April 22, 2020
Turkey Tracks: Roast Chicken: The Backbone of Many Meals
What’s your favorite part of the chicken?
Mine, hands down, is the roasted skin, followed by the drumsticks, wings, and thighs. Most of the time, the breast in today’s quick-growing chicken tastes like sawdust to me—dry and tasteless. But, I persist. And from time to time can buy locally grown pastured heritage chickens. They are delicious.
It’s so sad to me to see all those skinned chickened pieces in the grocery store because they are tasteless and dry out so fast when you cook them. And the best nutrients and fat in chicken is right under the skin. I can tell you that my grandparents ate the skin, ate meat fat, and they lived to ripe old ages and were not fat.
Anyway, you can see this chicken is accompanied by a sweet potato and a handful of small red and golden beets. You don’t have to peel them when they are small. Just wash them good, quarter or halve them and drizzle them with some fat and whatever herbs or spices you want.
Enjoy this first meal—I hope you add something green to it. I added fresh asparagus cooked in boiling water for only a few minutes. I like my veggies crisp/tender. Asparagus is in season now—it is an early spring crop. The raw apple is for dessert.
So, now you have leftover meat. That meat can go into a salad, sandwiches, stir frys, etc. But the biggest asset you have is the chicken carcass. Put it in a pot that will hold it and add water to more than cover it. You can add some savories as well: onion, garlic, celery, carrot. Cook at least one hour. Longer is even better as you start to get a genuine bone broth, which is so, so, so healthy. By long, I mean 12 hours or more—and if you use a crock pot, there are no worries about leaving a cooking pot on the stove unattended.
Drain the stock through a strainer, throw out the spent veggies and bones, and DO NOT SKIM AND THROW OUT THE FAT from the broth! You would be throwing away a nutrient dense ingredient.
At this point, you can refrigerate the broth or make a soup or stew right away. Don’t let the broth hang around for longer than one day. Freeze it or make something.
Here’s the chicken rice soup I made. I froze half of it and had three or four hearty servings over the next few days. That’s a heated corn tortilla with raw butter slowly melting—it’s the closest thing I can get to that is like bread. Sprinkle it with salt. The apple is for dessert.
I eat one fruit serving a day most days. Apple works best for me as it has natural antihistamine properties. My favorite is a Honey Crisp apple, but they don’t keep well, so I have to eat as many as I can in the fall. Fruit sugar, like all sugars, can cause inflammation, so cut back to reasonable amounts?
Hey! For added nutrients, try dropping a spoonful of raw milk yogurt or raw heavy cream on your soup. And any soup can be made into a cream soup by just adding…cream. Or some whole milk. It’s a good way to change a soup that you’ve already made for a new taste.
Here’s the start of a roasted veggie dish. I used Red Palm oil, which I melted right in the pan here. Red Palm oil is a powerhouse, medicinal fat. I’ve written other posts on this oil, which comes solid, like coconut oil. You can search on the right side bar for more information. And I have not used toxic aluminum foil in two decades. What you see here is parchment paper, which works just fine. It can take up into the 500s with no problem.
So here’s my meal with leftover, reheated gently, chicken. The roasted veggies only take about 30 to 35 minutes to roast. To heat the chicken, put it in the roasting pan for about 10 minutes or less. Drizzle some water over it to keep it from drying out.
No, I do not have a microwave and haven’t had one for decades now. Microwaves heat food, but they also distort the food and the taste of the food. I can taste microwaved food from a restaurant (or could, when I could still eat in restaurants). It does not taste right. It has a whang to it. And this microwave thing is one thing that has destroyed human abilities to taste real food.
Another Week, Another Chicken
It’s another week, and I’ve roasted another chicken. This soup is lighter as it is going over rice noodles as I can’t eat pasta. Noodles are a real treat for me! They are highly processed though, and all I have to do is look at them to put on weight. (All grains turn into sugars in the body.) But when I have a yen for some noodles, and I have not had them recently, they are such a joy.
I also added chicken parts to enrich this broth. This time drumsticks, as that is what I had on hand. When they are done, I’ll take the meat off the bone. I add the spring onions and kale last and basically let them cook only about 10 minutes.
Here’s the finished soup.
And here’s my noodle soup dinner—look at those fresh berries just coming into our markets now’!
The next day, I added a two chopped up boneless chicken thighs, a handful of quinoa shells, and some corn to the soup.
The day after that, I added some cream and put some shredded mozzarella on top.
Whoa! That bowl was way too full. This overflowing bowl is a case of neatness: cleaning out the pot. I only ate half at lunch; the other half I ate at dinner, alongside plate of sauteed zucchini and a pan-fried little cube steak.
Have you been counting how many meals I get off of one roasted chicken? Add in at least two or three days of meat for salads at lunch. The point is, good food can be expensive, but if you take full advantage you knock back the per item initial cost AND you have healthy, fun meals.
I’m sure you’re happy by now that I did not buy a whole chicken this week. OK, I did, but I put it in the freezer. Tonight: braised lamb shanks with onions and carrots, a baked potato (Russet), fresh asparagus, and more of the DELICIOUS blueberries and raspberries that are on sale in my local market.