Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Part III: 1 Hen = 3 Family Meals

Homemade Organic Chicken Broth
I hope you all enjoyed your delicious bird and are now ready to make homemade Organic chicken broth. Many people I talk with don't make their own broth, and when I ask why, I often learn that they think it is too time consuming, or it will be high in fat. I am going to show you how to do it super easy and very low fat.
First, though, we need to remove the larger pieces of remaining meat, unless you already did this after having your Roasted Hen dinner. We'll use this leftover chicken for the Organic Chicken and Rice on Friday, August 8, and for Homemade Chicken and Vegetable Soup next Monday, August 11. Tear or cut up the meat into very small pieces, suitable for soup. Mix up the dark and white meats together and split into 2 storage containers. Place both in the refrigerator for now. One will be used for the rice on Friday and the other for the soup we'll make later. After the broth is done, pour just enough on top of the chicken in each container to cover the meat, and then put one container in the freezer. (The broth will help to keep the chicken from drying out) You can take the frozen chicken out of the freezer a few days before you plan to make the soup, to allow it to thaw in the refrigerator.

Homemade broth is so easy, and so useful in many recipes, like cooking the rice we'll make here on Friday, flavoring soups and stews, simmering chicken or chops on the stove top, and so much more. I like to freeze some of the broth in a spare ice cube tray, so I have small chunks of broth for flavoring smaller recipes. Once they are frozen, remove them to a small container so you can use the ice cube tray again for something else. ( I can't wait to teach you how to make Organic Fruit Sorbet; more on that later) You can make your broth in the Crock Pot or slow cooker overnight, or while you are preparing tonight's dinner. It just takes a few minutes to start, and then it simmers away on its own, making the house smell wonderful. Here's what you'll need:

Homemade Organic Chicken Broth

8-10 quarts of pure water (the more water, the more broth you'll get)

1 chicken carcass

1 bag of carrot and vegetable ends, peels, etc. that were saved from the hen preparation

2 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt (traditional table salt is processed with aluminum which has been linked to Alzheimer's--very bad.)

1 tsp. Pepper (organic, if you can find it)

Place the chicken carcass in the soup pot/stock pot and cover it with 8-10 quarts of purified or bottled water. The chlorine in tap water is released into your house and also leaves a not so pleasant after-taste in the broth, so avoid this if you can. Besides, you really don't want to be drinking that stuff anyway. Remember, this is an Organic blog.

Add all the other ingredients and cover. Turn on high until it boils, and then lower to medium-low and simmer for about an 1 1/2 hours. If you have room in your pot to use more water, add another quart or two, and let it simmer another 30 minutes to get plenty of flavor. If you are using a slow cooker, it will be done in the morning if you start it in the evening.

When the broth has boiled for at least a 1/2 hour, taste and add more seasoning if you desire. When it is done, remove from the burner and cool, scooping out the larger pieces of carcass, bones, vegetables, etc. with a strainer spoon. When cool enough to handle, place a strainer in a large storage container and pour the broth and remaining solids through the strainer. Lift the strainer out and toss the contents--perhaps into your compost bin. There's another subject I'll have to tackle one day.

Cover the container and place in the refrigerator for a few hours, until the fat rises to the top and congeals. Now skim the fat off with a spatula and strain the broth several times through a fine strainer. This removes leftover small pieces of fat and gives you a clearer, lower-fat broth. Pour 3 Cups of broth into a separate container for the Organic Chicken and Rice dinner that we'll make on Friday. Keep this in your refrigerator, and put the remaining larger portion into your freezer. I'll be posting the soup recipe on Monday, August 11; you can take the broth out to thaw a few days before you plan to make the soup. This hearty Chicken and Vegetable Soup, served with corn bread is a delightful dinner with loads of vitamins and fiber, and very low fat.

Woofin Wednesday is tomorrow and I was lucky enough to catch a snapshot of my little Oliver kissing my daughter. It is a funny photo, especially when you see their surprise when I catch them smooching. Drop in to see these adorable pictures and check out my weekly website pick for you to cruise through.

Thursday's Green Tip-Toe 10-minute ways to live more green will cover a simple list of ways to save paper. After all the reading I've been doing on living green, I surprised myself and made the entire list from memory. Of course, there are always more ways to save paper, but my goal is to give you some quick ways to do it easily...things you can get into the habit of doing. So join me Thursday for a few ideas, and please do leave me a comment below where you see the purple COMMENT link. Thanks again for reading.

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