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Chicken and Chicken Broth – Healthier Living | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

Chicken and Chicken Broth – Healthier Living

It’s just over three weeks since my heart attack, and my daughter and I have spent the past 3 weeks working up how to modify our diet into healthier options that are low fat and low cholesterol. They also need to fit in our family budget, and I need to figure out how to do it in the best time frame possible. And how to organize it so I’ll make it a lifetime habit instead of a temporary new year trend.

The first step: buy a fryer each week, stew it for broth and save the meat. The cost of a fryer is maybe a little more than a plastic container of low fat sliced turkey breast meat. The downside to the turkey breast meat that’s sliced is that it’s processed and loaded with sodium. (For a lower fat option, purchase chicken breasts with the bone. and use that instead of a full fryer.)

Then there is the broth. Besides the expense of buying prepared broth, it is also loaded with sodium. Since we’re cutting oils, fats, and soup base mixes from my flavoring arsenal, broth is the healthiest substitute I’ve found.

How to make your own broth?

Buy a fryer. I skin it first and try to remove as much visible fat as I can. Then put the bird into a large stock pot. Mine holds 6 quarts. Add in an onion chopped in half, 2-3 carrots, and 2-3 celery stalks. Add a bay leaf, about 1 T pepper, 1 clove garlic, and 1 T parsley. Then fill the pot with water to within 2 inches of the top of the pan. Let it simmer until the chicken is done. I like to let mine simmer for at least 2 hours just for the flavor.

Remove the chicken from the pot and let it cool. When it is cool, remove any fat you find and remove the meat from the bones. Discard the bones and fat. Set the meat to the side. There should be enough to fill two of those deli-sized plastic containers. Each has enough meat for a dish for a meal for my family or can be used for sandwiches when we’re busy. If needed, you can label (and date) the container and freeze it until it’s needed.

Then drain the broth. Make sure it cools quickly (shallow containers cool it faster.) Discard the bay leaf. Take the vegetables that stewed and blend/grind/puree them. Then put those into a gallon sized container (I use an ice cream bucket.) I puree the vegetables so they can serve as a natural thickener – they will sink to the bottom of the broth and can be served in a single container when you need flavor plus a thickener. Then pour the broth into the container and refrigerate it. After it is refrigerated, skin any congealed fat from the top and discard. This gives you a low/no sodium broth (it depends on whether or not you purchase a fryer which has liquid injected into it – that usually has salt in it.)

The broth then can be put into meal-sized containers and frozen. You can also freeze it in ice cube trays and then store those in a plastic bag to use as needed. How can you use your broth?

  • As a flavor for food you saute in a pan – either vegetables or meat.
  • Add a container to rice or couscous you’re cooking to add flavor.
  • Stir some into pasta for flavor and make sure the pasta absorbs the flavor.
  • Use as a base for soup.

Bottom line?

That fryer you purchased, with an onion plus some carrots and celery will yield 2 containers of chicken meat and a gallon of chicken broth for about $6.

The cost of 2 packs of turkey deli meat is about $7. The cost of a gallon of chicken broth, purchased in individual containers could hit $12.

So for a $6 purchase, and about 30 minutes of time, it’s possible to save $13, while having a product with real ingredients and significantly less sodium.

Wow. It's Quiet Here...

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