Main Dish


How to Make Chicken Stock and Why You Should

Homemade meat stocks are a traditional food that not only add flavor to meals but also add significant nutritional punch. For centuries chicken stock, a.k.a. Jewish Penicillin, has been served to the ill.  Unfortunately, these days most Americans purchase boneless cuts of meats and have lost the skill of creating this healing liquid.

Properly prepared stock contains high amounts of calcium, magnesium, potassium, gelatin and electrolytes.   The stock is gentle on the stomach and the nutrients are easily absorbed.  Homemade stock is the cornerstone to the GAPS Diet, a diet designed for natural digestive healing.  According to Dr. Campbell-McBride, “Meat and fish stocks provide building blocks for the rapidly growing cells of the gut lining and they have a soothing effect on any areas of inflammation in the gut.” It’s no wonder that stock has been recommended for cold, flu and just about whatever ails you for centuries.

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Summer Squash and Chicken Skillet Recipe

This is a simple meal I throw together all summer long.  It’s another great way to use up leftover chicken.  This week I used leftover Rotisserie Chicken in the CrockPot.  Just chop up an onion and summer squash and stir-fry it with some chicken and your favorite seasonings.  It’s quick, easy, healthy and frugal.  It’s really cheap if you use squash from your garden or better yet your in-law’s garden.  🙂  I’ll admit that after a winter without squash, it takes the kids a meal or two to get used to it’s slimy texture.  But generally 3 out 4 kids give this meal a thumbs up.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Tbsp Palm Shortening or oil of your choice
  • 1 Sweet Onion, chopped
  • 6 Summer Squash, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Tamari Sauce (Soy-free recipes here and here)
  • Garlic Powder to taste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2-3 Cups Cooked Chicken pieces

Directions:

1.  Heat oil in skillet and add onions.  Cook until clear.

2.  Add squash, tamari sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper and cook just until squash is tender.

3.  Add chicken and heat through.  Serve immediately.

You may also like Asian Chicken Stir Fry.

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Rotisserie Chicken in the CrockPot Recipe

Yay!  I picked up my first locally raised pastured chicken of the season this weekend.  If you’ve ever watched Food, inc. or read Nourishing Traditions, you know why this is important to me.  If you haven’t checked out these two resources, you should!

Cooking these birds in the CrockPot produces tender, moist, fall off the bone chicken.  This is my favorite recipe for whole chicken.  It also makes the best stock, so save your bones!  You can read how to make chicken stock here.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Thyme
  • 1 tsp White Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1-2 Onions, chopped (optional)
  • 6-8 Yellow Potatoes (optional)

Instructions:

1.  Combine spices in a small bowl.

2.  If necessary, remove giblets from inside of chicken.  Rinse inside and outside of chicken and pat dry with paper towels.

3.  Massage chicken with spice mixture.

4.  Place onions and potatoes in the bottom of the CrockPot and lay the chicken on top.  I usually put some onions inside the chicken too.

5.  Cover and cook on low 4-6 hours or until chicken is falling off the bone.

The original recipe found at food.com recommends rubbing the spices on the chicken the night before you plan to cook it.  I am never that organized and I think it is awesome without that step.

UPDATE:  Be sure to check out this post on How to Have Crispy Skin in the Crockpot.  I haven’t tried it on this particular recipe but I’m sure it would work.

Here are some of my favorite crockpot whole chicken recipes for the crockpot:

 

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Asian Chicken Stir Fry

Here’s another quick and easy way to use leftover Asian Chicken.  For convenience sake, I use frozen veggies but they get mushy.  I have read if you thaw the veggies and run them through a salad spinner before cooking they will be less mushy.  Let me know if you try it.   Fresh veggies would be best if you have the time to prepare them.  This recipe is easily adapted to your preferences.  Mushrooms and sesame seeds would be excellent additions.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Tbsp Palm Shortening or oil of choice
  • 1/4 Onion, chopped
  • 2 packs frozen Asian or stir-fry veggies (make sure they are sauce free)
  • 3 cups Rice, cooked*
  • 3 leftover Asian Chicken Breasts, chopped
  • Reduced Asian Chicken Marinade
  • Ginger
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

1.  Melt palm shortening in pan.  Cook onion until clear.

2.  Add veggies and cook just until tender.

3.  Add chicken and rice and cook until heated through.

4. Season with reduced marinade, ginger, salt and pepper to taste.

*Every couple of weeks I cook up a large pot of rice and divide into 3 cup containers to store in the freezer.

You might also like Asian Chicken Salad, Ginger-Lime Marinade for Chicken, and Honey Mustard Chicken.

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Asian Chicken Noodle Soup

Over the weekend, it went from spring to fall here!  The warm sunshine has been replaced by cold rain.  Many of us in this household have had the sniffles.  It was time for soup.  The leftover Asian Chicken in the fridge inspired me to make this soup.  Let me tell you, it was really good!

 

It’s nothing like traditional chicken noodle soup.  The tamari, lime and ginger in the broth is amazing.   The cilantro adds something unexpected although I suspect if you’re not a cilantro fan the soup would be good without it.   The ingredient list looks long, but I assure you this is a very simple soup to throw together.  If you don’t have cooked chicken on hand, just cook the chopped chicken with the oil and garlic until the chicken is done and follow the rest of the recipe.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Palm Shortening or oil of your choice
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic, minced
  • 8 cups of Chicken Stock/Broth (I actually used 7 cups homemade stock and 1 cup water)
  • 1/4 cup Tamari Sauce (Soy-free recipes here and here)
  • 2 Tbsp Lime Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 Tbsp Sucanat or Brown Sugar
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (I’m a wimp.  I used 1/8 tsp.)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds Asian Chicken, cut into bite sized pieces (I’m sure unseasoned chicken would be fine.)
  • 1 cup Frozen Peas
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped
  • Angel Hair Pasta, cooked (I used spaghetti!)

 

It might be fun to add:

  • Mushrooms
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Carrots
  • Sugar Snap Peas instead of Frozen Peas

 

Directions:
1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and cook a couple minutes.
2. Add broth, tamari sauce, lime juice, sucanat, ginger, red pepper and chicken and boil 5 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and add peas and cilantro.  Let stand 2-3 minutes.
4. Serve soup over noodles.  Enjoy!

 

 

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Asian Chicken Salad

Salad Suggestions:
  • Chopped Romain Lettuce
  • Spring Salad Mix
  • Chopped Cilantro
  • Grilled Asian Chicken
  • Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
  • Sesame Seeds (I used sunflower seeds)
  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Chow Mein Noodles (For your non-allergic friends)
Dressing:
Boil the leftover Asian Chicken Marinade to reduce.  It will be thin.

 

 

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Asian Chicken Marinade Recipe

I served this chicken for Mother’s Day dinner.  Most of the men ate the chicken as is while the ladies enjoyed their chicken as the feature of their Asian Chicken Salad.  I reduced the leftover marinade to use as a salad dressing.  This makes enough marinade for about 6 chicken breasts.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup White Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Tamari Sauce (Soy-free recipes here and here)
  • 3/4 cup Honey or 1 cup White Sugar (I bet sucanat or brown sugar would be really good!  You would need to heat it to dissolve the sugar.)

 

Directions:

1.  Blend ingredients.
2. Marinade chicken at least 30 minutes.
3.  Grill as usual.
4.  Reduce the marinade to use as salad dressing for your Asain Chicken Salad and/or seasoning for your Asian Stir Fry.

You might also enjoy Grilled Pantry Pork Chops, Ginger-Lime Marinade for Chicken and Honey Mustard Chicken.

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Photo Credit: Candy TX’s

Honey Mustard Chicken/Pork Marinade

 

I love that this recipe uses ingredients I keep on hand. The meat doesn’t need to marinade very long, making it ideal for last minute company.  I haven’t tried this marinade on pork, but I’m sure it would be awesome!  Make sure you grill extra to top a salad for tomorrow’s lunch! This makes enough marinade for 1 pound of chicken breasts.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Honey
  • 1/2 cup Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

 

Directions:
1. Blend ingredients.
2. Marinade meat for at least 30 minutes.
3. Grill or bake as usual.

 

I have mentioned before that I like to double or triple the recipe and freeze the marinade and chicken in gallon size baggies for later. When the chicken defrosts it marinades!

 

 

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How to make 5 jars of spaghetti sauce in 5 minutes for around $3

I love a truly from scratch sauce with fresh tomatoes from my garden.  In fact, I’ll be posting my favorite garden fresh sauce recipe this summer. But this time of year, I am happy to compromise with this sauce.  It tastes way better than any store bought sauce I’ve tried.

Store bought spaghetti sauce contain ingredients like corn syrup and “natural flavors” which we all know can mean just about anything, including MSG.  It can also be difficult for those of us dealing with allergies to find a jar of sauce that does not contain cheese and soy.

I am thrilled to share with you my secret to making 5 jars of spaghetti sauce in 5 minutes for around $3! I buy the large can of tomato sauce at Sam’s (or Costco) for $2.33.  I also buy the spices in bulk at Sam’s or Costco.

The hardest part of this recipe is opening the large can!  A regular electric opener won’t work.  I use a manual can opener.  Once I have the can open, I add the spices directly to the can and mix with a cheap immersion blender (like this one).  That’s it! It’s ready to be added to cooked ground meat or frozen for later.

But, you ask, doesn’t spaghetti sauce need to simmer?  I used to simmer it before adding it to the jars but I find that cooking the sauce with ground meat is enough simmering time to combine the flavors.

Bella enjoys this sauce over Mrs. Leeper’s Rice Shapes For Kids.  I have enjoyed this sauce in spaghetti, ravioli and lasagna.  We are meat sauce people.  If you prefer to go vegetarian, you probably need to add olive oil. Becca wrote this in the comment section:

As a vegetarian, I have to say: Adding olive oil will not give you the good flavor of adding something cooked in the oil.  This is really easy to do with kale, even if it is frozen, because it cooks so fast–give it 3 minutes in olive oil in the bottom of the pot, maybe with a clove of crushed garlic or some bits of onion, and then add the sauce and heat it up.  Kale is crazily nutritious and cheap, too!

Thank you so much Becca!

As a side note, my family of six really needs two pounds of beef in their spaghetti sauce to fill them up.  I buy organic, grass-fed beef from a local farmer which is a little pricier than store bought beef.  I can’t stand to use two pounds of beef in one meal, so I add a can of rinsed black beans to stretch the beef.  At first my kids acted like I was torturing them with beans, but they have gotten used to it.  If you want to try adding beans, don’t blame me if your kids won’t eat their dinner!  🙂

Ingredients:

  • Contadina Tomato Sauce – 105 oz. can  (I buy this from Sam’s for $2.33.)
  • 3 cloves of Garlic, minced or 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder or 1 Tbsp Dried Onion Flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Oregano
  • 2 tsp Basil
  • 1 tsp Pepper

Directions:

1.  Open the can of tomato sauce.

2.  Add the seasonings directly to the can.

3.  Blend with an immersion blender or long spoon.

4.  Divide sauce between 5 recycled spaghetti sauce jars or storage baggies.

5.  Store sauce in the freezer.

You may also enjoy:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ginger-Lime Marinade for Chicken Recipe

This is one of my favorite chicken marinades.  The ginger and lime together gives the chicken a little zing.   This marinade makes enough for 6 chicken breasts/whole legs or 12 thighs/drumsticks.  The chicken is good alone, over a bed of rice or as a kabob.  I like to grill extra and use the leftovers for fajitas.

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