Thursday, May 11, 2017

Homemade Chicken Broth and Radish Sprouts!!

Proud of myself #1: The last sunny day we had was May 4th. Isn't that crazy??? Anyway, that was two days after my fall, and also the day I overdid it again in the garden. I planted carrot and radish seeds in big containers on April 29th, and look! Look!! :))  I have radish sprouts, despite the crazy cold weather and not having watered them more than once since I planted them. They actually have been covered 99% of the time with the lids of the containers. The only time I took the lids off were when we had tiny pockets of sun, so I'd say in the last 8 days, they got 1 hour of sunshine. The carrots haven't popped up yet. I'm so happy to see these little radish sprouts!!!

Proud of myself #2: I made 5 liters of chicken broth yesterday! Whole chickens were on sale the other day for $1.79 a pound so I bought 2 of them. 

Our combined digestive issues have Alex and I at the end of our ropes. We love to eat and there are things we won't give up...but we are striving to eat better food. After reading some labels, we decided it was time to try our own broths. This is the label of the Bovril chicken broth. I got some great advice many years ago "if you can't pronounce it or don't know what it is, DON'T eat it." with regards to label ingredients! Besides all the other crap in this bottle, there seems to be chicken used in making this lol...but that's not good enough for us. 

If anyone has recipes or tips on a really amazing broth (chicken or beef) please share btw. I'm always looking to improve!

So...I roasted the two chickens I bought, then de-boned them and kept the meat. You never saw bones so empty let me tell you, I got every piece of meat off those birds! Then I pulled out my only two big pots and in each I put one carcass, 4 carrots, 4 celery stalks, an onion and some garlic; then covered it up with water. I added a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 2 bay leaves and a bunch of parsley - aah, I found a use for my parsley after all!

This stayed on the stove simmering for 5 hours while I baked my bread. Alex was starving at that point so we strained and jarred one of the pot's contents into 4 Mason jars and made a chicken rice soup with the leftovers. We had soup and fresh bread for dinner. By the way, we both have noticed that we digest bread and pizza dough much easier with unbleached flour vs. regular flour. I can't wait to see the difference when we buy organic. Though the bread isn't as fluffy...but I read that bleached flour makes baked goods fluffier, so I'm guessing it must be true since I used the same recipe I always use.

After tasting the broth, we both thought "chicken water"...the recipe I used said minimum 4 hours. At this point, this process had been going on all day and I was pooped. But while I slept, Alex decided to work on the second pot of broth and he strained half of it after 10 hours, and the rest after 14 hours.

Both the colour and flavour difference was amazing. The longer the better it seems! How long do you simmer your broth? We are having some broth each day and so are the pets. The dogs LOVE it and one of our cats does too, but the 2 other cats turn their noses! The health benefits are great - boosts immunity, helps with intestinal inflammation, heals the gut and provides lots of minerals. And MY label reads: "chicken bones, fresh vegetables, apple cider vinegar, water"...we can pronounce all of THOSE ingredients! It might take a while for our palates to get used to this real food. The broth we've been used to was so laden with salt and wonder we have poor digestion considering all that nasty stuff the companies add to the "food". (or as the makers of Cheez Whiz refer to it "processed food stuff", shudder!).

Today I'm working on beef broth. I got some soup bones at the butcher when I bought the chicken the other day. That will simmer all day and night! I'm really proud of us for taking these steps gradually. I think it would be an interesting exercise to see what kind of processed foods we still use vs. what we now make (and soon grow!) on our own.

I love being in the woods with the dogs. I discovered a new trail today which links to two of the others. I actually stopped to take a picture of that moss-covered rock, but the dogs ran ahead. They were watching a set of squirrels running up and down the trees.

I got my latest book in the mail today! :) I love real books, especially biographies! Alex and I have a used book budget every month, we love to read and sometimes E-books don't cut the mustard. It's unfortunate that we can't get English books around here, but the used books via Amazon are pretty reasonably priced.

The cereal box I read this morning wasn't much better than the chicken I'm making my own granola. Have you ever dehydrated frozen fruit? I mean, FROZEN...I was too impatient to actually thaw them lol...I had a few bags of frozen strawberries, so I decided to give it a try! I'll report the results tomorrow! I have to bake those pretzels today and also the dog cookies! Then I have to run outside and do some kind of sun the British comedies say..."I'm starting to get prison pallor!"...


  1. Hiya!!!

    Good for you for being proactive with what you eat and what you put in your tummies (and your pets too)!!! :) I am all for that and do my very best to do it here too. I have never had much luck with making broth/soup. Mine always comes out under-tasting...if that is even a word! I know salt is a key for soups and broths and I use a Celtic gray sea salt at home for most things. I wonder if broth would be successful in a crock pot? I could do that. Time is my enemy - I have none! :)

    As I get older to I find that my palate and my digestion is shifting. I still have my sweet tooth but its not as rampant as it was even 10 years ago.

    My next challenge is to make my own cheese. I like the New England Cheesemaking Company - their website is lovely and they have everything from just starting out to the very advanced. Maybe for Yule I shall ask for the gift of cheese making! :)

    My girlfriend who lives in QC (I wonder if she's near you?) says the same thing about the libraries there and the books. She can't find anything in English. She's like me, would rather hold a book than use an E reader. I offered her my E reader and I could load on a squizillion books for her, but she'd rather hold a proper book. I totally get that. Me too.

    We have sun today but its deceptive. If we are sitting at 8 degrees we are lucky.

    I hope the sun stays for you!
    Dianna :)

  2. I'm betting your strawberries took a long time to dehydrate. When I thaw my frozen strawberries they will have water in the bag to drain out. Sounds like you are staying busy in the kitchen.

  3. i make broth all the time! constantly, since i roast 2 chickens each week for teddy. i have a bag i keep in the fridge and throw all of my onion ends and skins in it along with the trimmings from celery, carrot ends and shavings, garlic tips and skins. anything that is good in broth. then i cover the chicken carcasses along with the skin and innards with water, throw in bay leaves, black peppercorns and some herbs and simmer for hours and hours. the longer the better. i simmer it down until not much liquid appears on the top. that's the secret. for beef stock, you should roast the bones at a high heat until they are very brown otherwise it is hard to get a good beef broth. even if there weren't so many chemicals in store bought stock, you never get the creamy richness that you do from homemade.

  4. hi rain! i mostly always use local organic produce when i can get it and i wash it when i bring it home, sit it out to dry and then store it in the fridge. if you aren't making stock often, you can keep the bag of your collected scraps in the freezer until you are ready to use it. homemade broth is one of my favorite staples. joyce

  5. I do the same as Joyce, although I don't have as many chicken carcasses on hand - since Bertie decided to shun chicken for beef. Stinker. I agree - the longer, the better, the richer-flavored! And congrats on your radishes! Woohoo! No easy task when there is no sun for days.

  6. Hi Dianna :))

    Thank you! Actually the recipe I found is for the crock pot. Roast Chicken Stock I had two chicken carcasses and only one crock pot so I opted to put it all on the stove on a simmer, but if I'm doing this regularly I would prefer it in the crock pot. I don't like having the stove going that long and it seems that the longer the beter with the broth, I'd love to have it going 24 hours! I think our blogger friend Kymber does her beef broth for 10 days (if I'm remembering correctly!!).

    My digestion and palate is shifting too. I used to have such a sweet tooth, now it's not that interesting. I like chocolate, but if I don't have any, it's not a big deal, my wine and cheese desires are still VERY strong though lol!

    Oh, I've been to the New England Cheesemaking Company website! I was interested in how much it costs to get set up! There is a cheesemaking supply company in Ontario, Glengarry Cheesemaking. I want to plan a trip there before we leave this area, it's closer to Ottawa so it's about a 2.5 hour drive from here, but I'd love to get something to start! I hope you get the gift of cheesemaking this year! :)

    I can read some books online, but honestly, there is nothing like a real book...if someone offered me an E-reader, I'd likely decline as well! I just nabbed a reader of the internet for the occasional cookbook I download! :)

  7. Hi Kristina :) I'm trying to stay busy in the kitchen to ease my boo-hoo-ness that I can't go outside all day and work in the garden! So far the strawberries have been in for 3 hours, they're looking like they're almost done! (I sliced them)

  8. Ha ha, "prison pallor" -- reminds me of that commercial that used to be on TV -- I think it was for cough syrup or some damn thing -- anyway, it featured a swarthy kind of middle-eastern guy who called this white guy "my pasty friend." I thought it was hilarious, but that line got cut in subsequent airings. Guess someone complained!

  9. P.S. I'm glad to see that Joyce of Octoberfarm is one of your readers and commenters. I was going to refer you to her blog because she is the Queen of Broth!

  10. Thanks Joyce! And thanks for the follow up! :) I wanted to make stock for us, for our digestions, but also I read that there was a remote possibility it could help Charlie's anal gland issues! Even if it doesn't it's so good for the pets, so it'll likely be a regular staple here too. Thanks for the tip on keeping the skins. I started the soup bones in the oven this morning for an hour roasting, it smelled like Sunday dinner! :)

  11. Hi Susan :) We eat a lot of chicken, and I've been (lazily) roped into buying boneless, skinless cuts when they're on sale. I have to take advantage of chicken when it's on sale like this. I just saw it's now $1.59 a pound, so when I go shopping on Monday, I'm buying a FLOCK for the freezer! Bertie is so funny...just like Charlie. One day she'll decide she doesn't like the latest food we give her. I'm SO SO happy about the radishes!!! :) That gives me hope for the rest of the seeds because it's been so darn cold and sun-less around here!

  12. Hi Debra! :) Lol...Joyce is the Queen of everything in the kitchen! :) I'm glad you got the prison pallor can't say anything now without someone taking offence, I think "my pasty friend" is hilarious!

  13. Rain - jaz and Susan are right - the longer - the better. i just did a beef broth for 10days! and i have the greenest veg broth going right now because i had so much kale and then of course threw in 3 sheets of nori - this has been going for 5 days. i always start with EVOO, a bunch of onions and carrots and celery and cook the heck out them. then here is the trick - take a jar of your homemade-canned broth and add it. then if it is beef stock - add all of your bones, meat and whatever veg are laying around looking a little sad. i freeze all of our bones and leftover veg and add this as well. the frozen stuff adds more water. if you want a strong beef broth - throw in a can of anchovies - makes a world of difference. no need for salt with the anchovies and their oil. dump in at least 1 cup of apple cider vinegar with the mother - it will help suck the marrow out of the bones. 3 times a day set it to a nice boil then lower the heat to keep it at a nice simmer. pick a day and strain the bones...then scrape the bones...the inside of them where the marrow is. it will be easy to do if you wait a couple of days. dump the bones and the scraped marrow back in to the broth. throw in every single spice known to man. throw in one or 2 whole garlics. an entire lemon. chuck in an apple if you have one. turmeric, cumin, cayenne, bay leaves, cloves, cinammon, ground coriander or coriander seeds, sage, rosemary, thyme, chia seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds - any seed you have. throw in some raw beans - any king like kidney or navy. don't forget chickpeas and green beans that you froze from last year or frozen bean from the the store. heck - throw in a cat if you want the extra nutrition!! bahahahaha!

    and then just keep it at a boil for 20 mins 3 times a day. depending on the time of year - in winter just leave it on the stove. in summer - bring it to the basement or put it in the fridge. and when everything - the veg, the meat and the bones looks a pale shade of green and your broth looks like you could stain wood with it - it's done. now can it up. and use it to make soups, stews, rice, gravy - whatever. and it will be strong and full of nutrients.

    as for chicken and turkey - i don't use whole chickens or turkey - we don't like boiled fowl. i just use bones. but i bust them up before they go in the pot. again - start with a bunch of EVOO, onions, carrots and celery - fry them up and get a nice browned bottom in your pot. then add a jar of your home-canned poultry broth. then add a bunch of veg saved in your freezer. chicken broth recquires less spices but don't be shy.

    and for veg broth - start with the same Evoo, onions, carrots and celery, dump all of your saved veg and boil the living crap out of it for days. and don't be shy with the beneficial herbs.

    add water as needed while you are making your stocks and when you think they are ready - strain them and then can them or freeze them. you'll love yourself a nice drink of broth every day. and use your broths to make different tasting rices and stir fries.

    i hope i covered everything that i know but if you have any questions - just yell.

    sending you much love! your friend,

  14. Awesome Kymber!! :))

    I read about your 10 day broth! Thanks for so much detail, I feel like my broth will be flavourless compared to yours lol! Hmmm..not to fond of the taste of footy-kitty-litter, so I'll keep the cats out of the pot for now, lol...I'm keeping every bone and scrap from now on.I'm really enjoying the learning process and I'm so thankful for our blogger community for all of their combined experience. It's very motivating!!! :)

  15. When we butcher chickens/roosters we cook them and then can the meat as it falls off the bones. We can the chicken broth/water for 20 minutes at 10lbs in a pressure cooker. It is really a light broth but I use it for soups and add the other flavors when I make the soup, you would probably call our broth chicken water but we are usually in a hurry and tired from the butchering so we are fine with it that way. Not salty and full of strange ingredients like store bought.

  16. what you call broth we call stock, hubby always makes it from our bones and carcasses, he saves up bones in the freezer, he also makes a good fish stock. I am reading a couple of good books at the moment about commercially produced food.
    I have a confession I accidentaly deleted your post off my blog sorry :-(

  17. Yay, so glad you are eating healthy and steering clear of MSG etc! Organic when you can is so important. The only thing I would add to your broth recipe is what my mother taught me, break the bones so that the marrow gets in the broth. Makes it richer and more minerals.

    Keep on having fun exploring home made.

  18. Prison Pallor! LOL Good for you making your own home made broth! I should do it more. Have been buying organic chicken and organic beef broth from Aldi's. Keeps me hopping making up my own mixes, etc. Still haven't baked bread since moving! Great that your radishes sprouted! Nancy

  19. Hi Gill :) Well honestly, the "chicken water" tastes pretty good cold. I've been having some in the morning and I like the taste. I'd love to have a pressure canner one of these days. And I love that there is no salt in mine too!

  20. Hi Dawn :) Oh, don't worry about the comment! It happens, I've deleted comments by accident and Blogger won't let you "undo" unfortunately! :) I didn't even think of making fish stock...that's a good idea.

  21. Hi Tammie Lee :) Thanks for the tip about the bones! I enjoyed the experience! We made beef broth yesterday, it went for 12 hours, I have yet to taste it though. I really am enjoying the chicken broth!

  22. Hi Nancy :) Yes, I have prison pallor lol...the forecast said sun today but I'm not seeing it yet! For the broth, I'm hoping that it will be affordable for us. We haven't really bought whole chickens that often, but I'm going to try to do that. The excuse is that it's just "easier" to buy boneless chicken breasts when I'm busy all day and starting dinner! A little more effort will be worth it though. I won't buy bread anymore...sliced that is. I still buy buns, so that's my next challenge, to make hamburger buns!

  23. The broth looks wonderful, I hope it helps with the healing process. I can't believe I was offline when you wrote about your fall. I really hope you're almost over it now and it's good that you're being looked after. Sending big healing

  24. Thanks Yarrow! :)) I'm nearly all healed up, just some leftover bruises and a really sore neck and shoulder still...I hope that heals soon, I need them in good shape! The broth tastes so good, I really like it! I hope it helps heal our insides too. :)

  25. I had lapsed a bit. Nothing too processed but I am going further now and I love reading what you and Alex are doing! The broth experiment was amazing. Broth is on my list for this week as I am roasting a chicken tomorrow for my Mother's Day dinner. Look at your radishes! I still haven't planted mine! I need to clear out my outdoor planters. So much to do this time of year. I too have a budget for books and fiber related craft supplies and fabric as I want to make my own EVERYTHING! LOL! Good for you guys!!!! I have discovered it is a full time job just to eat healthy!


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