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before composting - veggie broth  RSS feed

 
Jocelyn Campbell
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I've been really enjoying all the comments in this section and wish I had time to comment more. Here's something I recently carved out space for in my freezer and I'd be curious to hear how others might do this, too.

Keep a container in the freezer for carrot tops, celery ends, onion and garlic skins, tomato bruises, all the veggie trimmings you wouldn't put in your meal, but which can make awesome veggie broth. You can add a little of the stronger veggies like the brassicas and such, but too much of those can make the broth bitter.

I have some whole chickens I plan to roast, and when I cook the picked-clean carcasses I'm going to add all these veggie scraps in the water, too, for added flavor and nutrition. Or, of course, you can do a veggie broth separately.

I haven't done this in years and am excited to get back to it. Does any one have any tips of what they like or don't like for doing broth like this?
 
Neal McSpadden
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For broth I tend to throw in everything I have laying around without any planning whatsoever .  Consider it a polyculture broth.  It's always tasted good so far!
 
Leah Sattler
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if you haven't tried making broth from a whole raw chicken or parts (cheap thighs, wings and legs are great for stock) you should try it! I don't even try to make broth from an old roasted chicken anymore...just too bland for me. plus if you make stock from a raw chicken you get the fat to skim off and use as well as great chicken for chickens sandwiches etc... if I am in a canning mood I boil the chicken till it is just barely cooked through then tear off the large chunks of meat to can and return whats left to simmer.

the best way to know you have made good stock (chicken stock) is if it turns to a jello like consistency when you cool it. i have never been able to get that out of a roasted chicken. all the cartiliage is already gone. adding a bit of acid (vinegar or tomato)helps get the collagen broke down.

there are some unsubstantiated health claims regarding gelatin. but I think there are several that are well documented. one of which is it helping ulcers and protecting the stomach.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Yes, I have gone straight to soup from raw before, Leah, but that's a great reminder and good idea about the cheap chicken parts! Plus I think you're right about the health benefits of gelatin.

I'm curious, how do you use the chicken fat you skim off?
 
Leah Sattler
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I use it in place of butter for savory cooking. I think you can use it to make pastries but i just don't make that sort of thing. when I think about it.... I have never made a pie crust other than a crumb kind. when I see that fat I think.........hey! I paid for those calories ..... I am not throwing it out! I wish I could provide more of my own chicken though. I always worry what kind of ickies collect in the fat if it is store bought. 
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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That's really smart, Leah! When studies were done on how chicken soup helps rid people of colds or flu, wasn't the chicken fat a main part of what they found to be effective?

I've collected and used bacon fat, but never other animal fats. I guess they've always scared me. (Maybe I'm an animal fat wuss.)

Though I do buy lard once a year to use in my grandmother's traditional German pfeffernuss holiday cookies.  It's tradtion!
 
Brenda Groth
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i do try to remember to do this when i have time and space in the freezer..which would be now..as I'm trying to have the freezer cleaned out some for this years harvesting.

haven't really started getting anything out of my garden yet this year that has any waste though here in michigan.only asparagus and salad greens..so they all get eaten..

but thank you any way for the reminder..as i LOVE SOUP..and i need to start thinking of winter meals now..and plan ahead for the soup pot.
 
jeremiah bailey
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That's how my grandma used to make chicken noodle soup. I remember her cutting a whole chicken into parts and putting it in the pot with some salt and water. She'd simmer with veggies and when the chicken was done, she'd skim the fat, remove the chicken and return some of the meat to the soup. She'd save the extra meat for chicken salad, sandwiches, casserole and whatnot. She'd make homemade table noodles for the soup as well. It was the best. That's what she'd do if she didn't have scraps. If she did, she'd cook the chicken with the scraps, strain the scraps when she pulled the chicken and continued with the recipe from there.
Hmm... come to think of it, I have a big stock pot just collecting dust. I'll have to make some soup.
 
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