So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galatians 6:9

Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished! Luke 1:45

Monday, June 2, 2014

Monday's Menu

One of the things I can't seem to get away from using is my powdered chicken stock. I hate that because it is hard for me to know exactly what has been put in it. There are lots of things that aren't required to be listed in ingredients lists in our country -- a sad failure on the part of those who should be regulating such things.

But chicken stock is one of the easiest things to make. It just takes time. It can made from what would normally be thrown out. So it's all the more frustrating that I have never done so.

Now I have though. I found this suggestion for making it in the crockpot overnight. That's right up my lazy, easy alley!

 If you don't think you'll have enough bones from one meal, you can throw them in a bag in the freezer until you've accumulated what you want.

Put them (frozen if you like) in the crockpot with some carrots, onions, celery, and spices and let it all cook while you sleep. You don't even have to peel the carrots - hey hey! By the way, if you don't have everything, go ahead and make it anyway. It still works great and tastes good.

The next morning (or afternoon in my case), you strain all that stuff out and the liquid you have is home made, good for you, all ingredients you know chicken stock.

I even managed to collect enough little chicken bits that had been collected when I cleaned the bones from our roast chicken to make a sandwich from (with a little barbecue sauce mixed in) for my lunch.

When the stock is somewhat cooled, you can place it in zipper bags. Lay them flat on a cookie sheet and freeze them. Then they will stack easily in the freezer once they are frozen.

You could also freeze some in ice cube trays so that you can have small amounts to throw into rice or noodles, etc. when you make it. Once they're frozen, pop them out and throw them in a zipper bag together in the freezer. Because ice cube size is so small, it easily melts quickly when cooking.

You can make stock from any kind of meat you wish.

I love having this in my freezer. It makes me feel much better when I make chicken and dumplings or cream soup or whatever else. I know I'm not putting anything gross into our food. And I'm making the most of that slightly more expensive pastured/cage free/grass fed meat too.

I got this recipe idea from here and here. You can also pressure can your chicken broth if you'd rather save freezer space. Here are directions. She also has directions for drying your own chicken stock so that you have what is essentially powdered bouillon just like you would get at the store (minus all the bad additives). Those directions are here.

I may eventually try that too but right now I'm just excited to have my freezer stock. :)

Overnight Chicken Stock

Leftover chicken carcass or bones (approximately equivalent to a small or medium sized chicken)
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 rib of celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 sprig parsley
1 sprig thyme
salt to taste

Place chicken bones/carcass, vegetables and spice in crockpot. Fill with water to about 1/2 inch from top.  Turn cooker on low (maybe after dinner) and allow to cook all night or about 8 - 10 hours. When done, strain out all bones/large herbs/vegetables. Refrigerate or freeze liquid.

No comments: