Home Canned Chicken a La King

Myrna used to can this recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens 1973 Home Canning Cook Book years ago, and used the flour in the mixture called for in the recipe.  Since the USDA doesn't recommend flour in this type of recipe anymore, I canned mine just in broth.  This way I can use it for either a broth soup base or for Chicken a La King by thickening it when I heat it to serve.
I poached some skinless, boneless chicken breasts for this – but you can use your left-over holiday turkey or whole chickens too.  You can use two 5 pound chickens or cooked boned, skinned turkey.
Myrna used pimiento; I had garden peppers, so I chose those.  I like to can mine in 12 ounce jelly jars – it is the right amount for 2 of us, but you can use pint jars too.   The optional ingredients in this recipe are what I like to use; the original doesn’t call for them.

Home Canned Chicken a La King
For Poached Chicken
  6        pounds  Chicken Breast halves -- (about 3 pounds cooked meat)
  2        stalks  Celery – cut in 8 pieces
     1     Whole  Onions -- quartered
  1        teaspoon  Garlic -- minced
  4        sprigs  Fresh Thyme -- optional
  6       Dried  Sage Leaves -- crumbled-- optional
  4       tablespoons  Dried Celery-- optional
 For Canned Chicken a La King
  6-8    cups  Chicken Broth 
  4       tablespoons  Sherry -- optional
  4       tablespoons  Lea and Perrins Marinade for Chicken -- optional
  2       tablespoons  Chicken Base -- optional
  2       cups  Fresh Mushrooms -- sliced
  1       cup  Pimiento -- or red pepper
     ½   cup  Green Pepper -- chopped
  • Cut large chicken breast halves in half  lengthwise.  Add to an 8 quart stockpot with the vegetables and herbs.  Bring chicken breasts to a boil.  Cover, remove from heat, and set aside 25 minutes.  Cube meat. Strain broth and reserve 6-8 cups. Discard vegetables and herbs.
  • Combine broth, sherry, marinade, and chicken base with broth.  Keep warm.
  • Add chicken, mushrooms, peppers and pimiento to reserved broth.  Simmer 5 minutes. (If desired, put mushrooms in a glass measuring cup and cover with hot broth, and put the peppers in a glass measuring cup and cover with hot broth, let both stand a few minutes.  Then layer in jars, 4 oz. chicken per 12 ounce jar or 5 1/2 ounce per pint, then divide peppers between jars and top each jar with mushrooms.  Ladle on broth, keeping 1" headspace.  Each 12 ounce jar uses about 1/2 cup broth.)
  • Pack into hot jars, leaving 1 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles.  Adjust prepared lids and rings.  Process in pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure for 75 minutes for pints or 12 ounce jars, at 1000’ altitude.

Makes nine pint jars or twelve 12 ounce jars.

To reheat, combine 12 ounce jar with ¼ cup heavy cream mixed with 1 ½ tablespoons flour and heat until heated through and thickened, about 10 minutes.
For pints, pour your broth into a measure, add enough cream to make 1 cup, pour all but ¼ cup of the broth into the pan with the other contents of the jar.  Mix 2 tablespoons flour with the remaining liquid and pour into the pan.  Heat until heated through and thickened, about 10 minutes.
You can add peas when you reheat the mixture if desired.  Serve over toast points, puff pastry shells, rice or noodles or chow mein noodles, biscuits or waffles.


  1. Like Sue I would no longer can this with flour.
    It keeps well this way and is easy to thicken when you open it.

  2. Looking forward to trying it out, next canning weekend. Mahalo for the recipe!

  3. I'm not likely to have half & half available. Will 2% milk work?


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