I like to keep some heat and serve meals on hand for days I am busy and don't want to spend time cooking. I have had this recipe in my files for a long time - so long I don't recall where I found it. I had all the ingredients on hand so I decided to give it a try. This is the original recipe.
Sweet and Sour Chicken
5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in bite sized pieces
3 large green peppers chopped
2 large onions chopped
3 (20 oz) cans pineapple chunks drained, reserve juice
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cups white vinegar
6 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons ketchup
1 tsp ginger
Layer the chicken, onions, peppers and pineapple in quart jars.
Heat the brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ketchup, ginger, and 3 cups of pineapple juice (add water if there is not enough) and bring to a light boil until the sugar is dissolved.
Pour liquid over the solids in the jar to the fill line.
Pressure can for 90 minutes at 10 lbs pressure or according to your elevation.
I did a couple of things differently. I used frozen chicken breast, so I thawed it, cut it up and stir-fried the pieces in a little bit of oil until they were just cooked through. You can use raw chicken, but when I have canned raw chicken before, the juices sort of become glued to the inside of the jar during the canning process. I didn't want that to happen.
I used pint jars rather than quarts. I had to double the sauce in order to have enough. I had ordered a few cans of pineapple juice in case I needed more sauce and that worked out well. By using the canned juice, I didn't need to open more cans of pineapple just for the juice.
Because I used pint jars instead of quarts, the processing time was 75 minutes at 10 lbs. pressure.
If you expect this recipe to look like the take-out sweet & sour chicken from the Chinese deli, you will be disappointed. The chicken and pineapple chunks take on a brownish color during canning. The onions and peppers are softer than regular stir-fry. I used a little cornstarch in water to thicken the sauce while heating it up and served it over rice. If you can get past the color changes, the taste is excellent.
It is good to have jars of quick and easy meals on hand. This is a nice change from the usual soups I can. I got 15 pints from this recipe, doubling the amount of sauce. If by chance there is sauce left over, it can be water bath canned for 15 minutes. I will be canning at least one more batch.