I just realized that it’s only been a year since I first made chicken broth. Working with whole chickens was something I had never done and found really intimidating. I had a chicken carcass in the freezer for probably six months before I worked up the nerve to do something with it. By that time, it had gotten tossed out (unbeknownst to me), and I was stuck with a conventional stewing hen from the grocery store. Blech. Fortunately, my broth turned out fine, and I’ve been on a roll ever since.
When we got back into town after our Christmas traveling last week, I was anxious for some REAL food and an opportunity to use my brand new 12-qt stockpot. We bought a local, organic, pastured roasting hen and got started making a huge batch of Italian wedding soup.
First we made chicken broth using our whole raw chicken. After a few hours, I pulled out the meat and let the bones continue to simmer. Next, I made a full batch of mini meatballs using a pound of local ground beef. With just a few more ingredients, we had a delicious batch of soup that fed us for several meals.
Making broth and then soup is such a satisfying experience. It’s homey and frugal and makes me feel like I’m getting the most bang for my buck. After making the soup, we were left with 2-3 cups of shredded chicken, 1/2 pound of mini meatballs and 2 quarts of chicken broth. These are great building blocks for future meals all ready to go! Making broth is just a small step towards living more sustainably, but it feels great to know that I am incorporating a new skill into my life.