Tag Archives: The Italian Slow Cooker

Chicken Once, Chicken Twice

Chicken Soup is Nice!

chickensoupsendakJan

Thank you, Maurice Sendak!

Chicken soup is also an easy (and cheap….I mean economical and low waste) way to have the same chicken twice. Feel free to eat as much of the meat as you’d like.

First – you need chicken with bones in it. Don’t eat the bones – they’re the part that’s needed for making the broth.

Easiest Chicken Broth EVAH

1 roasted chicken (it could even been the Friday special rotisserie chicken form the grocery store.)

some/all or none of the following:

a sad little carrot or 2

an onion – left whole, with maybe a clove or two in it. This could be a sad little excuse of an onion….

leafy tops from some celery or a limp (more sadness) stalk or two

parsley stems that you’ve carefully saved in the freezer from previous parsley events

a lemon ….in short, look in the corners of the fridge and find the sad, the limp, the forlorn, the orphaned and rinse them and toss them in the slowcooker.

water

salt and pepper

maybe a tablespoon or so of wine or vinegar if there is no lemon

  1. Rinse off the vegetative matter and put in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Pick the meat off the bone of the chicken and put aside. Don’t worry – you don’t have to be too careful about this.
  3. Put the bones, the leftover skin, any of the jelly in the pan on top of the vegetable bits.
  4. Add 3-4 Quarts water, until the slow cooker is full and everything is under water.
  5. Add the vinegar or wine – this helps get all the goodness out of the bones. Depending on how the chicken was cooked originally add some salt and or pepper now.
  6. Cover and let cook 6-8 hours.
  7. Uncover, cool, strain and voila! Broth.
  8. Makes about 2 Quarts broth.

partly adapted from Italian Slow Cooker ….Italian slow cooker book

and years of lazy experience.

Now, if you don’t have a slow cooker, you can use a heavy bottom soup pot, bring it to a boil and keep it at a low simmer again, 6, 7, 8 hours and then strain, season, use.

And if you want to start with your own chicken, here’s Grandma B’s Chicken Soup with Dumplings

CHICKEN SOUP & DUMPLINGS

1 stewing hen & water to cover

1 large onion (whole)

Several outside stalks of celery-Tied

Salt and Pepper- (I use pepper corns 6 or 8)

  1. Cut up chicken place in soup POT – or leave whole
  2. Fill POT WITH WATER
  3. ADD whole onion & celery stalks
  4. Add 1 tsp salt for each 3# of chicken
  5. Add pepper corn
  6. Cook – until chicken is tender.

Take chicken out & debone – if desired

  1. You can add cut up carrots & celery.
  2. Add dumplings to boiling STOCK by teaspoon into soup.
  3. While dumplings cook – debone chicken to be returned to POT.

DUMPLINGS – Mother called them sinkers they are hard

5 eggs

½ C cream

1 tsp salt

Flour – stir in enough to make the dough really thick. Then add a couple Tbs of Top broth (2 or 3)

Drop into soup by a teaspoon – cook until they are cooked through.

  • from A Grandma B Recipe Card

    chick rubber

    A rubber chicken just won’t do – but any combination of bony chicken parts will.

 Bone Broth has been in the news lately – even the New York Times has had this  story. One of the people they quote  is Sally Fallon, who was advocating Bone Broth (and real fats!) years ago. I met  her at a conference/meeting of the Weston A. Price Society. I got a copy of Nourishing Traditions, which is a great primer for all sorts of truly natural and traditional foods. I had hoped to finally conquer yoghurt……

Nourishing Traditions Sally Fallon

This book was published in 2003, and I think it was fairly newly out when I was at the conference – which means it was over 10 years ago. How does time fly by like that? Still can’t make yoghurt.

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Filed under Recipe, Soup, winter

National Potato Day!

Who knew?

Who decides these things?

Does it matter?

This works out for a Meatless Monday……

 Spuds and Squash.

Pumpkin and Potatoes.

The Smashing Pumpkins  - A rock band, not to be confused with a side dish

The Smashing Pumpkins – A rock band, not to be confused with a side dish

 

Mr potato head

Mr Potato Head LOVES that it’s National Potato Day…and is maybe a little afraid…He won’t be doing The Mashed Potato anytime soon.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND POTATOES WITH ROSEMARY

1 ½ pounds potatoes (about 4 cups)

1 ½ pounds butternut (or acorn or Hubbard or other firm winter squash – I’ll be using my leftover jack o lantern next week…)

6 garlic cloves (if they’re small, I’ve used more)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup water

1 2” piece fresh rosemary

 

  1. Peel and cut the potatoes into ½” wedges (they need to be a little smaller than the squash pieces). Put in the slow cooker.
  2. Peel and cut the squash into 1” cubes (squash cooks faster than potatoes). Put in the slow cooker.
  3. Add the garlic to the squash and potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Drizzle on the olive oil and mix well.
  5. Add the water and tuck in the rosemary sprig.
  6. Cover and cook on high about 3 hours. The potatoes and squash should be tender when pierced with a knife.
  7. Serve hot.

Makes 6 servings.

From Michele Scicolone. The Italian Slow Cooker. p. 187.

Italian slow cooker book

Top with parsley and you have the flag of Ireland…just saying.

Leftover can be reheated and topped with a little cheese, whatever little cheese you happen to have on hand. Or mixed with some beaten eggs and maybe a slice of bacon to make a world class frittata.

Better on a Thanksgiving table then the usual smushed and smashed – it really is 2 great tastes that taste great together! And with the slow cooker, how easy and no worries about how to fit it into the oven.

If you cook the squash alone, with the oil and the rosemary, which would be an almost ready sauce for pasta, especially if you use wine instead of the water….

Michele Scicolone (click on her name to get to her website) has written several slow cooker books, but I haven’t finished this one yet, in part because I keep cooking from it over and over, going back to an old favorite, and then finding a potential new favorite.

When words are not enough.....

When words are not enough…..

 

 

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Filed under Books, Irish, Italian, Recipe, squash

The History of Corn is amazing

Or is it more properly ‘a-maizing’?
Either way, a few pictorial highlights – and a recipe – for a Wicked Wayback Wednesday from a talk I gave on a dark and stormy night for the South Shore Locavores.

corn

The audience was all ears!

In a nutshell –

Corn has been around for thousands of years in the America, in Europe not so long. In the 16th century maize was new and fashionable, but since it was easy to grow, and grow well, it became more and more common and less and less fashionable…..case in point – polenta.

Murillo - the Polenta Woman -17th century - notice how she's not fashionable

Murillo – the Polenta Woman -17th century – notice how she’s not fashionable

Pietro Longhi - Polenta - notice that it's being pored onto a cloth, from which it will be eaten

Pietro Longhi – Polenta – notice that it’s being pored onto a cloth, from which it will be eaten. This is the 18th century when ‘The Poor’ become romanticized. Their romantic  image is fashionable, not the poor actual selves .

made in Italy Gio Lochetti

In Made in Italy Giorgio Locatelli describe making polenta that is right out of the 18th century painting. He also writes of the irony of cooking the food his family ate to stay warm and fed in Italy in  a high end restaurant in London for people to pay a pretty penny to try. Polenta is now fashionable!

Click here for the recipe of Polenta in Chains – Polenta with Beans and kale and spinach that I brought. It’s from Michele Scicolone  The Italian Slow Cooker Italian slow cooker book

Polenta in Chains bears an uncanny resemblance to 17th century English  pottage, which was made with maize instead of oats when Englishmen came to North America, changing things to keep them the same.

Esau and Jacob Mathias Stom, 1640's. That's a Mess of Pottage in the bowl

Esau and Jacob Mathias Stom, 1640’s. That’s a Mess of Pottage in the bowl. The bread is pretty great, too.

Almost all the pottage in 17th century images include Jacob and Esau

Almost all the pottage in 17th century images include Jacob and Esau

A re-created 17th century English Pottage by Elizabeth Pickard

A re-created 17th century English Pottage by Elizabeth Pickard

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Filed under Autumn, Italian, Perception ways

Slow Beans

If you’re going to be meatless for any length of time, eventually you’ll turn to

Bean.

Mr Bean - Rowan Atkinson

Mr Bean – Rowan Atkinson

No, not Mr. Bean – dried beans – those protein powerhouses of the plant world.

dried beans

Beans are easy to cook.The biggest problem with them is the time that they take. If the dried beans you buy are older and more dried out, they take longer to get to good.  Still easy.

slow cooker, travel model

I have a model where the lid locks – travel without making your car smell like baked beans every hot day for the next 10 years!

BASIC BEANS

1 pound dried bean

6 cups water

1 bay leaf OR 1 sprig of fresh rosemary OR 2 cloves of peeled garlic

Salt

  1. Pick over the beans
  2. Rinse the beans
  3. Put the beans in the slow cooker.
  4. Add the water – are all the beans underwater? I usually ditch the floaters….
  5. If you are using a leaf or a sprig or a bud – add your flavor component now.
  6.  Cover.
  7. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours, or until tender.
  8. Add salt to taste and let stand about 10 minutes.
  9. Remove the flavor component, it’s done it’s work, so thank it for a job well done.
  10. Beans are now ready for use in soups, stews, chilies, salads.

Adapted Michele Scicolone. The Italian Slow Cooker. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2010. p. 191.

Italian slow cooker book

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