Turkey Tracks: May 4, 2018
The Joy and Economy of a Roasted Chicken
Every now and then I roast a chicken for myself. I will start doing it more often as the last batch of broth I made from the carcass didn’t make me sick, and I do love soup so much. (Food cooked a long time acquires loads of histamine, which does not work for me as it makes my mast cells make MORE histamine that my body can’t process.)
Look at this beauty! I am loving adding peeled beets (easy with a carrot peeler and no more difficult after you cut off the top and bottom rough places) to the roasting mixture.
Roasted beets are dead sweet. I stewed some collard greens to go with my meal–a Friday night special dinner just for ME. I added the chicken neck to the pan to give the collards more flavor–and also used smashed garlic and some onions. I sweated the onions a bit in duck fat before adding the collards and a little liquid.
I made some rice. I keep this brand on hand–stopping at Trader Joe’s when I go to Portland to stock up. This rice is organic, SPROUTED (which makes its nutrients more available to us), AND is a lovely mixture of varieties. I can eat rice and quinoa these days, but don’t do it too often as I immediately put on weight. Grains for me are a treat food.
Here’s the pot of rice ready to be cooked:
Here’s the amount of ginger and garlic I included:
And here is my dinner!!
I took the meat off the carcass and stored it–and had one leftover meals and two big salads with some of the breast meat. I also froze a meal to take on my quilting retreat next week. (I have to take my own food, which is great because then I have no worries about unwanted reactions.)
The carcass and all the roasted veggies from the pan (not the beets, though next time…) that I did not eat go into a stock pot and cook for no more than two hours. Back before my histamine issue, I would have cooked this broth for 24 hours in a crock pot and still recommend that you do so. Add some acid: vinegar, lemon, wine. Something. And add salt to the broth–real salt, not the grocery store Morton’s fake salt. These days we are reading a lot about tiny plastic bits in real salt dried from ocean water AND in bottled water, so maybe the salt that comes from old salt deposits is better???
I strain off the spent veggies and the bones. This time I had about 12 cups, so divided into two batches and froze one.
Now I got out my HEAVY crust pan, put in some duck fat, and started sweating veggies. I use what I have on hand, and I keep a lot of veggies on hand. What you see here is yellow squash, carrots, onion, garlic/ginger, cauliflower, cabbage, and celery. Along the way I added some dried herbs: Penzey’s and dried mint from my garden. The dried mint gives the soup a deep sweet note. I order a variety of Penseys dried herb mixtures in the fall, and in the summer I add fresh herbs from my garden. I also might add some of the basil I put down in oil last fall–still bright green beneath its layer of oil. (There is an earlier blog post on how to do this–learned from Betsy Maislen.)
I added the meat of one-half of boneless chicken breast to the pot and froze the other half for the reserved frozen broth.
I poured in the stock (about 6 cups) and brought the veggies/meat to simmer. Don’t overcook here–just until the veggies are getting tender. Then I added the leftover collards and rice and just let them heat a few minutes. Soggy, limp veggies in soup are ok, but I like them a big firmer.s That’s why I only reheat soup I’m going to eat for a meal. BUT, I also don’t let soup hang around the refrigerator for two reasons: it grows histamines and the broth needs to be reheated on a regular basis.
Here’s my lunch!
No No Penny LOVES anything chicken and adores having a bit of the soup. She, and Reynolds before her, knows when I am cooking chicken. She smells it, she knows she will get some, and she anticipates her share as much as I do. Would you want to eat two bowls of dried cereal with no milk–and nothing else–for the rest of your life? No? Well neither do dogs.
So, I got 5 meals from the roast chicken and 5 from the soup (with the addition of 1/2 chicken breast) AND I still have 6 cups of broth frozen.
I’d call that pretty darn good in the food economy planning.
Hope you think so too.
Finally, here is my favorite knife, which just came back from Acute Grinding and is sharp as can be. A good knife makes short work of chopping veggies. Every so often it is good to get knives sharpened by an expert. It makes a world of difference. Acute Grinding cut this knife a new edge, so now my sharpening will keep it sharp for a long time.