Archives for category: Stock

This is my math equation for the day.  Chilled to the bone=Cream of Chicken Soup.  Since the home school Hubs and kids are always working on math when I get home from work I figured I needed my own math equation.

As I was walking home from work I became chilled to the bone.  It did not look very cold outside but once I started my trek home I realized that it was indeed quite cold. 

When I hit my front door I had the whole body shivers.  You know the ones where your whole body shakes and the shivers have taken control of you and you just kind of rattle.

I discard my shoes and go directly to the freezer and pulled out some frozen chicken breasts.  These are the kind that are quick frozen and can be baked without de-frosting.  I turned on the oven to 425 degrees and let it warm up. I baked the chicken after giving it a good covering of olive oil, italian seasonings, sea salt and cracked pepper and a dash of lemon juice.  While the oven was warming I assembled and diced celery, carrots and onions.  Fresh garlic, parsley, thyme and heavy cream were also ready on the counter.  I grabbed some of my most yummy ever chicken stock from the fridge.  Deep in color and thick with flavor this a chicken stock that I had simmering over night on thursday and then let it simmer most of the next day.

I sautéed my vegetable and added the chicken, stock, lemon juice, heavy cream and seasoned to taste.   The addition of a little bit of lemon juice brightens the flavor of the soup. 

The finished soup was lightly creamy, warm and satisfying.  When I sat down to enjoy my soup I felt an overwhelming sense of satisfaction that can only come from home-made chicken soup. 

I will thicken the rest of the soup and add some biscuits because the Hubs was saying just this week he wanted some chicken and biscuits….Dinner for tomorrow is done too!

Cream of Chicken Soup

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1 onion, chopped

6 celery ribs, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

8 cups chicken stock

1 tbs fresh parsley

1 tbs fresh thyme

3 cups roasted chicken, diced

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tbs lemon juice

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

Sauté veggies with butter in a large pot. 

Pour over the chicken stock and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Stir in the chicken and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Stir in heavy cream, lemon juice, fresh herbs and season to taste.

 

With the start of the new year upon us healthy cooking is usually at the front of everyone’s mind.  It certainly is for me.  This month I will feature recipes that are mainly considered healthy in one way or another.  I will feature recipes that are low carb, gluten-free and low-fat.  I am cutting out many carbs from my diet personally so you will see lots of low carb recipes.  I will also post the regular baking and cooking recipes that I prepare for clients as well.

Cooking greens is a clear favorite of mine for eating healthy.  Greens can be cooked ahead of time and frozen for up to 3 months.  Greens retain most of their vitamins and re-heat great after being frozen.  Since greens are cooked for a long time they do not lose textural appeal when freezing.  Some recipes call for  sauteing greens lightly but for this purpose we will be cooking the greens in a long braise.

First start off with some lovely greens.  I use collard greens, kale and mustard greens for most recipes.  A combination of the three is always tasty.

Trim off the thick stems.

After you have trimmed the thick stems then cut the greens up as much as you prefer.  I like a large chop.

To flavor the greens I will render the fat from thick sliced bacon and pour most of the fat off.

Let the bacon cook down for about 10 minutes.  Drain most of the fat off and add onions and peppers finely diced.  Cook until veggies are soft and drain off more fat.  Add minced garlic at the last-minute to avoid overcooking the garlic.

Add chopped greens and about 2 cups chicken stock or water.  Cook greens until tender.  I will often use my pressure cooker and the greens only take about 15 minutes.  For stove top greens it will take up to 45 minutes to simmer then until tender.  When done this dish is not beautiful but the bitter flavor will dissipate and the soft greens will be delicious.

Serve greens topped with vinegar, olive oil or chopped hot peppers.  Great with corn bread.

Greens are high in vitamin A, C and K.  They also have great fiber content and magnesium.

There are certain dishes that make me wish I had smell-a-vision on my blog.  This is one of them. I am about 45 minutes into the cooking process of this braise and the house smells heavenly.  The garlic, beef, wine and onions are creating an aroma that is truly beautiful.  Pot roast is much like any other large piece of tough meat.  You need to have patience with it and let it cook slowly for a long time.

We had a big snow storm and stayed inside reading, watching movies and sitting in front of the fire-place.  My son and I played games and I watched some cartoons with him.  It was very relaxing.  The roast cooked away slowly in the oven filling the house with its yummy aroma.

Today we are going to strap on some snow shoes and venture out into the forest to find a Christmas Tree.  The leftover pot roast will be great after an afternoon snow shoeing.

I like to use chuck eye roasts best when making pot roast but this time I used a chuck blade roast.  This cut also works well I just prefer the chuck eye since it has less fat.  Fat is important in this dish and the chuck eye roast has plenty of fat and marbling but not as much as the blade roast.

Red Wine Pot Roast

1  4-5 lbs Chuck Roast

1-2 tablespoons Canola Oil

Sea Salt and Pepper

1 medium Onion chopped in a medium dice

4 Small Carrots chopped in a medium dice

4 Celery Stalks chopped in a medium dice

2 Cloves Garlic minced finely

3-4 Cups Red Wine (I like to use a lot of wine but stock can be substituted)

4 Cups Chicken Stock (do not use chicken broth with salt)

4 Stems each of fresh Thyme and Rosemary

8-12 Small Red Potatoes cut in half

Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a heavy bottom dutch oven or pan add canola oil and let the pan get hot.  While pan is heating season meat on both sides with salt and pepper.  Brown meat on all side is the hot pan.  Be careful when adding meat to hot pan so you do not get splattered.

When meat is browned on all sides add chicken stock, garlic, herb sprigs, onions and red wine.  Cover and put in your oven at 350 degrees.

Let this braise for about 2 hours checking to make sure all of the liquid has not evaporated.  Add more stock and red wine if needed to keep liquid half way up the meat.

Check internal temperature of meat.  When temperature reaches 210 degrees add carrots, celery and potatoes.  Braise for another 1 to 1 1/2 hours until meat is tender and falls apart easily.

Shred beef with fork and season if needed.  I usually will mash up the potatoes with a fork and serve the shredded beef over potatoes with the veggies on the side and pour juice over the whole plate.

This is one of my husbands favorite dishes.  It is so simple and quick but very tasty.  Healthy and gluten free too.  It seriously takes just a few minutes to wack up some cabbage, red bell pepper, onion and jalepeno peppers.  Cut up a kielbasa and sautee it for a couple minutes to get some browning to add flavor.  Add cabbage and other veg.  Right now if you can find local cabbage or just buy some cabbage that looks good it will become sweet when you cook it.  Top off with a cup of chicken stock and a couple dashes of balsamic vinegar (about 1 tbs) and simmer for about 15 minutes.  You can serve this as is or over rice.  It is even better the next day.

2 lbs Kielbasa cut into rounds about 1/3 inch thick

1 Head Green Cabbage cut either in stips or chunks

1-3 Jalepeno Peppers (depending on how hot you like it)

1 Sweet Red Bell Pepper cut into strips

1 Red Onion cut into strips

2 Tbs Good Olive Oil

1 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar

1 Cup chicken stock or water

Cracked Pepper

Do not salt this dish as the kielbasa with add enough salt.

Sautee sausage in olive oil, Add veggies.  Add stock and simmer for 15 minutes.  Serve over rice or alone.

Season with Cracked Pepper

Now that the weather is getting very chilly up here at Cal-Wood all I can think about is soup.

Something simmered for a long time.  To me it is almost a visceral need to cook  chicken soup at this time of the year.  I love to take my time with the process and stretch it out over a couple days.  First I will roast a few chickens. Usually two large sized birds.  Chicken stuffed under the skin with butter, garlic and fresh herbs and roasted will usually result in a bird that is tender and juicy.  If I have some fresh herbs left over or a whole lemon I will stuff the cavity of the bird for even more flavor.

After the chicken is cooked put it in the fridge overnight to cool.  The next day  pull all of the tender meat off the bones and set aside.  The bones w go into a large  stock pot covered in water.  After the bones have been simmering for about 1-2 hours  add what veggies clippings or what I call stock stuff.  There is always a gallon size bag in my refrigerator labeled “stock stuff”.  Into this bag I put all carrot peelings, onion skins, garlic skins, herb stems, celery tops and any other aromatic veggie scraps.  If there is not at least 3 cups of scraps in the bag I will add some more celery, carrot or onion.  This mixture should simmer for 4-5 hours on low.  If you can get it low enough for just a few bubbles to rise to the top of the stock then your stock will be clear but if you are in a hurry you can crank the heat up but you stock will be more cloudy.

What you are looking for is the healthy cartilage in the chicken carcass to melt and incorporate into your stock.  This is what will cause your stock to be  jello like after it cools.  If you use an already roasted carcass from a roasted chicken instead of a raw chicken then the process has already started in the roasting phase.  You will also have a richer tasting stock from roasted bones because the browning from roasting boosts the flavor.

After the stock has simmered for 4-6 hours then strain the whole mess.  I use a chinois but you can use a fine strainer or cheese cloth lined strainer.  Put the stock in a shallow pan or several shallow pans to cool for at least 45 minutes outside of the fridge and then move to the fridge to cool over night.  If you do not cool your stock in shallow pans with about 1-2 inch sides you risk the stock growing bacteria while cooling.  If you cool in deep containers then your stock will not cool fast enough.

After the stock has cooled over night you can remove any fat from the top easily.

Here is the recipe for my favorite Chicken Soup Base.   I call it Chicken Soup Base because it is the base for many yummy dishes.  I freeze it and can later defrost and add all kinds of other starches or seasonings to make several different soups or stews.

Here are some simple ideas:

Add soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, green onion and udon noodle for an Chicken and Udon Noodle Soup.

Add cooked rice for Chicken and Rice Soup.

Add egg noodles for Chicken Noodle Soup.

Add Thai red curry paste, coconut milk, 2 tbs sugar, rice noodles and top with fresh cilantro for Thai Curry  Chicken Soup.

Chicken Soup Base Recipe

2 Cups  Cooked Chicken Diced or pulled into large shreds

8 Cups Chicken Stock

6 Celery stocks medium dice

3 Carrots medium dice

1 Onion medium dice

1 Clove Garlic minced

1 TBS Flat Leaf Parsley chopped

1 TSP fresh Rosemary  finely chopped

Butter or Olive Oil for sauteing veggies.

Sea Salt and Pepper to taste.

Saute veggies in butter or olive oil just enough to coat the veggies.  Season veggies with salt before sauteing to concentrate flavor.  Saute the veggies until soft.

Add veggies, chicken and rosemary to chicken stock and simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Season to taste.  Add parsley before serving.

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