Posts tagged ‘recipes’

July 5, 2013

Chicken Stock

We love soup, even in the summer, but especially in the fall and winter! A good soup with crusty home made wheat bread, YUM!

chicken broth

It’s amazing how many meals you can get off of a single chicken if you plan it right. Granted, it all depends on how big your family is and how big your boys kids are.  With our family of 4, I can generally get 3-4 meals off of a single chicken. Even when you’re baking a chicken you can take the bones and make stock from them after it’s been cooked and the meat removed!  I’ve tried this with turkey carcasses numerous times but I’m not a big fan of turkey stock.

I used to add my whole chicken to a pot and simmer it for a long time. When we run our wood stove in the winter I still do this in a great big stock pot with some onions, celery, carrots and herbs and the house smells simply divine. But in the summer, running the kitchen stove any longer than necessary isn’t exactly my idea of a cool time, and you can forget about the wood stove =)!

Many years ago I bought a huge pressure cooker specifically for canning. My Grandma had a smaller pressure cooker she rarely used and so I decided to give it a try for meals. It was love! I immediately went out and bought myself an 8 quart (2 gallon) size for regular means and we never looked back. Making super tender roasts in a hurry, pulled pork, soups, beans, the list is endless as to its uses!

Using the pressure cooker is my absolute favorite way to make chicken stock! At 15 lbs. of pressure it takes about 45 minutes to make gorgeous stock with every ounce of goodness from the bones removed and I have meat that falls right off the bone! For chicken pot pie, I simmer my gravy and ingredients, add my cooked shredded chicken at the end and it tastes as if it had simmered for hours to develop deep complex flavors! Truth is, I use the chicken broth to make my gravy, it’s like a 30 minute meal!  I wish the photo above captured the pure beauty and true yellow color of the stock in real life but I honestly don’t think it comes close.

I have made stock in a crock pot and electric dutch oven and it does an OK job but for speed, outstanding chicken flavor and ultimate tenderness and quantity, I really feel the pressure cooker gives me the absolute best stock!

Generally my meal uses the chicken meat in the first meal then I will put strain the  broth through a new milk filter (I have tried coffee filters, it’s an absolute mess waiting to happen)  into 1/2 gallon canning jars (I usually get 1+ gallons from the size of my pressure cooker) and put it in the fridge for use in a day or two. The fat floats to the top, I skim it off and I have virtually fat free broth to use to make outstanding soups!

If you have not tried a pressure cooker to make broth, you might like to try.  For that matter, if you haven’t tried a pressure cooker, it’s a kitchen tool I couldn’t be without!

Happy stocking! =)

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May 15, 2013

Wordless Wedneday: Smoothie breakfast

April 12, 2013

Homemade yogurt the easy way!

I make about a half a gallon at a time, quart and half gallon masons work very well as containers.  First I heat my raw milk to 180. Yes, this does pasteurize it. No, I don’t like killing the good qualities about my raw milk but in the end, it gives me a firmer yogurt. Heating it denatures the proteins so even if you are using store bought pasteurized milk, heat it to 180 degrees. You can make totally raw yogurt without heating it, it will give you a bit runnier yogurt, which I also make often as well. I like both for smoothies, I prefer the firmer Greek style for eating and the runnier to put into pancake batter, muffin mixes, etc.

After my milk comes up to temp. (being very careful not to let it get too hot as burnt milk will be ruined and take a good brillo pad to clean your pan, besides.), I let it cool to 95-110 degrees (either on the counter or in a bath of cool water) and I put a good size scoop (soup spoon size) or two of yogurt from another batch and stir to melt once it cools to 10, not before, you may kill the cultures. If you’re starting your yogurt from scratch, use a store bought yogurt (preferably plain unless you want residual flavors) with LIVE cultures (VERY important) or a powdered yogurt culture. Powdered cultures can be found from any online cheese making source, Hoegger Supply, etc.

While the milk is heating, I heat up a pot of water to about 115-120 degrees (On occasion I leave it go to boiling, I haven’t had any problems using boiling water). When the water is at temp., I pour it into a mason jar and stick it in my “cooler” to warm it up. Once the milk/yogurt culture mixture is ready, I put that into a half gallon mason or 2 quarts and stick it all into the cooler. I leave the jug of water in, close the lid and let ‘er rip. I’ll check it after a couple of hours to be sure it’s still at the right temp. (112-114) and just let it sit until it becomes the consistency I like (6-24 hours). If the temp. drops below 110, I add a new jug of warm/hot water in place of the other.

Once your yogurt is at the consistency you want, add ins like strawberries, peaches, etc. can be mixed in. Add honey to sweeten if you like!

Yogurt makes the BEST pancake mix! The possibilities are endless!

smoothie

Yogurt Smoothie! Ingredients: raw goat’s milk thanks to my dairy girls, raw goat’s milk yogurt (made by yours truly =), honey, flax seeds, frozen blueberries, and frozen strawberries!

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