- Prep Time 5 minutes
- Cook Time 6.5 hours
- Estimated Cost $2.50
- 0 Comments
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 [email@example.com], 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
- Place chicken, innards, vegetables, and herbs, peppercorns and bay leaves (if using) in a 12-quart pot.
- Add water and cover.
- Cover and cook over high heat, until the mixture starts to boil.
- Turn heat down to medium-low, cover and simmer for 6 hours.
- 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.
- Add a bit more water if needed during cooking to keep the chicken and vegetables submerged.
- Strain broth and salt to taste.
- Use immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container.
- 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.