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Activism Healthy Living Healthy Meat Real Food

Real Food Money Saving Tips: Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks for Stock

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Want to make chicken stock but don’t think you can afford good quality chicken? Buy chicken thighs (bone-in) and drumsticks. These pieces are quite inexpensive. Conventional health tells us to avoid dark and red meat. So over the last few decades, meat producers in the U.S. have put a premium on white meat – which is actually the least healthful. Dark meat is actually better for you to eat because it contains more of those all important nutrients found in poultry (see below). If you can get your hands on chicken organ meats, those are also cheap, and extremely nutrient-dense to use in soups, stews, casseroles, and any other dish which has a lot of ingredients in it (think hiding the organ meats in these meals).

Once you have let your bones soak for an hour or so in filtered water with a splash of apple cider vinegar, add in all your other ingredients: butter or ghee, onions, carrots, celery, salt, pepper, and any seasonings you like. I frequently use any combination of the following: parsley, thyme, sage, marjoram, oregano, or basil. Here’s a post about making bone broth.

If you are feeling adventurous, find a farmer who will give you or sell you some chicken feet. Yes, chicken feet. These are incredibly cheap and fantastically abundant in minerals, amino acids, gelatin, and collagen – which helps your whole body and especially your skin, eyes, and bones.  You can add these into any chicken stock after cleaning them and clipping off the nails. Some people don’t clip them off, but I do since toxins can collect in them (such as arsenic).

Is all chicken created equal?

Unfortunately, no. You will get the most nutrition from chickens (or any poultry) raised on pasture, without antibiotics or feeds which alter their nutritional composition such as corn, and grain (and are likely to be sourced from GMO – genetically modified organisms). You are also going to get 3-5 times the amount of nutrients like CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), Omega 3 essential fatty acids, and fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.  Read this informative article from Eat Wild to learn more about the benefits of grass-fed and pasture-raised.

Sources for chicken:

Ideal - pasture-raised direct from the farm – may also be organic (ask local farmers or go to your farmer’s market) see this post about deciphering egg and poultry labels
Better - Pasture-raised chickens from local grocery or health food store – may also be organic
Acceptable - commercial and grocery store organic, “cage-free”, or “free-range”, omega-3 chickens. Many of these are also raised on feedlot premises, but may be antibiotic-and chemical (pesticides) free.
Avoid – conventional poultry from the grocery store which likely is raised on a feedlot, usually administered antibiotics, usually exposed to pesticides/herbicides, and most often given corn, soy, and grain as main source of feed.

Deciphering egg and poultry labels
More money-saving tips:
Waste not, want not: tips for saving in the kitchen
3 tips for eating organic on a budget
Proof that real food doesn’t have to cost a bundle, is nourishing, and satisfies!
Food budgets- using creativity and prioritizing for healthy eating

This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday Blog Hop, hosted this week by Sustainable Eats

Healthy Living Healthy Meat Real Food Recipes

East Ender-Stew With Chicken And Sausage

www.mypicshares.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We live in the historic northeast-end of our city, which means our neighborhood is filled with old houses and possesses a rich ambiance of the past.

Our house is approximately 90 years old and we’ve spent the last 7 years of ownership remodeling and fixing it up as time and money permit. We still have a ways to go, and who knows if we’ll be living here in 5 or 10 years. But while we’ve lived here, we’ve enjoyed some really fabulous food in our little kitchen.

This recipe is dedicated to our neighborhood because it represents our life here, and the many diverse elements which make up this neighborhood and its residents.

Although it is not a Basque recipe, the Italian sausage in it reminds me of the well-known dish that is loved by so many people in our city and other many other regions – Paella, a Spanish dish traditionally served with chorizo. Our city has a variety of ethnic populations, Basque people being one of the more well-known ones. It has been through this exposure to Basque culture that my husband and I have grown so very fond of their food and anything closely resembling it.

I’m very big on one-pot recipes, and just like long-time favorite recipes like Paella, this dish surely delivers in taste and intrigue.

We did not prepare ours with rice, but there’s no doubt it would taste great with this meal. You could also use beer if you were feeling just a bit adventurous, in the true Paella tradition.

Ingredients:

  • your favorite chicken parts – depending on your preference, you can use boneless or bone in, cooked and diced up if boneless
  • Italian sausage (we used U.S. Wellness Meats Italian Pork Sausage), cooked and sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 2 bell peppers – we used red and green
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 diced organic tomatoes or 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • butter
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons paprika
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a large pan or pot (we use stainless steel), and put in garlic and onions to sauté for about 2 or 3 minutes.
  2. Add in bell peppers, tomatoes, meat and seasonings.
  3. Stir and add chicken stock and water. Turn up heat, stir, and allow to simmer for 3 – 4 minutes.
  4. Turn heat down to low, covered, and cook at least one hour or longer.
  5. Serve with bread and/or a green salad with home-made dressing.

Serves 3 – 4 people.