Just a quick post today. Wanted to share the orzo pasta I cooked for Charles’ lunch. Simple yet tasty; a nice alternative to rice. I simply used homemade chicken stock, garlic powder, salt and pepper but you could jazz this up with some spice or herb combination as desired.
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup uncooked orzo
1/2 tsp each ~ salt, pepper, and garlic powder
1 cup frozen peas.
Bring chicken stock to simmer over medium high heat. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and orzo and cook for about 9 minutes uncovered. Stir in frozen peas and bring back to light boil. Cover, remove from heat and let rest about 10 minutes.
I’ve been try to work out some flavorful reduced sodium broths. Today there was a package of chicken legs marked down at the grocery so I decided to try a simple herb poached chicken and make a broth as well.
about 2 pounds chicken legs
3 quart cool water
1 tsp whole coriander
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp whole peppercorns
1/2 tsp celery seed
2 bay leaf
1 celery stalk – broken in pieces
2 cloves garlic – crushed
1/4 yellow onion – cut in chunks
Place all ingredients in large stock pot. Bring to simmer over medium high heat; simmer 20 minutes. Remove chicken legs, set aside, and allow to cool for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile leave broth simmering on stove. Pick meat from chicken once cooled and set meat aside for another dish. Return bones and skin to pot and simmer very low for about 4 hours or until reduced by half or more. Drain in fine sieve and discard bones, skin and herbs. You can use cheese cloth to remove fine particles if desired; I don’t mind the fine herbs staying in my broth so a fine metal strainer works great for me.
You can freeze the broth for later, use the chicken in a casserole or salad, or make some fantastic chicken noodle soup by adding some vegetable and noodles and stirring the meat back into the broth near the end of cooking.
Chicken Stock is so much better when you make your own. We make it often; it’s always different depending on our mood. Today I went for a low sodium simple version with thyme. There are many different ways to make stock and broth so don’t hesitate to experiment with different flavors.
Bones, skin, leftover parts of one roasted chicken
1 Tbs thyme
2 celery stalks
2 large carrots
3 cloves garlic
3 quarts water
2 bay leaves
20 coriander seeds
In large stock pot combine all ingredients. Coarsely chop vegetables if desired ~ more surface area will allow more flavor to be released. Over medium heat bring to a simmer. Reduce to low heat; you should see very slight movement at this temperature. Continue simmering for several hours until liquid had reduced by nearly half and rich color is achieved. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and freeze or use immediately.
I simmer mine all day. I would guess this batch went for about 8 hours of simmering; the longer you cook it the better the flavor will be. This was made with the leftovers from the olive oil and herb roasted chicken we made the other day; a ended up with about 3 pints of golden broth.
Add more veggies or herbs if desired. Sometimes we spice it up with crushed red or other dried peppers, other times we add additional herbs, celery seeds are a great choice too for chicken broth.