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Category Archives: Sammiches, Soup & Salads

Fumi Salad

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This unique salad and “Pot Luck Favorite” is very easy to make using most pantry items and will become a favorite to your family and friends. Its a unique dish that most people will ask for a copy of it as it’s so delicious and kid friendly. One recipe will feed an ARMY of people. A great go-to dish in the summer!

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Ingredients:

 

1/4 c slivered almonds, toasted

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1/4 c plain sunflower seeds, toasted

3 Tbsp plain sesame seeds, toasted

3 Tbsp black sesame seeds, toasted

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1/2 medium head green cabbage, shredded

1/2 medium napa cabbage, shredded

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1/4 red cabbage, shredded

1 c carrots, shredded

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6 green onions, sliced

1 pkg. Ramen noodles, uncooked

3 tbsp. fine sugar

2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

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3/4 cup vegetable oil

3 tbsp rice vinegar

 

Directions

 

In a small nonstick skillet over low-med heat, toast sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and almonds separately,

stirring constantly. Set aside.

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In a large bowl, combine cabbage, carrot and green onion. Set a side.

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Break Ramen noodles up and set aside.

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In a small bowl or lidded jar, combine sugar, seasoning, oil and vinegar.

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Just before serving,

add almonds and sesame seeds to cabbage mix and top with crushed noodles.

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Add dressing and toss until coated. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours

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Serve cold or room temperature.

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Makes 8 to 10 servings. Recipe can be halved

 

Note: if the salad will not be served right away, take the various ingredients in separate baggies and assemble on sight. The noodles and cabbage gets soggy if salad is allowed to sit overnight.

 

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Tuscan Panzanella Summer Salad

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Panzanella is a popular summer salad that originated in Tuscany. Its made with chunks of stale bread, vine ripened tomatoes and sweet basil. It’s similar to the middle eastern salad called Fattoush which is made with fried pita bread.

Panzanella is popular in other parts of central Italy and considered a poor man’s salad by using up any remaining stale loaves of bread.

But what makes this salad a summer delight, is the bread soaks up the dressing and all its rich flavor from the center of the tomatoes, red wine vinegar and olive oil.

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Panzanella is the perfect salad for a picnic or day at the beach, just don’t toss the bread until you are 10 min from serving so the bread can really soak up these wonderful flavors, and please DO NOT refrigerate or the tomatoes will lose their wonderful flavor!!!

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Now by making a few recipe adjustments this salad is over the top delicious and healthy to eat. I can seriously eat this entire recipe in 24 hours, it’s that good and my favorite salad.

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To make this salad a success really depends on using a good quality olive oil and freshest tomatoes.

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If you come across any Heirloom tomatoes grab em! Also If you use fresh bread without grilling or toasting it first, the bread will disintegrate into a mushy mess. This is the perfect salad to show off the best summer produce and is visually stunning with the variety of colors.

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Adapted from Cooks Country, 2012

 

Ingredients:

6 cups Italian or French bread, cut loaf or tear into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds Roma tomatoes, cored and seeded, then cut into 1 inch pieces
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 medium cucumber, skin peeled, cut lengthwise, then seeded, and sliced thin
1 med shallot, sliced thin 
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400.

Toss cut up bread with 2 tablespoons oil and ¼ teaspoon salt; arrange bread in single layer on rimmed baking sheet.
Toast bread pieces until it just starts to turn light golden, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Set aside to cool to room temperature.

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Grilling Bread Method

Get your grill hot and slice the bread. Place slices of bread on the hot grill for about 1 to 2 minutes per side. You'll want to stay near the grill or the bread will burn and too chard and mask the flavors the same. A little char is okay, a lot will kill the dish.

Get your grill hot and slice the bread. Place slices of bread on the hot grill for about 1 to 2 minutes per side. You’ll want to stay near the grill or the bread will burn and too charred and mask the flavors the same. A little char is okay, a lot will kill the dish.

 

Cut tomatoes in half, than using a spoon remove the center and seeds and place into a small bowl then dice tomato into medium pieces.

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Gently toss tomatoes and ½ teaspoon salt in large bowl.
Transfer tomatoes from bowl into a colander or sieve and set over same bowl to drain for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally.

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Peel and Slice cucumber in half and remove center and seeds and discard, slice cucumber thin.

Slice shallots thin, set aside with cucumbers

If you don't have shallots or can't find any, then its okay to use red onion.Just slice it really thin.

If you don’t have shallots or can’t find any, then its okay to use red onion.Just slice it really thin.

Roll basil and repeat.

Whisk remaining 6 tablespoons oil, red wine vinegar, and ¼ teaspoon pepper into reserved tomato juices and whisk together.

Add bread pieces and toss to coat all the bread evenly, then, let stand for 10 minutes, tossing occasionally.

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Add tomatoes, cucumber, shallot, and basil to bowl with bread and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.

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Loaded Up Baked Potato Soup

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What’s not to love about potatoes?

It’s a staple in the majority of kitchens across the globe, an everyday ingredient with no limit to what one could make. Lets see there are potato chips, mashed potato, potato galette, au gratin potato, potato pancakes, french fries, home fries hash browns and good old baked potato, just to name a few.

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It’s a no wonder the “spud” is considered the worlds most versatile vegetable, whose origins are both Peruvian and Chilean that date back to 500 B.C.

Archeologist have discovered The Incas grew, ate and also worshipped the potato. They buried potatoes with the dead, they’ve hid potatoes in bins for use in case of war or famine, they dried them, and carried them on long journeys to eat on the way. Ancient Inca potatoes had dark purplish skins and yellow flesh. The Incas called the potato “papas,” as they do today.

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The potato has become a symbol of Irish cuisine, by the 18th century, potatoes were an essential food in Ireland, they were cultivated throughout the country. Ireland’s rainy, cool climate was perfect for cultivating spuds by the thousands, the Irish people ate them almost as fast as they could grow them. This vegetable is so high in vitamins and minerals and was easy to grow, Irish farmers and workers could afford to feed their families on them, and their families grew healthier as a result. Mortality rates in infants went down, life expectancy went up, and the population boomed. Between the late 1700s and mid-1800s, the Irish population nearly doubled in size, due to the potato.

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Although potatoes are grown throughout the United States, no state is more associated with the potato than Idaho. The first potatoes in Idaho were planted by a  Presbyterian missionary, Henry Harmon Spalding in 1936. His first crop was a failure, but the second year was a success.

The potato is truly a marvel that continues to evolve in the culinary world today, with no limits in sight.

Personally I never get tired of potatoes, so much so that a few weeks back I was going through pictures of dishes for my blog, when I realized I use potatoes a lot.
When I started thinking about which dishes I would re-shoot minus potatoes, it was hard to pick because I loved them all, why reinvent the wheel?

So when I started thinking about what I would write about as a guest blogger for www.therestaurantzone.com  I decided to go with a seasonal dish that also wears a comfort food crown, a timeless classic “Potato Soup”, but loaded like a baked potato!

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My recipe is easy in spite of the seventeen ingredients, so if you’re a newbie to cooking don’t let that intimidate you, cause this recipe is easy peasy and the bonus?

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Ninety minutes from start to finish, so here is my
“Loaded Up Baked Potato Soup”

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Ingredients:

5 Tbsp Unsalted butter
5 Tbsp Flour
1 Medium yellow or brown onion, diced
6-8 large celery stalks, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces, include the celery heart.

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32 oz Low sodium chicken broth, or use your own.

Money Saving Tip $$$ Make your own stock from left over chicken bones and save money and reduce the amount of sodium! Try my recipe for making your own chicken stock.  https://dishingitoutwithclarissa.com/2014/01/30/easy-peasy-homemade-chicken-stock/

Money Saving Tip $$$ Make your own stock from left over chicken bones and save money and reduce the amount of sodium! Try my recipe for making your own chicken stock.
https://dishingitoutwithclarissa.com/2014/01/30/easy-peasy-homemade-chicken-stock/

32 Oz Heavy whipping cream
1/2 lb Applewood smoked bacon

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3 Cloves garlic, minced

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2 Tbsp Tabasco
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp dried or ground oregano
4-6 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 Tbsp Fresh chopped parsley

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Salt & Pepper to taste
8-18 Large russet potatoes
16 Oz cooked ham, diced into 1/2 inch chunks

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Optional Toppings: Chopped Green Onion, Shredded Cheddar Cheese, Bacon Bits, Sour Cream, Chives, Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Directions:

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

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In a large stock pot or dutch oven cook bacon on med-high heat, until crispy and fat is rendered off, remove and place bacon to the side.

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Drain all bacon fat leaving a thin layer, just covering the bottom of the pot and reduce heat to low-medium heat.

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Add celery, garlic and onions and over a low-med heat cover and sweat the veggies until onions just become transparent, remove cooked veggies and set aside

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For this next step grab a wire whisk

Next add butter into same pot and melt completely, then add flour and stir mixing the melted butter and flour cooking the roux on low heat for 5-7 minutes.

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This cooking technique is called a roux.

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A Roux is used to thicken sauces and soups. Pre-cooking the flour will allow the granules in the starches to enlarge and absorbs moisture and will thicken a sauce or soup base.

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Next add chicken stock and stir. Turn heat to medium and stir constantly until there are no lumps and there is a smooth consistency and sauce is now thickened.

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Add back to pot cooked veggies, and bay leaves, fresh cracked black pepper, oregano and sprigs of thyme.

Potatoes should be somewhat cool to touch, if not use a kitchen towel and you can leave the skin on or remove all skins and dice into bite size chunks.

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Add potatoes to pot as well.

If you want to add ham this is when you would add it.
Add heavy cream and adjust salt and pepper.

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Turn heat up to low, stirring constantly and cook for 15-20 minutes.

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Use a ladle and pour yourself a hearty bowl of homemade potato soup!

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Top with the following; Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped green onion, and crumbled bacon.

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Don’t forget to grab a loaf of bread, dinner rolls or biscuits to sop the bottom of the bowl.

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Beer Bratwurst W/Roasted Red Peppers

Dishing It Out With Clarissa

Having last-minute company over before the big game?  Want to avoid a greasy pizza, or dried out flavorless burgers? Not sure what to make that’s quick, inexpensive and delicious.

This is a quick and easy meal that’s filling but not heavy, serve with a nice toasted french roll with a slice of provolone and some roasted red bell peppers. You wont need any mustard or mayo with this dish, just your appetite and a cold beer.

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Normally I would soak my bratwurst…

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Left-over Chicken Salad

Dishing It Out With Clarissa

Do you have leftover chicken that you don’t want to go to waste? This recipe you can use leftover chicken both white and dark meat or cook a couple of large breast and treat yourself to a delightful salad that can be served on a bed of crisp lettuce, or on a toasted french roll. This recipe is a tried and true favorite of mine, as I don’t care for using fruit such as diced apples or cranberries in my chicken salad. However if you’re a fan then throw in a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of your favorite fruit, or add chopped nuts, for another layer of flavor and texture.

If you prefer to add nuts make sure before you chop them, you toast them first. Yes, toast before you chop. Why toast walnuts, or any nuts for that matter? When you toast walnuts you enhance their sweet nutty flavor. This rule…

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South Of The Border Taco Soup-Slow Cooker Marvel

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From south of the border comes this spicy and hearty soup ladled over crisp tortilla strips, and can be topped with an endless list of many fresh ingredients.

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Tortilla soup or in this case my “Taco Soup encompasses all things I love in Mexican cooking. Do you love fresh salsa? sliced avocado? cilantro? fresh hot tortilla strips? Taco soup is a balance of flavors from enchilada sauce, seasoned taco meat, fresh peppers, corn, and of course beans. For me soup becomes a lot more interesting when it’s seasoned with Mexican spices and chili powders.

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Taco soup is also one of those “go to dishes” and a great “help yourself” sort of meal. Everyone can jazz up their bowl of soup the way they want it. I love to make this during cool weather using my extra-large slow cooker, and then lay out a variety of fresh toppings, that no two bowls look or taste the same. For maximum flavors make it a day before serving so that the flavors have time to marry.

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This is a quick and easy version of the traditional “chicken tortilla soup” Except instead of using chicken were using ground beef, or ground turkey for those wanting to cut back on red meats!

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All you do is brown the ground beef, dice the bell peppers, open a few cans, rinse, drain then mix it all together put into the slow cooker, and turn it on.

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As for the beans I used in this recipe can be omitted if you’re not a fan of kidney or black beans. It’s a very versatile dish, so put your own spin on it!

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For a hearty meal that’s full of flavor and spice, you can’t go wrong with Mexican Taco Soup! As some may notice I snapped several pictures showing variations of toppings. 

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Ingredients:

1-2 lbs ground beef or ground turkey
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground or dried crushed oregano
2 Tbsp New Mexico or California chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
1 medium sweet onion, chopped finely
1 green bell pepper, diced small
1 red bell pepper, diced small
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can whole white corn, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can whole yellow corn, drained and rinsed
1 small can diced green chillies
1 15 oz can tomato purée

 

Directions:

Brown ground beef in a large pan, or in my die-hard favorite, cast iron skillet, drain fat completely and add to slow cooker.

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Remove ribs and seeds from bell peppers and cut into small to medium size dice, and add to slow cooker.

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Open all cans of beans if using more than one type, rinse, drain then add to slow cooker.

Repeat last step with corn.

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Add in remaining ingredients along with Mexican spices and seasoning, stir until combined.

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Remember to taste and adjust seasoning to your desired taste and/or heat level.

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You can add a little water if it starts getting too thick, let the soup cook on low for several hours.

Endless Toppings:

Crispy Tortilla Strips (prepare in advance)

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12 – 20 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips.

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Fried in small batches in vegetable oil. Drained and allow to dry on paper towels.

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Queso Fresco cheese, crumbled
Shredded Mexican cheese
Avocados, sliced or cut into small chunks
Tomatoes, diced. ( If you can find some colorful Heirloom tomatoes to dice, they will add bright color to your soup.)
Green chillies, diced
1/2 head iceberg lettuce or cabbage, shredded
Mexican or regular sour cream
1 onion red or sweet, finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro rinsed & dried, then finely chopped
Lime wedges
Roasted Pumpkin seeds

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Easy Peasy Homemade Chicken Stock

Do you have a favorite place that makes the most delicious rotisserie chicken?

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I pick up on average two chickens a week from Sam’s Club, these chickens on average weigh 2.75 lbs for under four bucks!!

There is nothing quite like the texture and flavor of a rotisserie chicken. This flavorful poultry gem quickly became my “go to” for quick, easy dishes that will satisfy ones wallet and tummy. Now once I get home I remove the skin and shred the entire juicy chicken for salads, chicken enchiladas and many other dishes.

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About a month ago I found myself looking at the carcass in front of me and saying that it’s time for me to put these bones to good use and make my own stock.

It’s a great way to make use of the entire bird, and save yourself a few extra bucks.

I use chicken stock in many of my dishes, as it adds a rich flavor, that water just does not have…lol

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Except water does not contain sodium, but canned broth does and its high!!

How high?

I went to the store a few days ago and jotted down the amounts of sodium for two brands of stock including low sodium.

The Swanson brand of chicken broth has 929 mg.

The Campbell Chicken Broth has 770 mg.

The Reduced Sodium broth has 554 mg

Ask your self this……What does this mean to you?

From the CDC website;
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA), 2010 recommend reducing sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day. The DGA’s also recommend you should further reduce sodium to 1,500 milligrams (mg) per day if:

You are 51 years of age or older.
You are African American.
You have high blood pressure.
You have diabetes.
You have chronic kidney disease.

The 1,500 mg recommendation applies to about half of the U.S. population overall and the majority of adults. Nearly everyone benefits from reduced sodium consumption. Eating less sodium can help prevent, or control, high blood pressure.
Most of the sodium we eat comes from packaged, processed, store-bought, and restaurants foods. Only a small amount comes from salt added during cooking and from being added at the table, and most Americans have already exceeded their daily limit of sodium before cooking or adding salt at the table.

Click on link below for more information about sodium and the health risk attached.

http://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/sodium.htm

If you never thought of making your own stock before, then hopefully after reading this you will consider giving it a try. The bonus… It is beyond easy to make. Now there are two methods to making stock. One is using leftover bones from a roast chicken or rotisserie and the second is using a whole uncooked bird.

Today I am using left over bones from a couple of chickens, some herbs and a few root vegetables. Once you see just how easy it is flavorful with little fat and no sodium added, you will never open canned broth again. Another bonus… With Flu season running among us what is better to sip or add to homemade soups? Canned or from scratch free of ingredients one can not pronounce.

Ready to learn how easy it is to make your own stock?

Directions:

 

Debone a couple of chicken and remove as much fat as you can and place them in a large stock pot, mine is 10 qt

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Add a couple of washed carrots and a large onion cut into wedges. Feel free to use leeks, parsnips or turnips as well.

 

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Add a couple of clean celery stalks and don’t forget the “hearts”. Take an entire bulb of garlic, cut it in half and add to the pot. There is no need to peel the garlic or onion as these will be strained out later.

 

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Add fresh or dried herbs. I used the following dried herbs.

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2 tsp dried oregano crushed, 2 tsp black peppercorns, 2 tsp parsley
1 tsp dried thyme, 2 bay leafs, 1 tsp dried sage, 1/2 tsp dill

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Fill pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat.

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Next lower to simmer and use a vented lid or partly cover and allow to simmer for two hours.

 

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Allow to cool for about an hour then using a large colander and container, strain out the bones, herbs and vegetables and discard.

 

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Allowing the stock to chill overnight will enable you to remove any congealed fat at the top.

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Strain the cooled stock using a sieve with a good paper towel, coffee filter or cheese cloth inside to catch any remaining fats or herbs.

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Use immediately or it will keep in the fridge for a few days. You can pour into quart containers or bags to freeze for up to 3 months.

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Depending on the size of your pot and amount of water you can yield about ten 16 oz servings.

 

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