being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus
Good broth resurrects the dead
October 20, 2010Posted by on
So says a South American Proverb.
My family is venturing on a new diet path. Well, I’m venturing on a new cooking/food path, and so by default, my family is too since I’m the one who does 98.5% of the cooking. The book/cookbook “Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrat” has thrice entered my small corner of the world. So I decided to check it out from the library to see what it was all about. Then, the next day, the speaker at MOPs (Mother of Preschoolers) was talking about nutrition and brought this book with her.
And I really liked what I read. This book makes sense to me. I started doing more and more research. This cookbook and its author have both fanatic followers and haters. I won’t get into all the controversy over this cookbook and diet here and now. I will just say this: this cookbook is not for everyone, especially vegans and vegetarians.
Now if you are a friend of mine who is a vegan and/or vegetarian, I’d just like to insert something here. This post isn’t for you. You won’t like it or its pictures. And while I’d love for you to read through to the end, I would like to continue being friends. So, if dead chickens and those who eat them anger you AND you wish to preserve our friendship, please stop reading now. I will also add this: I really do admire that you stick to your strong convictions regarding anything having to do with animal product consumption. It’s that stick-to-it-ness that I lack in some areas of my life. So, kudos to you for being a vegetarian/vegan. And that’s it. Stop reading now if you belong in the dead chicken hater category.
Now that I got that off my chest, on to the stock. In all my research, I read this interview with the author (and another author with a similar platform). One of the questions asked was this: If you only had energy for ONE make-from-scratch food, what would it be? Both of the authors’ answer was homemade broth.
So, here I am, making a double recipe of homemade chicken stock from the cookbook. It has been quite an experience, and not the one I expected. On top of that, it’s like a two-day process (three, depending on how long you let the chicken stock base simmer). So, as I type, I have two full stock pots simmering on the stove.
The recipe calls for this (and I doubled it, because I wasn’t going to spend all this time preparing a stock without reaping double benefits from it):
1, whole free-range chicken (or 2 to 3 pounds of bony chicken parts such as necks, backs, breastbones and wings), gizzards from one chicken (optional), 4 quarts cold filtered water, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 large onion – coarsely chopped, 2 carrots – peeled and coarsely chopped, 3 celery sticks – coarsely chopped, and 1 bunch celery.
And so I began. I had already purchased what I needed (or so I thought) for this stock. Just a little side note: when one decides to prepare a new recipe, it is best if that person writes a list of items needed for said recipe and takes previously mentioned list to the grocery store with him/her. This will save multiple trips to the store. It is also important to take stock (pun intended) of the items one thinks he or she has for the new recipe. It very well may turn out that those items also need to be on the list.
I knew that I would need a lot of filtered water (just an fyi, eight quarts of water is 32 cups – and yes, I googled it). I knew that my humble Brita filter pitcher would have a hard time keeping up. So, this should have been the first step in the whole process. I could do the other steps while the filter did its job. However, upon retrieving the pitcher from the fridge, I discovered that the little indicator window on the top was telling me, “It’s time to change my filter!” I threw out the old filter, washed the pitcher, and put the new filter in a cup to soak for 15 minutes.
I decided that I could prepare the veggies while waiting. I started chopping. No real problems here, except that organic onions are much more potent than non-organic varieties.
I put half of each veggie into one of two stock pots. Since I now had to filter two to three pitchers of water to get that black “dust” out of the water, I decided to add the vinegar to the stock pots. Except, I had no plain ol’ distilled white vinegar. I had four different kinds of other vinegars, but not the kind I needed.
With forty-five minutes until the bus arrived, I decided to throw my two younger children in the car and make a run to Kroger. Besides, I forgot to buy the parsley at the store yesterday. I had planned to get it later tonight, but might as well get it now. And I should buy some apples to try out my new Pampered Chef toy that arrived in the package today (that’s another post entirely). Luckily (or unluckily depending on one’s perception), my youngest decided that napping was not on the schedule for today, so I could make a quick run to the store.
Mentally preparing myself I needed parsley, apples and vinegar. And why not just buy the filtered water, so I didn’t have to wait so long for my Brita to do the work? Yes. Fast, simple shopping trip. And I must say, I haven’t gotten through Kroger that fast since before I had children. I didn’t come out without an impulse buy, though.
Back home, everything else went fairly smoothly. I measured and poured the water in the stock pot.
I tackled the chickens and cut them appropriately (cutting off and up the wings, neck and gizzards – all which go into the stock). Here’s where you look away/scroll down to the next picture if you don’t want to see a dead amputated and decapitated chicken.
I put the chickens in the pots and started the cooking process. I’ll let them simmer overnight, drain them in the morning, refrigerate, skim off the fat, store and freeze the finished stock. I’ll use the chicken for something else later.
Now, the hard part is to determine how I will use the cooked chicken. If you didn’t notice the ginormous butternut squash that made a cameo in the vinegar picture, check it out. Chicken, roasted butternut squash, and fresh basil drizzled with olive oil atop a bed of quinoa? I think that sounds pretty darn delicious.
After all that work, you’d think we’d have something healthy and nutritious for dinner. Nope. Frozen pizza. Did I mention that this whole new way of eating is a process? And that there’s no way it’s going to happen overnight? OR that I’m not going to let all the food that was already in my freezer go to waste just because I’m trying to change the way we eat around here? I didn’t? Ok. Well, now you know.