Cooking adventures

Last week I baked a chicken for the second time in my life. The first time didn’t turn out too well – I forgot to defrost it before the dinner party I was hosting, so I tried to rapidly defrost it, and then just threw it in the oven anyway, hoping that it would be done in time. (Note to self, it takes more than 5 minutes in the microwave to defrost a whole chicken.)

I pulled it out of the oven, and it looked beautiful on the outside….brown, delicious smelling, juices simmering. Then I cut into it. Pink. Frozen. Very un-done. My guests were so gracious, and we had a progressive dinner. Sides first, and then the main course after another hour of the chicken baking and some time in the microwave. We laughed about it and had a great time in spite of my chicken faux pas.

So, last week when it was my turn to host family dinner (the interns in the office and I have dinner every Thursday, and we rotate whose house it is at each week), I decided to try another chicken. I remembered to defrost it in advance, and found a new recipe that included smothering it in butter and herbs before baking.

This time, it was amazing. Juicy, moist and delicious. Redeemed the first mess-up, and now I know how to bake a chicken! This time wasn’t quite as humorous as the first, but that’s ok with me.

As we were cleaning up, my friend Andrew asked me if I was going to make chicken broth out of the leftover bones. What? You can do that?! So today, I decide to make homemade chicken noodle soup from scratch. Allllll the way from scratch, including the broth. I boiled the chicken bones for about 2 hours in cold water, carrots, celery and some herbs. When it was sufficiently boiled/broth-ified, I drained the liquid into a bowl, threw away the veggies and picked the bones for any leftover meat (and there was a ton!!). I kept the good meat in a separate bowl to be added right at the end, and threw away the bones.

Then, I used the newly made broth, added fresh onion, celery, carrots and herbs/spices, added some fresh chicken, threw in the noodles towards the end, and then the leftover chicken. It is currently simmering for a last few minutes, and if the smells coming from my kitchen are any indication, it’s gonna be good. This was a very good idea for a snow day. 🙂

2 thoughts on “Cooking adventures

  1. i love whole chickens! about 6 months ago, i switched to exclusively cooking with whole chickens (no more boneless, skinless chicken breasts… no nutrients!!)

    if you boil the bones for longer (about 6+ hours) with a little bit of vinegar, they will produce a broth SUPER rich in nutrients including calcium and other minerals as well as glucosamine and amino acids. i blogged about it here:

    http://www.somaticos.com/2010/11/real-food-friday-boost-your-immunity_26.html

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