 90 minutes, the timer on the display will count down to 0. At this point, unplug the canner – and wait. Don’t attempt to open the lid of the canner for at least 60 minutes. This time isn’t wasted time. It’s an important part of the canner process, so don’t do anything to hurry it along. I’ve found that when I pressure can quarts, it takes about 90 minutes for the pressure to come all the way down so I can open the lid.
Because of that, expect your jars to be in the canner for at least 3 hours, counting the time that it takes for the canner to come up to pressure, the processing time, and the cool down time.
Pressure canning takes time, and patience is key. Don’t rush the process.
The Big Reveal: Home Canned Mushroom Chicken in Garlic Sauce
Alright, folks! We’re finally at the stage where we get to see our finished product. After 90 minutes of processing and another 90 minutes for the pressure to come down, I was finally able to open the lid. Let’s take those jars out and see how it all turned out.
Oh, it looks good! I wish you could see it as clearly as I can right now. From what I can tell, everything seems to have sealed perfectly, and there doesn’t appear to be any siphoning. Excellent!
Now, patience is still key here. Generally speaking, you want to wait at least 12 hours, but no more than 24 hours before you check to see if the lids sealed.
In my case, I wanted to serve one of the jars of mushroom chicken in garlic sauce for lunch, in part so that I could show you how to prepare the finished product to serve, and in part because I can’t wait to try it!
So, in my case, I waited just five or ten minutes before opening ONE of the jars.
Preparing Home-Canned Mushroom Chicken in Garlic Sauce
This canning recipe may be called, “Mushroom Chicken in Garlic Sauce,” but as is the case with many canning recipes, when it comes out of the canner, it’s more like soup than sauce.
The thing is, you can’t add thickening agents to food you are canning. (The one exception to this is Clear Jel (Amazon), but that’s only for thickening pie filling.)
What I plan to do is make a gravy-like mixture with the liquid and add the chicken and mushrooms to it. This way, it doesn’t end up too soupy—perfect for pouring over mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta.
Making the Gravy
To make the gravy, I melted a tablespoon of butter and added a tablespoon of flour. If you’ve ever made gravy before, this process will be familiar. Whisk the flour into the butter, and cook and stir it for a minute or two, just long enough to get rid of the raw flour taste.
Next, I slowly poured in the broth I drained from the jar, continuously whisking to avoid lumps. Now, the original recipe called for a quarter cup of heavy cream, but I didn’t want to buy a whole carton just to use a little bit. So, I’ve substituted it for about 2 ounces of cream cheese. I put that into the hot broth mixture.
Once the cream cheese melted, I added in the mushrooms and chicken, and let it simmer until it thickened a bit more.
Final Thoughts on Home Canned Mushroom Chicken in Garlic Sauce
I think it turned out great. I followed the instructions closely, except for par cooking the chicken and substituting cream cheese for heavy cream. In retrospect, using two tablespoons each of butter and flour might have been better for making the gravy for this amount of liquid, but it will thicken with a bit more cooking. Plus, I didn’t want it super thick for putting over the potatoes, but it was a bit thinner than typical gravy.
I’ve given it a quick taste test, and it’s really good! The flavor is fantastic, and I definitely plan to make this again. It’s a recipe I’m happy to add to our rotation.
So there you have it, folks! A delicious Mushroom Chicken in Garlic Sauce, canned to perfection. I hope you’ll give it a try. Trust me, you won’t regret it. Happy canning in your Nesco or Carey Canner, both available on Amazon.