Jan. 7th, 2009

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Chicken Feet Stock

When I first started making stock, it never gelatinize properly. You may not know this (I didn’t at first) but homemade chicken stock should end up kind of like chicken Jell-o. It’s not congealed fat as my boyfriend wondered—it’s the gelatin from the bones, which leaches out as you slow cook it (you get congealed fat too but it rises to the top so once your chicken broth has cooled you can kind of just scrape it/peel it off the top and even use it to cook with). I finally made a stock with two carcasses instead of one and it gelled up really beautifully and I realized you just need more bones. Chicken feet are a good way to get a lot of bones without having to roast two chickens but of course you have to handle chicken feet. The woman at Uwajimaya was quite impressed that white ol’ me was buying feet. “What are you going to do with them?” she said. “Most people don’t like feet!” It wasn’t nearly as gross as I thought it would be, even when I had to cut off their tiny little toes. I should have taken a picture of all of them on my cutting board. And the stock turned out just lovely. I know it is easier to buy broth in a can but there is nothing like homemade stock. Unfortunately I wasted half of it on this lentil soup that kind of turned out so-so.

Next fall when soup season approaches I think I am going to just spend one weekend making a giant batch of stock in my 33 quart canner so I have enough for the whole winter rather than making these little batches once a month or so.

Black Bean Dip

I made this for poetry group on Monday. I did not expect it to be such a hit! Everyone raved and it went faster than the cheese and crackers, which is saying something. It’s really easy and I suppose pretty healthy. I served it with corn chips.

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If you are in Seattle and interested in participating in a SOUP SWAP, where you make a huge batch of homemade soup and then swap portions with other folks, leave a comment. I’m thinking of hosting it January 25—a Sunday, so you can have soup for lunch following week! HOMEMADE SOUP ONLY. Depending on how many people are into it I might make a NO TOMATO rule (I am allergic). It’s my soup swap, dammit.


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