Homemade Chicken Stock or Broth

Making your own chicken stock or broth at home is easy and is a great way to use the bones instead of throwing them away.

When I buy chicken I usually get the dark meat quarters which is the leg and thigh still attached. Dark meat is cheaper than breasts, and more flavorful.

Then I cut the bone off of the end of the thigh opposite the leg, then separate the leg and thigh. I also take off any extra skin hanging off the side.

I take a few of the thighs and remove the skin completely and take out the bone. Then I freeze all the chicken in meal sized portions to pull out as needed.

After that, I put all the bones and leftover skin into a stock pot. I put the skin in with it because later when it cools, it’s easier to peel it off the top.

Next, I add some aromatic veggies like celery, onions, and smashed garlic cloves. For a darker, richer stock roast the bones first and also add carrots. It’s not necessary to peel the onions or garlic. They will be strained out, and the nutrients from the skins will be in the stock. If you wash your carrots well you don’t need to peel them either.

Also throw in some black peppercorns, bay leaves, and whole sprigs of thyme.

Then, fill the pot with cold water. You want to start with cold water because sstarting with hot water draws out more impurities and clouds the stock. I know some chefs that even start their stocks with straight ice.

Turn on the heat and let it ride for an hour or two. I like to get it almost to a boil then cut back the heat and let it simmer, never letting it come to a full boil.

Next, strain it into another pot.

From here you have a couple of options..

You can cool it now and then skim the fat off the top, and use it, or you can reduce it even more for a thicker, more gelatinous stock. Either option is good, it just depends on how thick you want it to be. Since I’m going to be using it for stew, I’m going to reduce it some more.

After it cools, the fat comes right off!

What your left with is a luxurious flavorful liquid that can be used as a soup base, in velouté, substituted for water when making rice, and much more!

I don’t add salt to my stocks. I save that for when I make the actual dish. Many of the store bought broths and stocks have salt in them. I prefer to make my own so I have complete control over what goes in.

With store bought stocks you also never know for sure the quality of the ingredients. The best stocks use high quality items and the only way to know for sure is to make it yourself!

It is time consuming, but luckily it freezes well so you can make a big batch and freeze it in smaller portions. This way you can just pull out a little at a time as needed.

Next time you feel like homemade chicken noodle soup, you’re ready to go!

Broth is even easier because you don’t use bones, just the meat and veggies. This is an even quicker and simpler way to make your soup base, although it won’t be as thick and full bodied. It will still be delicious!

For chicken broth, just throw some skinless boneless chicken, onions, celery, smashed garlic cloves, bay leaves, and a sprig of thyme into a pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a simmer. Simmer about an hour or so. Strain out the broth, and use the chicken for chicken salad, or whatever you’d like!

Enjoy!

~Thanks for reading
LC

Baked Apples w/ Cinnamon, Honey, and Walnuts

Here’s an easy, healthy, and delicious way to enjoy apples! (As if they weren’t delicious and enjoyable on their own..)

 

Ingredients:

  • Apples
  • Cinnamon
  • Honey
  • Walnuts

 

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Core and slice an apple (or several apples)
  • Drizzle with honey
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon
  • Toss in some walnuts
  • Mix all together in a bowl
  • Transfer to a baking sheet
  • Bake for 35 min, turn oven off and let sit for awhile
  • Enjoy!

 

Tuna and Lentil Bowl

This bowl of goodness is packed with Omega 3’s, low fat protein, fiber, B vitamins, Iron, Folate, Potassium, Magnesium, Phytonutrients, Vitamin E, Selenium, Calcium, CoQ 10, Lutein, Zeaxanthan, Beta-corotene, Vitamin C, and much more!

 

Ingredients:

  • 3oz Seared Tuna, rare, sliced
  • 1/4 cup lentils, cooked in veggie broth
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp shallots, minced
  • pinch of aleppo pepper (or chili flakes)
  • 1/4 cup tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup asparagus, blanched or grilled, cut on a bias in 1/4″ pieces
  • 1/2 tsp each: rosemary, thyme, parsley
  • 1 small handful spinach
  • Sliced scallion for garnish, squeeze of lemon, lemon zest

Method:

  • Cook the lentils, (preferably in homemade veggie broth!)
  • Save some of the broth and set aside
  • Get a saute pan hot with your favorite (healthy) cooking oil
  • Throw in the garlic, shallots, and aleppo, saute about 30 seconds
  • Add the tomatoes and asparagus
  • Saute a minute or 2, then
  • Add about 1/2 cup veggie broth and the miso
  • Fully incorporate the miso while bringing it to a boil
  • Add the lentils
  • Check the seasoning for salt and pepper, if needed
  • Add the herbs, toss it around
  • Throw in the spinach. As soon as it starts to wilt, pull it off the heat
  • Put it all in a bowl and top it with the seared sliced tuna
  • Garnish with scallions and lemon zest, and squeeze some lemon juice on it
  • Enjoy!

**This can be a soup too, just add more veggie broth, and maybe substitute scallops for the tuna! You could even whisk up an egg and drizzle it in while the soup is simmering.

 

Homemade Veggie Broth

There’s no real set recipe here as far as quantities go, or ingredients, but making your own veggie broth at home is easy and it lets you control the quality of ingredients as well as salt content.

Why buy it, when you can make it?

Use your veggie broth in homemade soups and sauces. I even use it instead of water to cook beans, rice, and quinoa for another layer of flavor!

Usual Ingredients:

  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Yellow onions
  • Garlic
  • Bay leaves
  • Whole black peppercorns
  • Fresh thyme

Method:

  • Rough chop all the veggies and throw them in a pot
  • Add all other ingredients
  • Cover with plenty of cold water
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer for awhile
  • Strain liquid
  • Enjoy!

**Tip: Don’t include salt. You will more than likely be adding to salt to whatever dish you are using your homemade veggie broth in. No need to add it twice!

**Side note: There are many opinions on making stocks and broths. Some people peel the carrots and onions, and trim the leaves off the celery because they think it turns it bitter. Some people don’t. It is entirely up to you. There are no rules!

**I save my veggie scraps in a bag in the freezer when I cook and throw them in as well when I make broth. Also, you are not limited to the ingredients listed above. Try adding mushrooms, peppers, etc. into your broth. If you’re going for a particular color though, keep than in mind when adding your ingredients.

**This recipe freezes well. Make a big batch and portion in in smaller amounts to freeze. Then just pull some out as you need it.

Spinach and Grapefruit Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper
  • 6 grape tomatoes
  • A few slivers of red onion
  • 1/2 grapefruit, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Small handful of walnuts
  • Drizzle of EVOO
  • Sprinkle of lemon juice
  • A few cilantro leaves
  • Sprinkle of toasted wheat germ

Method:

  • Throw everything but wheat germ in a bowl and mix well
  • Sprinkle the toasted wheat germ over top
  • Enjoy!

**If you zest the lemon before squeezing it you could sprinkle that over top too!

 

Garlic Green Beans

Recipe: Garlic Green Beans

Here’s a great, clean side dish that can accompany a variety of foods.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 lb fresh green beans, trimmed

  • 1 tsp garlic, minced (about 1 clove)

  • 1/4 tsp aleppo (or chili flakes)

  • 1 tsp EVOO

  • 3 tsp Ghee (or clarified full fat butter)

  • ~1 lemon, zest

  • Kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper to taste

Method:

  • Blanch the green beans in boiling water with salt for 2 min

  • Drain and submerge in an ice bath to shock it and stop the cooking process

  • Heat the EVOO and Ghee in a saute pan on medium heat

  • Add the garlic and aleppo, saute until fragrant, 15-30 sec. Do not burn the garlic.

  • Add in the blanched green beans, and toss to coat evenly with the garlic and oil/butter

  • Add kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

  • Put the beans on a plate and grate some fresh lemon zest over top

  • Enjoy!

Ginger-Soy Salmon w/ Sesame Cauliflower and Spinach

Ingredients: Marinade

  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar

  • 1/8 cup water

  • 3 TBS low sodium soy sauce

  • 1 tsp sesame oil (preferably toasted)

  • 1 lime, juiced

  • 2 tsp ginger paste

  • 2 Wild Salmon filets, 4-5 oz

Ingredients: Sauce

  • ½ tsp ginger paste

  • ½ tsp fresh garlic, minced

  • ½ TBS shallots or red onion, minced

  • 1/8 c cilantro, chopped

Ingredients: Cauli/Spinach

  • 1 TBS shallots or red onion, minced

  • 2 tsp fresh garlic, minced

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut in florets, lightly steamed or blanched

  • 5-6 oz baby spinach

  • 1 TBS sesame seeds

Method:

  • Make marinade by combining all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth

  • Arrange the salmon filets in a baking dish and cover with half the marinade

  • Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Save the rest of the marinade for the sauce

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

  • Pull the salmon from the marinade to a baking dish. Discard the marinade

  • Bake the salmon for 12-15 minutes, maybe longer depending on your oven. You want the filets to flake with a fork and be at least 140 degrees F

  • For the sauce, put the reserved marinade in a pan and add the onion, garlic, and ginger

  • Simmer about 5 minutes, or until garlic and onions are soft

  • Add cilantro, simmer another minute, remove from heat

  • For the Cauli/Spinach, heat a little canola, or cooking oil of your choice in a sauté pan. Add the garlic and shallots and shake them around. Add in the blanched or steamed cauliflower and shake it around til it gets hot. Last, add the spinach and cook until it just begins to wilt. Add the sesame seeds

  • Put the cauli/spinach on the plates and top with the salmon. Spoon the sauce over the salmon and garnish with a squirt of lemon juice, a little chives, and perhaps some minced bell or hot peppers

  • Enjoy!

**Tip: Salt depends on how salty you soy sauce is. Taste before adding more salt. I also like to add just a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes whenever I sauté garlic, just because.

Chamomile Turmeric and Ginger Tea

Try this for a good nights sleep!

Ingredients:

  • One bag chamomile tea
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger, or 1 tsp *fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric, or 1/2 tsp *fresh ground turmeric
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 TBS honey
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon, or 1 stick **whole cinnamon

 

Method:

  • Steep chamomile in hot water 3-5 minutes
  • Remove tea bag and stir in almond milk, ground ginger, ground turmeric, honey and ground cinnamon
  • Enjoy!

 

*If using fresh grated ginger and turmeric, and them in while you steep the tea. Wrap the shavings in cheesecloth and tie it off, or pour the tea through a strainer before drinking.

**If using stick cinnamon, steep with the tea. You can use it to stir your tea!

Roasted Sweet Pepper Sauce

This is a good-for-you basic sauce that can be tweaked to complement just about any dish you want to make. It can be made in large batches and frozen in small portions to be pulled out as needed for something delicious and healthy in a pinch.

This is a versatile sauce that can be used alone as a cold dip for veggies or used as an ingredient for a vinaigrette or aioli. It could be turned into a pasta sauce and used as a marinade.

Try adding other ingredients and play around with it! Make it yours!

Ingredients:

  • 2 qts roasted mini sweet peppers
  • 1/2 cup red onions, diced
  • 2 tsp raw garlic, minced (3-4 cloves)
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 1/4 tsp Allepo pepper or chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric, ground
  • 3/8 tsp lemongrass powder
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 TBS kosher salt

 

Method:

  • Roast the sweet peppers in a high heat oven til they blister a little. Make enough to end up with 2 qts cooked peppers.
  • Run the peppers through a blender
  • Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions, garlic, and Allepo
  • Cook for a few minutes til the onions are soft
  • Add in the roasted pepper puree
  • Mix it all together well and heat it up
  • Add in the rest of the ingredients, mix well, simmer for about 10 minutes
  • Pass the mixture through a food mill or fine sieve (it will be silky smooth)
  • Enjoy hot or cold!