Okay, my input here is not much of a recipe, but I was inspired to share it by something I read on one of my favorite blogs this morning. This time of year, it seems we go through bone stock as fast as I can make it. I use bones leftover from roast chicken dinners and grilled hot wings to make our stock, but Nicole at Cauldrons and Cupcakes has streamlined the process of turning chicken into chicken vegetable soup. What a great smell to come home to! Stock or soup simmering away is one of my favorite memories of walking into my grandparents’ kitchen. They always had something in progress on the stove.
I use a slow cooker here, and add a few tablespoons of vinegar to filtered water and the contents of the ‘bone bag’ from the freezer. I set the cooker to ‘low’, and let it go for a day, or until the bones are soft enough to crumble when pinched. I add water if the level gets low, or if we start scooping out broth before the bones have given their all. When all the minerals have been extracted from the bones, I strain the stock into freezer jars, and dump the bones into the compost. Sometimes I add them to the pets’ food for a treat.
You’ll notice that I don’t add any seasoning when making my bone stock (the picture from today’s batch is a once-in-a-lifetime occurance, based on a storage crisis) That’s because unseasoned stock can be used in a wide variety of ways, and each application will have its own seasoning needs.
The basic bone stock can be used as the base for a great chicken soup, just like Nicole’s recipe.We also use the stock instead of water when we make rice, for extra richness and minerals. We mix it in the pets’ meals to boost the nutrition for our picky eaters. And if we feel like we’re ‘coming down with something’, I stir in hot pepper, ground ginger, garlic, apple cider vinegar and a whipped egg to make a germ-defying hot and sour soup. The stock stores wonderfully in the freezer in the wide mouth jars with the plastic lids…just thaw gently before you need to use it.
Although the recipe takes a long time, it is not very labor-intensive. Most of the time is spent waiting for the stove or slow-cooker to slowly extract the important nutrients and minerals from the bones. It’s a great project to start one day with plans to enjoy the results on the next several days. Coming home after a long and cold day and knowing that there is a hot meal waiting for you is incredibly satisfying!
Chicken soup is almost magical in its health-giving properties, so indulge yourself, and enjoy the flavor of home.
Update: part of the inspiration for this post also came from a WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge, wherein we were instructed to use a photograph to illustrate the word “Home”. For me, of course, Home is tied to Food. For other unique interpretations, take a look at some of the other entries, below. (Most people have far superior photography skills than me, so the pictures are actually nice to look at)
Trackbacks & Pingbacks
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