Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chicken Broth

It seems like when I talk to friends and family about my "new" diet, I'm starting to get some looks I can start categorizing into different lists of patronizing/concern. For example, before I'm done explaining, I often start to see the "Oh, you're doing Atkins" look. No. I'm not going out and buying double bacon double cheese bacon cheese burgers, hold the bun. I'm not counting carbs. Oh, and I just had a banana for breakfast with my egg.

It's often those reactions mixed with, "oh, life without pasta would be so sad, it's not worth it!" mixed with a pitying head-shake. I must say, I might have been guilty of that attitude more than once in my life. I honestly do feel like I've shaken it forever though. To me, pasta is that filler I could pour a pound of into a bowl, cover with cheese, and just eat until I was numb without thinking. Looking back on that, nothing seems sadder. 

Taking the time to be mindful, appreciate the protein and veg on my dinner plate for where it came from, taste the strong flavors, and be done and satisfied when I've eaten the right amount is priceless. I think too many of us have lost the simple sight of that.

Enough philosophizing for this entry. I meant to be writing about home made chicken broth! For my most recent batch, I had saved up two carcasses from recent roasts in the freezer. I was also keeping a bag of all vegetable scraps I wasn't using-- broccoli bottoms, carrot tops, dill that went limp, onions, brussel sprouts we never finished, etc. I took both carcasses, all the veggies, and dumped them into my husband's giant stainless steel pot he uses for brewing beer (maybe that's my secret ingredient??). I add salt, pepper, whatever spices I have on hand that look tempting, and a splash of vinegar the way my grandma used to!

After bringing to a boil, I generally cover the giant pot and let it simmer hours, sometimes all day. Then, I strain out all the liquid, feed some chicken bits to my dog, and dump the rest in our compost bin. I separate the broth out into little containers that I freeze and boom... we have about 10 portioned out tupperwares of chicken broth for the next couple weeks anytime someone wants a bowl of soup or one of my recipes calls for chicken broth.

I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say it might be the best hot liquid of all time. It's been cold and rainy here, which I love, but it's also been a winter of runny noses and fevers around here--and I don't just mean the baby. So whipping out one of these batches of the soup has been a tiny piece of heaveny-goodness each time.

I love this homemade broth so much, I took it outside in one of its containers before freezing and took a picture of it (maybe I need help):

It's magical, I tell you.

So last week when we needed a warm little pick me up, I whipped up this with the broth above:

I took about  1 1/2 cups broth per person
1/2 avocado per person
1 clove raw garlic, crushed
Kosher Salt & Pepper
Dash of lemon
Dash of hot sauce (TJ's Habanero for us)

I heated these up nice and hot and sat around sipping them watching the rain. Perfect. And Paleo.

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