Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Home Grown Goodness

My name is Carrie and until last week I'd never cooked a whole chicken before.

Phew! That felt good to get off my chest!
I felt like the only woman in her thirties who hadn't plopped a bird in a giant pot of boiling water before. If you were like me, let me be the first to tell you that there's nothing to it! Don't be a chicken!
Buy yourself some bone-in chicken (or in our case, thaw a bird given to us from Brian's cousin's farm), control your gag reflex as you cut it into manageable pieces, and prepare yourself to eat some of the most delicious chicken. All you have to do is keep an eye on it so it doesn't boil over and when the meat is no longer pink and is falling off the bone, times up!

I strained the broth, let it sit in the refrigerator for a day so the fat would harden at the top, and picked the meat off the bones to use in various recipes throughout the week.
Brian made a big pot of chicken noodle soup a couple days ago and I swear it tasted better knowing that it was homemade stock and not from the store.
There's just something about the change in seasons that makes me want to hurry up and make all the comfort foods we don't eat in the summer.

Another thing we'll be eating a lot of this winter is apple pie. A couple of weeks ago I discovered that there is an apple tree in the park. We have no idea what kind of apples it produces except to say that they are ginormous.
We haven't taken out the big ladder from the shop yet to pick the apples way up high. Instead, we settled for shaking the lower branches until a few apples fell to the ground. Even using this method requires the little ladder and establishing a safe distance away for the kids to watch.

We haven't eaten very many apples this year because of rising food costs and the fact that they are on the dirty dozen list of fruits and veggies we should buy organically. Now we've been blessed with FREE ORGANIC apples!

Here's the recipe we love for French Apple Pie (tastes a lot like apple crisp, but with the bonus of a bottom crust)

1 pie crust (9 inch pie)
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 cups cored, peeled and thinly sliced apples
1 c flour
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c butter

Prepare pie crust according to directions on package for a filled one-crust pie.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt into bowl. Stir in sliced apples.
Spoon apple slices into pie plate.
(I like to sprinkle extra cinnamon and nutmeg on top)
To prepare crumb topping; mix together flour and brown sugar. Blend in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle crumb topping over pie.
Place pie on sheet pan on center oven rack.
Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes.


Jennisa September 10, 2008 at 10:40 AM  

you're not alone...I wouldn't know the first thing to do with a chicken...

MerrandaVK September 11, 2008 at 9:28 PM  

That soup looks delicious!!! I have 3 frozen whole organic chickens in my freezer right now. I can usually get 3-4 meals out of each chicken. I've never boiled one though, maybe I should give that a try. I usually roast mine in the oven, but then i don't get that great stock either.....

MerrandaVK September 11, 2008 at 9:29 PM  

oh and my mouth is watering for that pie...

Lindsay September 12, 2008 at 12:24 AM  

My name is Lindsay, and I've never boiled a chicken, either. See - you're not alone! Thanks for the directions - I am going to try it!! I just made homemade spaghetti noodles tonight....Nummmo!

And I'll be sure to try that apple pie.. Mmmm.

HD August 16, 2009 at 5:33 PM  

I also plop the whole bird in when making chicken soup. Makes a great broth...then I cut/pull off the meat. It's easier for me to accept than with a cold, limp, bird. (o:

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