around the time i read michael pollan's In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto and became more interested in eating more real food and less junk, i purchased Nourishing Traditions, which is sort of the bible of the "slow food" movement. i've yet to adopt many of the traditional practices it advocates, but i've successfully made homemade, nutrient-rich chicken stock and wanted to share the recipe.
what other recipe says "you are loved" quite as well as chicken noodle soup from scratch?
first, i roasted a chicken (for the second time in my life.) it was a 6 1/2 lb chicken, and i improvised. after cleaning it and patting it down (and removing the gizzards), i stuffed it with celery stocks and a quartered onion. using a few tablespoons of butter, i rubbed the outside and put the rest under the skin, along with a mixture of a few teaspoons (combined) of garlic, thyme and italian seasoning. then i squeezed a lemon over it, popped half into the cavity (because the other half wouldn't fit), and let it cook at 350 for about 2 1/2 hours. cook until the internal temperature reaches 180.
there was not really much to baste for a good long time, so finally i squeezed the other half of the lemon and popped it into the roaster alongside the chicken, and then basted occasionally.
the chicken was moist and delicious. i probably could have made a good gravy, but instead i used the drippings in my stock. jim cleaned most of the meat from the carcass, and i put it in the fridge for soup later.
as per Nourishing Traditions, i broke or cut all the bones in half, to release maximum flavor and nutrients. (my american gladiator name isn't bonesaw for nothing;)
bones, skins and pan drippings went into my stock pot along with
four quarts of cold water and
two teaspoons of vinegar. i also added an
two cloves of garlic, and
several carrots and celery stocks. i only chopped them in few chunks since they were just there to flavor the stock. i also added
three bay leaves.
let it stand for 45 minutes to allow the vinegar to draw minerals from the bones.
then, bring to a boil, skim any scum that rises (i didn't actually have any), and turn the heat down to a simmer.
this is where it gets crazy. let it simmer for anywhere from 6-24 HOURS. i set mine to low and let it go all night. this stock is old-school, and flavor takes time. it's worth it: you won't need to add flavor (or unpronounceable ingredients) later with store-bought broth or bouillon.
in the morning (after about 12 hours), i turned it off, fished out all the solids and discarded them. after all that time, the veggies had given up all their goodness and any remainder meat had cooked too long to be very flavorful. (remember, most of the meat was in my fridge, waiting for later.)
strain the stock through a sieve and let cool. (i put mine out on the porch for a bit until it was cool enough to stick in the fridge--a perk of winter cooking.)
after a bit in the fridge, the fat will rise, and you can skim it off. i was surprised at how little there was. at this point, you can save some of your stock in jars for future soups or recipes, or you can make a delicious chicken noodle soup. i completely improvised, and mine turned out beautifully.
Making Chicken Soup:
celery, carrots, garlic and an onion. since i was in a little time crunch, i sauteed and sweated them a bit in the pot before adding my stock back.
bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. i added a teaspoon each of garlic,
2/3 tsp thyme
3 tsp parsley and
2 tsp salt. i added another tsp later but probably could have done with less.
i boiled 2/3 of a bag of noodles (separately, so they wouldn't soak up my stock), and then added them into the soup along with my leftover chicken from the night before, chopped into bite-sized pieces.
there you have it: lots and lots of nutritious meals made from sunday dinner leftovers, a few carrots, onions, some celery, noodles and spice. how great is that?
we enjoyed our soup tonight with this insanely deliciously bread recipe. oh. my. goodness.
i'm clearly a newbie at traditional cooking, so if anyone wants to leave a tip, i'd love to hear yours. what are your favorite healthful foods to prepare?
shared with Your Green Resource at SortaCrunchy, The Greenbacks Gal, A Delightful Home, and Live Renewed. images: stock, carrots