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Fowl Chili

I just made (what I thought was) a tasty chili.

Fowl Chili

Soak 1 cup of cow peas (because I had them hanging around my pantry from an experimental purchase – feel free to use kidney or some such)

In soup pot – saute 1 diced onion, 5 cloves coarsely minced garlic, and a dozen diced baby carrots in a little olive oil. Once it’s almost translucent, add 2-3 teaspoons of ground cumin and cook a couple more minutes.

Add the drained peas. And at this point, I added some duck stock because that’s what I had made most recently. Feel free to use chicken stock. Ummm… about 10 cups… well, as much as my pot would hold.

I also added 1 link of turkey sausage (frozen) and one chicken breast (frozen). Then I left that over medium heat while I ran a couple very quick errands. When I came back, I pulled out the mostly-cooked breast, sliced t, and then returned it to the pot.

At the point I added herbs: a few sprigs of fresh fennel, fresh marjoram, and fresh savory – all minced. 2 teaspoons of ground oregano, 2 teaspoons of Penzey’s chili powder (which ended up making it plenty hot because I let the soup cook a long time), 2 generous (but not quite heaping) teaspoons of regular paprika, just a pea-sized amount of smoked paprika, and a pinch of sugar.

I added some leftover dark meat from a roast chicken. And once it was thorought ly cooked and not going to crumble, I sliced the turkey sausage.

I finished the soup off with a teaspoon of flour mixed with lukewarm water (shaken together in a jam jar is the easiest way) – this thickens slightly, but it also really makes the taste smoother.

I had originally planned to add a can of tomatoes, but the soup was very tasty without, so I didn’t mess with it.

Served with fresh bread and a large dollop of sour cream to cut the heat.

(It ended up cooking for 10 hours)

Have another food list – Mexican Corn Soup

food I have
1 grapefruit
2 tomatoes (1 urgent)
3 roasted bell peppers
2-3 bell peppers (yellow & red)
mixed small lettuces

3/4 container of sour cream
1% milk
1/2 pint heavy cream
goat cheese

1/3 loaf of brown bread (ETA: just heels left)
1/2 round of pumpernickel
small amount of leftover white rice

some leftover cooked chicken (from the breasts marinated in peaches & cowboy rub)

some prepared enchiladas that need to be baked
sauce to go with them

Tuesday, February 19 *done*
take 1 link of turkey sausage from freezer to thaw.
take container of small cut pork from freezer to thaw (with black bean & pepper sauce?)
put enchiladas into the freezer
Make a sandwich with chicken leftovers, tomato, and lettuce (and goat cheese?)

Wednesday, February 20 *done*
make a “bread pudding” with some of the pumpernickel bread, eggs, cream, cheese, tomato, and grilled turkey sausage with onions and peppers. Possibly bacon, too. With a little side salad, of course.
*freeze some of this for lunches*

Thursday, February 21 *done*
stir fry of pork, broccoli, onion, and peppers over rice.

Friday, February 22
leftover rice needs to be used up. So do carnitas. Would it be sacrilege to dump them together with cream of chicken soup? Probably. So it would be slightly more respectable to… make burritos! with lots of cheese and sour cream – and maybe a zucchini. And all the rest of the lettuce.

plus bonus recipe – Mexican corn soup
Oh, and I almost forgot to give you the recipe for the soup I made the other day.

If you remember, I had some stock with tomato paste mixed in (let’s say a 3-4 cups of stock with 1/2 a little can of paste).

I also had some liquid I had drained out of the carnitas at the very last minute because I didn’t have the nerve to see what happened to my cooking pot, if I let the pork get completely dry. This was only about 1 cup of lovely pork/citrus/spices essence.

So I went looking in my Mexican cookbook, and found a recipe for corn soup I could use as a starting point.

So I boiled the stock/tomato paste mixture for 20 minutes to kill any bacteria.

Then I combined in a blender:

  • 1 onion, cooked down in some of the fat skimmed from the pork liquid (there wasn’t much, really – I was using pork loin instead of the fattier cuts the carnitas recipe recommends) and then seasoned with paprika
  • 1 can of corn, drained
  • 1 tomatoes, peeled and seeded
  • enough stock to make everything juicy and blending smoothly

In a saucepan, I think combined:

  • everything from the blender
  • the rest of the stock
  • salt & pepper

If I were following the recipe, I would now add 1/2 a cup (a whole cup? I don’t remember) of heavy cream. But since most of this would be going into the refrigerator and getting reheated, I decided to add the cream right before serving. And then I found that lumps of sour cream were more satisfying than cream.

I also considered adding chicken at that time, but I ended up also just adding cut up chicken to the bowls while reheating so that I could have the option to swap in carnitas instead of chicken (though I never for around to trying that). It was also a good soup without meat.

Taking Stock – chicken stock

Before I moved out on my own, stock came in cans from the supermarket. Homemade stock is a completely different animal, and surprisingly easy. All you need is a bit of time and weather that is not too painfully hot and humid so that extended cooking is still possible.

Stock philosophy: I’m not making consumes, so these recipes won’t give you light, translucent broths. Nope, these are rich and yummy things food of goodness and nutrients.

Ps and Qs chicken stock
Boil together:
chicken bits (whole chicken, chicken backs, chicken feet & necks, whatever)
*(ideally, there’s the stuff called parsley root which is a less sweet parsnip with lovely, tasty parsley green attached – that was always my first choice.)
garlic cloves (not peeled, just cut in half)
onion (not peeled, cut into quarters)
sprigs of thyme
a bay leaf
sprigs of rosemary
water to cover

*boil* *boil* *boil*

Remove the parsley before letting it sit overnight left the broth end up with a greenish tint. If using whole pieces of chicken, pull them out, strip off the meat, and then put the detritus back in the pot.


*cover and let sit overnight*

Next day:

*boil at least 20 minutes to kill of any bacteria*

*boil until concentrated as much as looks tasty*

*let cool just a little (so you don’t die when splashed with the liquid)*

*strain and refrigerate*

Next day:

Pop off the layer of fat, and you’re good to go.


And then on some cooking show there was a cook suggesting keeping scraps (onion peelings, etc.) in the freezer to make stock. So now I have a bag into which I put the peels of just about anything of the allium genus (if able to be washed reasonably clean), extra herbs that are getting dubious or stripped herb stems, and the occasional carrot or piece of celery near the end of its life.

Even though stock was already fairly economical, I no longer end up using things that would otherwise be food in my stock.

Even easier chicken stock
chicken bits (still whatever is cheapest. You can also save bones and stuff from simple roast chickens and use them)
yellow & white onion peels
garlic peels and ends (maybe a feel cloves of garlic, if those are scanty)
rosemary, thyme, parsley, bay leaf

carrots or celery, if frozen anyway
whole dried red pepper
ginger peelings
sprig of fennel
2-3 cloves

*boil* (for as little as 45 minutes after it actually starts boiling enough that things are pretty well thawed)
*cover and let sit overnight*
*boil* (minimum of 20 minutes at a hard boil*
*strain and refrigerate overnight*
*pop off fat layer*

Still every bit as tasty, but now something that can be done in the evening after a chicken dinner instead of a whole project on its own

Notice there’s no step in here about skimming off foamy scum? That’s because after the very first time I tried it, I couldn’t be bothered. After all, you are still going to strain the soup, and the main reason cookbooks give for that anal retentive bit is to have a clear and lovely soup, and I like mine thick and a bit opaque.

But now that it’s so easy, what about other kind of stock?

Well I’ve successfully made pork stock, but unless you are using it for something that will taste strongly of pork (red beans & rice, greens… and that’s about all I’ve come up with), it’s a bit too strongly pork flavoured and tends to take over the dish. (but it’s the same recipe as lamb, so keep reading)

Beef stock – is a pain in my ass! It was such a relief later to read in the Best Recipe cookbook that it was also a pain in their ass. Either you have to use almost a 1:1 ratio of beef to water, or you have to add a few chicken pieces to give the stock some body while you hope the beef flavor is stronger than the chicken one. It’s not worth doing unless you have a craving for homemade onion soup that neither restaurants nor Trader Joe’s can satisfy, but you won’t be saving yourself any money to make it at home.

Food listing

I don’t have much food, but I want to eat what I do have before I buy a bunch more.

half a zucchini
2 1 unimpressive tomatoes

1/3 of a half pint of cream
opened cream cheese
opened cheddar

thawed meat
1 chicken breast
ground beef
2 1 small shoulder london broils (they’ve been on sale a lot recently)

frozen meat
chicken breasts
ground beef
ground beef in patties
pork liver
chicken backs for stock

eggplant & beef mixture for taco filling
1 egg white

Tuesday, August 29
eggplant and beef in tortilla (done!)

Wednesday, August 30
start making chicken stock (buy carrots, garlic, and parsley) (done!)
make ground beef into hamburger patties and freeze (done!)
freeze one london broil (done!)
organize freezer
set second london broil to marinate
make chicken and zucchini with rice (fried rice to use the egg white?)
made chicken gumbo

Thursday, August 31
go to farmers market! (not done – went to SCA meeting instead)
finish chicken stock and strain
cook london broil

Stock report

So end result:
1 qt of chicken stock frozen for my mother
48 ice cubes of chicken stock put up properly in my freezer
1 1/2 quarts of chicken stock in my fridge waiting to turn into ice cubes
1 1/4 quarts of duck stock in the fridge

I think I need to get everything frozen before I leave the house for a week.

And both refrigerators at work will have maintenance done over break, so I can’t store the leftover lunches I have put together and frozen. It’ll be a fine trick to fit everything in.

I think I can do it, if I leave the ice cube trays out of the freezer after I empty them and just put the containers in whole. Things *should* fit.