The Thankful Mama

Chicken Stock…I Can Do It!

I just made my first homemade chicken stock, slow cooked to perfection. My hubby and I have given up sugar and starch, especially the processed kind. We are for sure low carb eaters with a slant towards the primal/paleo way of eating. I would like to be more “primal” in the way I eat, but I just haven’t found the right resources yet for all of the quality food I would like to serve my family. Grass fed beef is a regular now, but still working on pastured eggs and such. Since we’ve totally changed up our way of eating, for the better, I have really been more active in the kitchen. I really have a desire to prepare and cook great healthy meals, made from scratch if at all possible, for my family. My little 11 month old has even been chowing down on almost everything we eat. I have eliminated processed foods from her diet and she eats 100% real foods made by mom. I also enjoy making her little recipes and even more to watch her eagerly gobble them up! Besides, it also scratches my June-Cleaver-wanna-be itch!

I’ve been reading about making chicken stock from scratch lately, and wanted to give it a go. My mom has made this a million times and I’ve eaten it before, of course, but this was my first attempt to make it myself. You know…it’s really easy! I mean really easy. I’m not sure why I expected there was some sort of expertise needed, but it went better than I thought.

I used a roasted whole chicken from our local Henry’s. That made one meal itself, pesto chicken salad (recipe to come). I used the carcass, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, cold water and a little parsley and let it sit in the slow cooker for about 12 hours. I let it cook overnight and then next morning the house smelled fantastic and the stock tasted fantastic!

Vegetables and bones removed

Straining the stock

After I strained of the stock, I had about 6-8 cups of liquid, enough to give away some to my mom. It keeps well in the fridge (3-4 days) or freezer (several months). Perfect for having homemade stock on hand for anytime needed.

I realize now that I can’t throw away any usable carcass from any of our dinners again and the Thanksgiving turkey is going to have a whole new meaning for me!

If you haven’t tried making your own stock before, please do. It’s so easy and satisfying to know your serving your family something very delicious and nutritious!

Stock stored and ready to use

More info about chicken stock:

Homemade Chicken Stock

Alton Brown’s Chicken Stock

Chicken Stock Storage and Tips


Homemade Pizza Night

I have a new system for dinners that I have been trying to stick to. On Sunday I make up a dinner menu for the whole week. I’ve been going through some of my lesser used cookbooks to find some new stuff to try out. Then I try…and I stress do just one shopping trip to the grocery store for ingredients. It’s been working out great and my hubby seems to like the variety.
Homemade pizza was on the menu last night. I made this a couple of weeks ago and it was so easy and delicious, we had to have it again. It’s a good weekend dinner since it takes a little extra effort to make the dough.
I made two pizzas using a basic french bread recipe, but adding olive oil to the dough. We love this bread so much around our house, why not try it for pizza too? It works pretty well, although my favorite is thin crust, and I’d like to experiment with making that style too. If anyone has any suggestions on good pizza dough please let me know.
My french bread pizza dough recipe is:
1c warm water
1/3c olive oil
1 lb (about 4 cups) unbleached flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

I use the dough hook on my kitchen aid mixer and let it knead the ingredients for about 8-10 minutes, then let rise in a warm oven for about 40 minutes or until doubled. This makes two small pizzas about 8-12″ in diameter…I didn’t measure them, but it memory serves me correct…

We have fun coming up with toppings for them. Last night we decided on Italian sausage, bell pepper, mozzarella and Monterrey jack cheese blend for pizza #1

Pizza #2 had bell pepper, basil, mozzarella, goat and Parmesan cheese. There weren’t any leftovers and I guess that speaks for itself!

Pizza #2