soup

DIY, Roaster Chicken Stock, Bone Broth

Thanks to a meeting at work and the 35 people who attended I was able to make roster chicken stock. I normally only make stock from beef or deer bones because I rarely have more than a few bones at a time when we eat chicken. But with the remains of 5 roaster chickens it was time for a winter’s worth of chicken broth.

Everyone who cooks knows that we should all make our own Bone Broth or Chicken Stock and the benefits that come from taking the time to do it. Not only does simple homemade chicken stock make cooking easier, having only to thaw it to make a delicious sauce or  base for soups it  also gives the body a nutrient rich base to draw from.

I personally make my stock not only with bones but left over meat and vegetables.I kind of clean out the refrigerator when doing this kind of cooking… knowing that everything I put into the stock will add flavor and nutrition. In this case I had 6 small carrots, 1 large onion, 6 stalks celery, and about a half of a head of cabbage and 5 carcases of roster chickens. I added enough water to the chicken bones to cover and topped then with 3 more inches of water. I put the vegetables in and added 3 tablespoons salt, 4 bay leaves and 3 teaspoons Rosemary  and simmered the mixture for 3 hours.Bone Broth is usually cooked for up to 12 hours to the point where the bones are brittle.

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Chicken stock.. with celery, onion, carrots and cabbage.

After letting the stock cool for over an hour I began the long process of straining the stock. I first pulled out the vegetables. I have a ladle style strainer for this kind of work. Then poured the remaining broth through a strainer into several bowls. This help removes the rosemary and bay leaves and the smaller bones and random meat chucks. I covered the stock and placed three bowls of stock in my refrigerator to finish cooling and letting the chick fat that raised to the top. Around 24 hours later I took the stock out and removed the chicken fat that had raised to the top and hardened. Leaving the gelatin that forms from boiling the bones in the stock… this is the natural collagen that is so good for our health and healing.  Then warmed the stock and mixed the jelly back into the broth and when just warm poured into freezer containers.

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30 cups of homemade chicken stock from 5 roster chicken carcasses.

I ended up with 6 containers of stock with each container holding 5 cups of broth. The broth will remain fresh for up to 6 months. The first time the weather cools I am sure Christopher and I will be making chicken soup or chicken gravy made with this homemade broth.Knowing that we are eating food that not only tastes good but is good for you.

 

 

Categories: chicken, health, soup, soup, wellness | Tags: , , , , | 13 Comments

This is What Our Valentines Day Usually Looks Like!

Why do I always do this to myself. I think,”How wonderful, my husband and I will have a day together, sleep in and eat a nice meal and shop” for our Valentines anniversary. Yet, February is a terrible month do anything other than snuggle under a warm blanket together and hope that some one has had the energy to put a pot of hot soup on the stove.

Three days ago I was outside with Paige and Christopher playing in the yard and enjoying one of the sunny days we got this month. Well today lets just say that they dismissed school early due to blizzard conditions and the temps at 5 pm will head south into the teens. Then later tonight -10 is forecast and I am thinking of bringing the bunnies in to the laundry room again for a couple of days.

Christopher digging in flower bed

Christopher digging in flower bed

Paige digging flower pot on porch

Paige digging flower-pot on porch

Flowers budding in flower box

Flowers budding in flower box

So, as I head out to pick up Christopher early from school ,I am thinking that my Valentines date may in include a snow shovel and an extra blanket on the bed.

flowerbed covered in snow

flowerbed covered in snow

 

Snowy Pine tree in the back yard

Snowy Pine tree in the back yard

 

I seem to forget that every February is this way. We have these negative temps at night and these crazy, warm, sunny days. The winter has not really left us as I brush another layer of snow off my car. I fight the wind as it blows so hard that it whistles between the houses and tress.  Then during a still moment I hear the song birds chirping so loudly that it distracts me from my chore. I look up into that snow-covered maple and think that some of them have already returned from the north and are celebrating. Singing and playing at our feeder the Chickadees and Finches swoop and dive. I think they are laughing at me as I grumble and groan. They know that the sun will shine and melt the snow and that in a few short weeks I will be wishing that it was just dry for St Patrick’s Day.

Hope all of you have a wonderful Holiday and share it with people who you love and make you smile.

 

Categories: container garden, snow, Snow day, soup, Valintines, weather | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Don’t toss out that ham bone, make Split Pea and Ham soup

I had a busy day today and have been working on cleaning out my freezer. One of the things that I wanted to use up was a meaty ham bone that was in my freezer from this spring. Our family usually has a large ham for both Easter and Christmas and I always save the bone for soup or beans. So today with the high temperatures only reaching 35 F degrees I thought Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup with that ham bone sounded wonderful.

 

Splitpea and ham soup corn bread and sweet icetea on a very cold winter night

Split pea and ham soup corn bread and sweet ice tea on a very cold winter night

One of the great things about split peas is that they do not need soaked. I also love that in the slow cooker they cook down in a matter of 5 hours. So dinner was ready as I finished packing up another of the hundreds of boxes we have in the house now. We are packing to move once again but this time I think this is the last move for many years. So this soup was perfect as we work on getting things ready for the 19 mile move. 5 hours in the slow cooker and about ten minutes prep time and we had a great dinner.

For this soup you do need about a one pound ham bone or two ham hocks. They add a wonderful smoky flavor and the meat is a nice contrast to the creamy peas.

Slow cooker split pea with ham soup

1 pound split peas

3 carrots

1/2 large yellow onion

3 cloves garlic

2 teaspoons celery flakes

1 bay leaf

1 meaty ham bone or 2 ham hocks

5 cups chicken stock or 5 cups water with bouillon cubes

Salt and Pepper to taste

Wash and sort peas putting them in the base of a 5 quart slow cooker,

Split peas in slow cooker

Split peas in slow cooker

Then add carrots, onions, garlic, spices and top with ham bone.

split peas topped with vegetables and ham bone

split peas topped with vegetables and ham bone

Cover with broth and cook on high 5 hours or low for 7 to 8. Remove bone, meat should just fall off, then cut remaining meat off bone when cool and add back to soup pot. Usually the soup is pretty salty so salt at the end of cooking. The soup will thicken as it cools so this is one soup that needs to cool just slightly for my family.

I usually make a sweet corn bread or muffin to go with the salty soup. The left overs freeze well and keep the deep smokey flavor. Hope you think of this the next time you have a holiday ham and don’t know what to do with the bone.

Yes, I did say we are moving and that will be a post for this weekend… closing is tomorrow. I will be packing up the computer very soon so my posts will be a little slow for a little while as we get settled again in another home. I will write about all of it soon. Thanks to all the new followers. I am really glad you have joined me and my family on our adventures. We will be moving closer to the mountains and will see more snow in the winter but it will be nice to have several hundred acres of open space behind the house that my family can hunt, forage and hike on!

 

 

 

Categories: Corn bread, Ham, Moving Day, soup, soup | Tags: , , , , , | 13 Comments

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