Soup’s On…..Bone Broth

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Chicken Soup.  You know how they say it’s good for the soul….I think it is.  Of course with how busy we are in life, keeping boxes of organic chicken broth or stock in our cupboards is the way most of us go, it’s easy and convenient to have it on hand.  I admit to having a few cartons on hand year round, but if you get the chance to make chicken stock from scratch it is well worth it I assure you!

Now that the monkey’s live up in Brooklyn, I have much more free time to cook. Of course I have fewer people to cook for which makes me a bit sad, but I will consider it a good time to practice new and old recipes alike so that when I am with them again, I can fill their bellies with all kinds of yumminess. Bone Broth is one of those things that once you make, you can freeze and enjoy in many ways throughout the season.

There are many different recipes and techniques to making a solid bone broth.  You have options of beef, chicken or even fish, but because chicken broth is the most versatile and popular for non-vegetarians I will be using that as an example.  That and because I was planning to roast a chicken anyway, therefore making it very convenient. Some recipes call for using one or more roaster chickens in the raw to make this delicious stock.  I have never done that simply because I can’t afford to waste an expensive roaster chicken without the benefit of enjoying the chicken first.

Let’s talk Roast Chicken first.

Everyone has their own preferred method or way of roasting a chicken, including myself although on this particular instance I had to make some adjustments due to my lack of fresh herbs available in my house and I was unable to get to the grocery store so I used what was on hand and made the best of it. Here is my general method for you:

1. As I was planning to make bone broth afterwards I bought an organic, all natural roaster chicken from Fresh Market to start. (In hindsight I should have bought the herbs, but I thought we still had some in mom’s porch herb garden). In all honesty as we don’t do a whole roast very often, I like to splurge on the highest quality when we do.

2. When preparing to roast I like to bring the chicken to more of a room temperature, I remove it from the refrigerator,rinse the inside and out well, pat to dry and let sit on the roasting rack for a bit to get rid of the chill.

3. Normally I stuff the cavity with a bundle of fresh herbs, but as we know I didn’t have any. Instead I seasoned the inside with Borsari Season Salt, pepper, dried thyme and Herbs de Provence. I then add a small onion peeled and quartered, a few cloves of peeled and smashed garlic and a quartered lemon.

4. At this point many people tuck the wings and tie the legs together.  I actually turn the chicken breast side down, the legs and wings stay tucked under the bird this way.  I also think that the juices that naturally baste the chicken flow down through the breast and make for a moister chicken.  No scientific evidence in this, but it works for me.

5. I then separate the skin from the bird and put truffle butter in there, massaging it until it’s spread out all over the bird back/thighs. I then season the outside with the same herbs and actually sort of “crust it” with sea salt, the un-ground kind.  I finish by drizzling some olive oil over it.

6. I put it in the oven, lower rack, at 450° for 75 – 90 minutes depending on the weight of the bird. I don’t bother basting the chicken at all and the end result looks like:

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I know it looks a little funny upside down, and the skin on the breast side is not as crispy, but the meat is so juicy and tender it’s unbelievable!  After letting it rest for about 30 minutes I carved it (remember it is upside down so your normal carving method will not work unless you flip it right side up) and served with steamed asparagus and some homemade french fries.

I made these with Organic Russian Banana Potatoes cut in strips, dried (most important step to crispy potatoes is getting them very dry first), seasoned and then tossed in a bit of olive oil and some of the drippings from the chicken, back in the 450 oven for about 30 minutes, flipping halfway through!

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So So SO good! Afterwards I removed all the yummy meat to make a chicken salad the next day, and I saved the entire carcass for the bone broth.

 

Ok, now on to the bone broth.

Ingredients:

Chicken Bones
1/2 Cup Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
4 quarts filtered water
Organic Celery and Carrots, washed and halved
3 small to medium onions peeled and quartered
Handful of fresh Italian Parsley
Sea Salt to taste

In a large pot add the water, apple cider vinegar and bones.  Let sit for about half an hour so that the ACV can help leach the nutrients from the bones.  Meanwhile chop your veggies.

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Add the veggies to the large pot, bring to a boil and then skim the scum off the top.  This is the one step you need to be careful with, if you walk away and it boils for a bit, the scum that comes to the top boils back in, so you want to stand there while it starts boiling to skim it off the top.

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When this part was finished, I poured the entire contents into the slow cooker, put the lid on, put it on low and let it simmer for 2 days.  You can do it for 24 – 72 hours depending on your schedule.

The last 10 minutes or so I added a large bunch of fresh italian parsley.  Then turned the slow cooker off.

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Finally, strain the broth, add Sea Salt to taste, let cool and package up for the freezer.

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I make sure to label the lid with the date so it doesn’t end up in the freezer abyss. I think the color is due to roasting the chicken first but I am not sure, all I know is that it is rich, tasty, chock full of nutrients and ready to be used as a base in soups this winter!

Check out the nutritional value of Bone Broth:

Top Reasons to Eat Bone Broth according to Dr. Mercola of mercola.com

There are many reasons for incorporating good-old-fashioned bone broth into your diet. The following health benefits attest to its status as “good medicine.”

Helps heal and seal your gut, and promotes healthy digestion: The gelatin found in bone broth is a hydrophilic colloid. It attracts and holds liquids, including digestive juices, thereby supporting proper digestion Inhibits infection caused by cold and flu viruses, etc.: A study published over a decade ago found that chicken soup indeed has medicinal qualities, significantly mitigating infection.

Reduces joint pain and inflammation, courtesy of chondroitin sulphates, glucosamine, and other compounds extracted from the boiled down cartilage Fights inflammation: Amino acids such as glycine, proline, and arginine all have anti-inflammatory effects.

Arginine, for example, has been found to be particularly beneficial for the treatment of sepsis (whole-body inflammation). Glycine also has calming effects, which may help you sleep better.

Promotes strong, healthy bones: Bone broth contains high amounts of calcium, magnesium, and other nutrients that play an important role in healthy bone formation Promotes healthy hair and nail growth, thanks to the gelatin in the broth.

Nothing but good for you! I hope you enjoy!

Nom Nom

Check out Zia’s Kitchen on Facebook to learn what I used for the chicken salad that got rave reviews at a luncheon I “Catered” for my mom in the following days!

 

 

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Mini Burger Fun

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This one is a quickie.  A Tuesday Tip for anyone who has a picky little monkey in their household who won’t eat greens.

As of last week, it appears we now have 2. Ladybug started picking greens out of her Gluten Free Macaroni & Cheese.

Awesome

So how to hide more greens? … 

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Lobstah ‘n’ Buttah

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I love Lobster. Well truth be told I have an affinity for all crustaceans of the sea, but Lobster is the top of the list. From my first taste I was hooked. Growing up summers in Ocean City, NJ at my paternal grandparents summer home (yes I was a fortunate one) sometime in August every summer a client (or friend…memory is fuzzy) of my grandfather’s would have a crate of live lobsters shipped to the house complete with seaweed and ice, and the annual seafood boil meal would commence. (There were usually steamers as well as crabs boiled in beer….my mouth waters at the memory)…. 

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Tuesday Tips # 3

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“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
― Julia Child

Well, this Tuesday Tip is a multi-part tip.  It’s also just super embarrassing. That’s all there is to it. I did say I would include ALL of my “mis-adventures” in the kitchen though….so here we go.
Last week I finally got my bread maker out of storage where it has been living for a year and a half.  It’s a great little 1 lb. loaf bread maker - remember that number – in which I have made a few tasty Gluten Free loaves in the past.  Now mind you none of my past bread making experiments have been earth shattering successes, but on the right path.  I figured it was time to experiment
and I had a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin bread mix I had been wanting to try.  The idea was to have a fresh baked loaf for breakfast this morning.
That was the plan.
Sooooooo I was a good girl and set out all of my ingredients the night before.
Sometime around midnight I put the 2 eggs out so they would be room temperature and set my phone alarm for 4 am.  It takes 3 hours and 40 minutes to complete a baking cycle and I thought it would be perfect timing for breakfast. The idea of waking up to the smell of fresh baked bread excited Mama Sis and I very much.
I woke ahead of my alarm and went to the kitchen where I whisked the eggs, water and oil together.  (No photos, I mean really it was 3:45am)  Now here is where I have to admit that in the past 2 moves from house to apartment etc, all of my cookbooks were inadvertently taken and probably donated (I cried upon discovering this) and IN that collection was the manual and recipe book for the bread maker.  The basic instructions are printed on the side but yes, I am missing the actual manual.
I bet you can see where this is going already.
Liquids first.  Then flour mix.  Make a small well in the flour, add the yeast. Close the machine.  After checking the settings, hit start. Go back to bed.
In the morning I found this:
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Not bread.
Tip # 1.  After you think you have hit the start button, perhaps wait a few moments to make sure the cycle has begun before going back to bed.
So I hit start again and hoped for the best.  After the kneading portion was over I looked in and did NOT see a ball of dough as I have in the past.  It was only partially mixed, and while I mixed it with the handle of a wooden spoon I was getting annoyed.  Okay the first mistake was mine.  But this?  It had to be the bread makers fault right?
Nope.
Tip # 2.  Read ALL of the instructions.  Like when the package says it makes a 1 1/2 lb. loaf, maaaaaybe don’t put it in a 1 lb. loaf bread maker.  Just a thought.
The results:
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Ok not terrible. Not pretty, but it’s more about the taste right?  Maybe it all worked out in the end.
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You can’t see it very well, but it’s dense and moist and not entirely cooked through.  this is just a slice off of the end, I am guessing the middle is far less cooked through.
Bread = FAIL.
So what did we learn?
  • ALWAYS read the instructions of a kitchen appliance you haven’t used in a while.
  • If you no longer have the manual, do a google search and find it to download BEFORE using the appliance.
  • Always compare the package directions with said appliance directions. (1 lb. vs. 1 1/2 lb.)
  • Always wait and see if you really hit the start button.
Or just don’t try and do anything complicated at 4 in the morning.
Nom Nom
 

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Tuesday Tips # 1

North Yorkshire, England

North Yorkshire, England

Welcome to TUESDAY TIPS

Tuesday’s Tips is about…..I bet you figured this out already.  Yes I will be giving tips about cooking, food preparation, and more…. things I have learned over the years from experience, chefs and of course my late Gram who was THE cook in the family…. 

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