Something that I am seeing circulate a lot right now is the word “uncertainty.” These are, obviously, very uncertain times, and I think a major lesson that I am learning is how important the small and everyday acts of care and service are for survival. These acts might not combat the uncertainty, so to speak, but they certainly sustain us and connect us to those we want to protect.
Thanks to some words of wisdom from the ones we love, Griffin and I have become more attuned to thoughtful meal-planning--especially in the midst of the current pandemic.
We made enchiladas the other day from a roast chicken, some cheese, and canned salsa/veggies. The meal was yummy. Griffin’s cooking is *chefs kiss* quality, and so he does most of it for us, but I do appreciate that he gives me space to share some of the recipes I have picked up in my short time as an adult so far.
Since it’s now our responsibility to practice social distancing, and since this also means that we would like to avoid unnecessary store-runs, Mom suggested that I use the leftover chicken bones/scraps from the enchiladas to make chicken stock for future meals. What an idea!
I added extra veggies to my stock pot because I only had scraps from one small roast chicken. I also added lots of dill because I am obsessed with it (someone remind me to make zummaborscht soon!).
Sonja, our kitty, joined in on the fun, as always. She needs attention! Here is your attention, Sonja:
With a few dashes of Cholula hot sauce (the best) and some Montreal steak spice (also the best--don’t @ me), I was ready to boil!
There are few things better than the smell of simmering soup stock! I left mine to simmer on low for about 3 hours, and then I left it to cool for awhile.
I found some old pasta jars that I had saved for a rainy day (this is also advice that was passed down to me from some wise loved ones…) and filled them up with the chicken stock! We had the amount of a small bowl left over, so Griffin and I shared it before bed. We fell asleep with warm, comfy bellies.
It ended up that 1 roast chicken (with the shredded meat used for the enchiladas) was enough to make 4+ meals! I even saved the bones in my freezer for future stock!
Mostly, I am shocked by how easy this was. I am now asking myself: how has it taken me 26 years to try making this? I am also jumping for joy because it is a dream of mine to have a fridge filled with homemade jarred meals.
Regardless, I will be saving my scraps from onions, carrots, celery, garlic, (any and all) herbs, parsnips, and so on for the unforeseeable future!!
Check out our DLTK's Recipes section for more mindful meal-planning ideas!
Recipe: Making soup stock from stuff you’d normally throw out
- Bones (ex: chicken carcass, ham bone, beef rib bones)
- Optional: Bits and pieces of vegetables
- Optional: Bits and pieces of herbs
- Optional: Pan drippings from roasts, fried sausage, fried bacon
- Optional: Dribs and drabs of sauces and spices (think leftover packets from take out food)
- Throw your bones and whatever veggies, herbs, drippings and leftover sauces/spices into a big pot full of water. Don’t get too carried away with sauces/spices. One or two complimentary flavours is plenty.
- Bring water to a boil then reduce heat to simmer. Simmer 1 to 3 hours. The longer you simmer, the more flavourful your stock will be.
- Strain stock with a pasta strainer and store in whatever containers you have on hand in the fridge for about a week or in the freezer for 3 to 6 months. Leave 2” or so room in the container as the broth will expand (like ice cubes do) when it freezes.
- Eat broth as is, use to make soup or use instead of water to make things like rice or quinoa.
- Mom reuses her bones twice (makes two batches of broth from each chicken carcass).
- Note: You can use fresh veggies like I did, but my mom just keeps a container full of vegetable peels, onion skins, pan drippings and herb stems in her freezer for making stock whenever she has enough bones.
- Note: Don’t use “brassicas” — broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage (they wreck your stock)
My name is Tasha Guenther. I currently live in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada while I finish my PhD in Cultural Studies with a concentration in digital cultures at McMaster University. I enjoy writing short stories and non-fiction pieces for grade school children.
Alongside my learning, studying, and thinking about digital platforms and critical theory, I really appreciate long conversations with close friends, reading poetry, and taking photos of my cat. Learn more about me here or connect with me on my Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.