BrokeAss Gourmet

BrokeAss Gourmet

Chicken Broth & Nexus 7 Giveaway

  • Prep Time 5 minutes
  • Cook Time 6.5 hours
  • Estimated Cost $2.50

If you've read this blog for awhile, you know how much I love a good roast chicken. Most weekends, it become the cornerstone of our meals. I'll make one on Friday night and serve it with homemade challah, roasted sweet potatoes and a green salad (usually kale). The next morning, I'll make a hash with leftover chicken thighs, chopped up challah, onions and whatever greens we have in the house, and top it with poached eggs and some crispy chicken skin (chicken bacon!).

On Sunday morning, I'll shred whatevever meat is left and cook the carcass (and the bones, which I always save) with skin-on cloves of smashed garlic, onion peels, carrot tops, any other vegetables we need to use up (particularly great for those that are starting to wither in the veggie bin), salt, pepper and water to cover. I'll let it simmer all day (along with the chicken innards that came with the bird, which I removed before roasting) and then put most of it in the fridge for later in the week.

To about a quart of broth, I add star anise, cinnamon, fish sauce, soy sauce, ginger and a touch of honey, simmer again, and then serve with rice noodles and the rest of the chicken meat or some pan-fried tofu. Sunday night pho is one of my most special meals of the week.

Throughout the week, I base meals around the yielded broth. A rich kale-white bean soup for lunch, risotto for dinner, couscous and quinoa, made miles more flavorful by its addition. Even a steaming cup of plain broth when it's too close to a mealtime for a snack, but my stomach is starting to rumble. 

It's widlly easy to make (I'll get to the recipe in a minute), and a great way to stretch the dollars I spent on the chicken. I feel good about putting every last scrap of chicken to good use. It's respectful to the animal, to the farmer who raised and slaughtered it, and to the earth. Food waste is a big problem, especially in the United States. It is estimated that Americans waste 33 million tons of food per year. In a country with an estimated 50 million people living in food-insecure households, that is simply not OK. 

There are many things we can do at home to help limit food waste. If you don't already compost, here's a great article about how to start. At the very least, reach out to your city's waste department about getting a compost disposal container (a large one for outside and a small one to keep in your kitchen). If you have room, keep the small one in your freezer or fridge to keep the smell down, or, do as I do, and empty it as soon as it gets full. 

I also recommend shopping like a European, if your schedule allows. The European grocery shopping style is to visit the market regularly—every few days—for smaller quantities of fresh ingredients. Kitchens are stocked with nonperishable basics like olive oil, salt, pepper, flour and sugar, but things like eggs, fresh vegetables, meats and fish get picked up in small quantities more frequently. If you have the time to shop this way, it can be a great way to make sure you don’t over-purchase fresh foods that go bad if you don’t use them. Buying only what you need is a great practice, and one I recommend beyond the kitchen as well.

So here is what I want to know: What are your favorite kitchen tricks for limiting waste? Do you throw a Parmesan rind into soup for added flavor? Do you re-grow scallions after you use the green parts? Do you cook with the odds and ends of vegetables

Email them to me [], along with your name, location, and a photo of your tip or trick, and I'll post it here, in a new series I'm calling Reuse Roundup. I'll accept entries today through March 7th, and post them on the blog, as they come in. The person with the best entry will win autographed and inscribed copies of my first book, The BrokeAss Gourmet Cookbook, my newest book, Pizza Dough: 100 Delicious, Unexpected Recipes, plus a completely awesome, brand-new Nexus 7 tablet (retails for $229), donated by Staples.  

So, send me your ideas, and check back here soon to see what others send in as well!

Oh, and read on for my chicken broth recipe. 


  • 3-4 pounds leftover chicken carcasses (basically whatever is left of your roast chicken after you eat it), plus the chicken innards, which usually come in a bag inside the chicken when you buy it
  • 1 large onion, quartered (with peel) $0.50
  • 4 carrots (leave the peel and stems on), quartered $1
  • large handful of whatever fresh herbs you have, with their stems $1 for a bunch
  • 2 bay leaves Optional
  • any vegetables you need to use up, chopped roughly Optional
  • 8 to 10 peppercorns Pantry
  • 4 whole cloves garlic smashed, (leave the peel intact) Pantry
  • 1 1/2 gallons water (22 cups)


Recipe Serves 10-12


  1. Place chicken, innards, vegetables, and herbs, peppercorns and bay leaves (if using) in a 12-quart pot. 
  2. Add water and cover. 
  3. Cover and cook over high heat, until the mixture starts to boil.
  4. Turn heat down to medium-low, cover and simmer for 6 hours.
  5. As the stock cooks, skim the fat that floats to the top of the pot from with a spoon or fine mesh strainer every 10 to 15 minutes, for the first hour of cooking and occasionally for following two hours. 
  6. Add a bit more water if needed during cooking to keep the chicken and vegetables submerged.
  7. Strain broth and salt to taste.
  8. Use immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container.
  9. After refrigerating, more fat may rise to the top of the broth. You may either skim it off with a spoon, or stir it in for a richer broth.



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Ricotta Meatballs

  • Prep Time 5 minutes
  • Cook Time 7 minutes
  • Estimated Cost $13.50
  • 1 Comment

It's easy to come up with excuses not to cook. Even I do it sometimes. I have a regular conversation with myself most days around 5:30 PM that I like to call "The Burrito Debate."

I happen to love burritos. In addition to being utterly delicious, they're everything one needs in a meal in one complete, monstrous sizable package. The downside, of course, is that they're full of refined carbs (rice, tortilla) and one burrito typically has enough calories to satisfy three linebackers. Which, alas, I am not. 

But man, at 5:30, after a day of working, sometimes cooking dinner is the last thing I want to do, and that's when The Burrito Debate gets started: 

PRO: My favorite taqueria is on the way home! They'll be so happy to make me a burrito!

CON: Eating one will make me uncomfortably full and probably lead me to pass out at 8 PM.

PRO: There's fiber in beans!

CON: Bean farts.

Sometimes I give in, of course. But when I don't, I like to make meatballs. Throwing these together is *almost* as easy as ordering a burrito, and the payoff is much greater. This interpretation comes together in minutes, and satisfies deeply. I like to serve them in tomato sauce with a few dollops of ricotta and eat them with a spoon so I can get lots of sauce and creamy ricotta in every bite. 

If you feel compelled to make this a complete meal, add some crusty bread and a crisp green salad. If, however, you prefer eating them out of a bowl in your pajamas on the couch, come sit by me. 


  • 1/2 lb ground beef (80/20 is ideal) $3 
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped onion (about 1/4 medium onion) $0.50 for a whole onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced Pantry
  • 3/4 cup ricotta (preferably whole milk) $3.50 for 14 oz.
  • 2 tbsp grated (not shredded) Parmesan cheese $3.50 for 10 ounces
  • 1 handful fresh parsley leaves, chopped finely $1 for a bunch
  • 1/4 tsp salt Pantry
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper Pantry
  • dash red pepper flakes Optional
  • 1 egg yolk $1.50 for 6
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed Pantry

Recipe Serves 2-3


  1. Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a mixing bowl.
  2. Use your hands to mix thoroughly. 
  3. Wet your hands slightly, and roll the meat mixture into 1-inch balls. Set the balls on a clean plate or baking sheet.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
  5. Cook the meatballs for 2-3 minutes on all sides, until browned and cooked through.
  6. Serve as they are, or in warm tomato sauce with a few dollops of ricotta and more parsley. 

French Kiss Chicken

  • Prep Time 5 minutes
  • Cook Time 55 minutes
  • Estimated Cost $14
  • 1 Comment

There is no question that my love language is culinary. Sick in bed? I'll bring over pho! Just had a baby? I'll be over with a pan of Brown Butter Pumpkin Mac and Cheese. But to me, there is no food more potent with love than a freshly roasted whole chicken with herbs and garlic.

As it roasts, its heavenly scent fills your kitchen, wafting down the halls (and perhaps even into the apartment next door), letting everyone know that something special is being cooked. It's simple, but the very definition of wholesome, and goes with just about anything. 

This isn't the first chicken I've roasted, but it may be the simplest preparation. Here, I blend the classic French dried herb combination, Herbes de Provence (a mixture of savorymarjoramrosemarythymeoregano and lavender) with chopped garlic, salt and pepper, and slather it thickly over a beautiful whole chicken.



The herb-garlic mixture does double duty, creating a crust that helps hold moisture in, while also infusing the chicken with all that herbaceous, herbal flavor.   

The product is a wonderfully juicy, rustic chicken that should be served with simple sides that complement, but don't overwhelm it. Roasted potatoes, a creamy but simply flavored risotto or sauteed cannellini beans would be a great option, along with something sturdy and green, like massaged kale or roasted rapini.

So, instead of chocolate or roses, consider giving a freshly roasted chicken this Valentines Day. Not only does it kind of look like a heart, but you can't make soup broth out of leftover chocolates and roses.


  • 1 whole (5-pound) roasting chicken, giblets removed $10
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped Pantry
  • 1/8 cup Herbes de Provence (usually found near the spices) $4 for 6 ounces  
  • 2 tsp each salt and pepper Pantry

Recipe Serves 4


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Rinse the chicken under cool running water and pat dry, using paper towels. 
  3. Place in a large (at least 9"x13") casserole pan and set aside.
  4. Combine the garlic, Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix well to combine.
  5. Slather the garlic-herb mixture all over the chicken, inside the cavity, and all over the skin, slipping your hand in between the skin and the flesh, to rub a bit in there as well. 
  6. If desired, truss the chicken (this is not required).
  7. Place the chicken breast-side-up in the pan and cover tightly with foil.
  8. Roast, covered, for 30 minutes (if you chicken is larger or smaller than 5 lbs, adjust the cooking time slightly).
  9. Uncover the chicken and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until the skin is golden-brown and the juices run clear (stick a knife into the thigh to check this).
  10. Let rest for 5 minutes, then carve and serve hot.

Guinness Mac and Cheese

  • Prep Time 5 minutes
  • Cook Time 25 minutes
  • Estimated Cost $10.50

Look, I don't care about football.

When I was a kid, my dad would scream at the TV on Sunday afternoons, while the blue guys and the red guys wrassled each other for the ball, and every now and then he would call me into the living room to show me a particularly great wrassle-ball interaction.

"Watch this, sweetie!" he'd say to me as an instant replay flashed across the screen. "This is beautiful!"

And I'd watch, as the red guys wrassled the blue guys, failing to see any of the beauty he mentioned whatsoever. 

"Cool, Dad. Can I go back to my room now?"

As I'd leave the living room, I'd pass my mom in the kitchen, who, inevitably, had also just been forced to watch something inexplicably "beautiful" on the screen. We'd nod at each other, like longtime office co-workers, weary of the same clueless boss.

These days, the few times a year I watch football, I do it for one of two reasons.

A) The other people watching:

Or B) the food. Obviously.

The last time I watched an entire game, it was because I love the people who were also watching, but also because it was a great opportunity to make pizza dough-based pretzels and a creamy, unctuous beer-cheddar sauce. Beer and cheddar have such an affinity for one another--the sour punch of the beer plays gorgeously with the nutty tang of the cheddar (particularly the sharp variety). The combination of the two invokes the umami-must-not-stop-eating-this-deliciousness effect, which is reason enough for me.

As I stirred the simple sauce on the stove (just browned onions in a roux with Guinness stout, cheddar and mustard), I couldn't help but think of how perfect this sauce would be for a mac and cheese. Beer and cheese are a dream combination, and tender pasta seemed like the perfect vehicle for them both.

So today I made just that. Just watch. It's beautiful.

Note: Feel free to skip the pasta and just use the cheese sauce as a dip for pretzels, breadsticks or chips.


  • 8 oz. elbow macaroni, shells, penne or other small cut of pasta $1.50 for 16 oz.
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the dish(es) $1 for a stick
  • 1 medium onion, chopped $0.50
  • 3 tablespoons flour Pantry
  • 1 cup milk (preferably whole) $1.50 for a pint
  • 1 cup Guinness stout $2.50 for a 10-ounce can
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, plus a small handful for garnish $3.50
  • dash of soy sauce Pantry
  • salt and pepper to taste Pantry
  • 2 teaspoons dijon or whole grain mustard Optional
  • chopped fresh chives Optional

Recipe Serves 4


  1. Preheat the broiler to high. 
  2. Cook the pasta in salted, boiling water according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat.
  4. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, just until onions begin to brown and become very fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle the flour over the butter-onion mixture and whisk together. 
  6. Add the milk and cook, whisking constantly, until a thick white sauce forms. 
  7. Add the beer and continue whisking for another 2-3 minutes, until it begins to thicken.
  8. Add the 2 cups of cheese, one large handful at a time and continue stirring, to make a thick cheese sauce.
  9. Add soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste, and the mustard, if using. Stir well.
  10. Fold the cooked pasta into the cheese sauce until completely coated.
  11. Scrape the pasta-sauce mixture into a 9-inch by 12-inch casserole dish or 4 8-ounce ramekins.
  12. Top with the reserved handful of cheese.
  13. Broil for 1-2 minutes (watch carefully), until the cheese begins to bubble and brown slightly.
  14. Serve immediately topped with chopped chives and a tiny dollop of mustard, if desired.

Today's blog is a guest-post from my friend (and star of Young & Hungry) Jonathan Sadowski. You may know Jonathan as a talented actor (he recently played William Shatner's son), but one did you also know he's a passionate hot sauce expert? We're talking a massive hot sauce collection, extensive knowledge of chile varietals, and a deep love for the varying subtleties (or lack thereof) between different sauces. 

I asked Jonathan to pull together a list of his favorites. Read on for a post from Sadowski on his hot sauce must-haves.

Let’s be honest...who doesn’t like a good cry? The swelling of the eyes...the tickle of a tear as it salts down your cheek. The sting of air every time you exhale. Throbbing lips. The incessant “razor blades on your tongue” inferno... “Sadowski, what the hell are you talking about?” Hot sauce, y’all. Hot sauce. I’m talking about jalapeños. I’m talking about habaneros. I’m talking bhut jolokia, naga jolokia, butch T’s, Trinidad Moruga scorpion, scotch bonnets...I’m talking THE CAROLINA (MF-ing) REAPER.

If you couldn’t tell by my unbridled enthusiasm, I am a chili addict. Over the years I have accumulated quite the collection of hot sauces, and today I’m gonna share with you some of my favorites.

D.L. JARDINE’S TEXAS KICKER: “Move over Tabasco...”

This habanero based sauce is a great stepping stone for those who want to stick their toes in the water. You’ll notice the garlic and onion on the nose, with a hint of citrus finish. It kinda has a southwest vibe to it, and goes great with Mexican food, or as an everyday hot sauce.


Folks, this bottle is a gem. Dr. Aiken Assburn (he’s not a real doctor) prides himself on making all natural heat “elixirs”. This particular one will have you feeling like you ate a habanero fresh off the grill. Flavored with cane vinegar, tomatoes, and roasted peppers, the smoky flavor with have you hooked after the first drop. The addition of hot pepper extract gives you a little extra kick.


CAUTION: this hot sauce is no joke. At around $30 a bottle, it is also a collector’s item. Every year Dave makes a limited edition sauce that is FOUR TIMES HOTTER than his other batches. Upon first taste, you might think “I got this.”....just wait. The slow burn is completely unrelenting. Your eyes will tear. Your nose will run. I guarantee it. This bottle is loaded with Scorpion Pepper extract. If you can get past the heat, you will notice a leathery flavor with a sweet finish.  

THE REAPER: “The almighty”

Last year, Ed Currie (from the Puckerbutt Pepper Company) cultivated a hybrid chili which was awarded the spiciest pepper in the world. He named it THE CAROLINA REAPER. The first time I tried this sauce it literally took my breath away. No joke. It actually constricted my breathing for a split second. These bad daddies top out at 2.2 million scoville units (that’s the unit of measurement for “heat”). To give you an idea of how hot that is, Tabasco sauce is around 5,000 scoville units. This is hands down my favorite hot sauce that I own. The flavor is alive with chocolate undertones and hints of orange peel. The funny thing is, this puree only has two ingredients: CAROLINA REAPERS and VINEGAR. That’s all. The friendly folks at CaJohn have really done something special here. A little bit goes a long way, and the heat is BLINDING. A must have for any hot sauce enthusiast.

Hopefully you get a chance to try some of these. You will not be disappointed. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@sadowski23) and send me your own recommendations. Until next time... CRANK IT UP A NOTCH.

- Jonathan “The Heat Guy” Sadowski


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