Chicken Broth and Vegetable Broth

 

Stove-top Chicken Broth
Stove-top method takes 3 hours of inactive cooking time, and is delicious.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 (4-pound) chickens, cut into six pieces each (or substitute for chicken thighs, or in a pinch, 2 rotisserie chicken carcasses)
  2. 1 large white onion, peeled and quartered
  3. 2 carrots (cut into 3 pieces each)
  4. 2 celery stalks (cut into 3 pieces each)
  5. 2 bay leaves
  6. (I usually add in a small bunch of fresh thyme, or rosemary, or parsley, or cilantro - no need to chop or take off the stems or anything)
  7. 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  8. 4 quarts cold (or room temp) water
  9. 1 Tb sea salt
  10. 4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rinds (though I use any hard cheese rind the grocery store has for me when I ask) *this is the super important ingredient that absolutely sets this apart from store-bought broth!
Instructions
  1. In a large stockpot, combine all ingredients except cheese rinds.
  2. Bring just to a boil over high heat, skim foam and fat (you know - floaty grit) from surface, then reduce to a very gentle simmer and cook for 2 hrs.
  3. Add cheese rinds - just dunk'em in there - and continue to simmer for one more hour.
  4. Strain broth through a fine-mesh sieve once done (you won't want to keep the veggies or chicken from this, it'll be pretty darn flavorless by then). I use this.
Notes
  1. Let your chicken broth cool, then chill, covered, for up to one week, or freeze in quart-size heavy-duty freezer bags (lay sealed bags flat on jelly roll pans in freezer until solid, so you can then store upright or horizontally). You can decide to spoon off the fat once broth is cooled, if desired.
Adapted from La Cucina Italiana Mag
Emi Ponce de Souza http://www.emiponcedesouza.com/

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Instant Pot Chicken Broth
Instant Pot Method (1 hour of inactive cooking, and just as freaking delicious) - for a full soup recipe, you'll need two batches of this, but you can still whip it up faster than you would if doing half as much by stovetop!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 (4-pound) chickens, cut into six pieces each (or substitute for chicken thighs, or in a pinch, 2 rotisserie chicken carcasses)
  2. 1 large white onion, peeled and quartered
  3. 2 carrots (cut into 3 pieces each)
  4. 2 celery stalks (cut into 3 pieces each)
  5. 2 bay leaves
  6. (I usually add in a small bunch of fresh thyme, or rosemary, or parsley, or cilantro - no need to chop or take off the stems or anything)
  7. 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  8. 4 quarts cold (or room temp) water
  9. 1 Tb sea salt
  10. 4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rinds (though I use any hard cheese rind the grocery store has for me when I ask) *this is the super important ingredient that absolutely sets this apart from store-bought broth!
Instructions
  1. Add HALF of all ingredients except Parmesan rinds to Instant Pot (you can can turn to saute mode first, and throw chicken in until it starts browning slightly an sticking to bottom of pot, then turn off - this step is absolutely not necessary, though).
  2. Lock the lid into place, close the steam release valve, and press the "manual" button. The display will show 30, indicating the default time set for that mode. We want it to cook for 30 minutes, so no need to adjust the time. After 10 seconds the display will turn to "ON" indicating that it is heating and pressure is building (this takes about 10-15 minutes).
  3. Once the pot has reached high pressure, the display will begin to count down 30 minutes. After the 30-minute beep, it will switch to "keep warm" mode - let it stand exactly as is until it naturally releases its pressure (which takes about 15 minutes). In other words, don't try switching the valve open, just let the silver float valve on the lid fall down on its own. Then, open the steam release valve, and open the lid.
  4. Add your cheese rinds, cover your lid again, and repeat step 2, this time hitting the "down" arrow when the display shows 30 until the number ready 15. The lid will take less time to pressurize, since the pot's contents are already warm.
  5. Turn pot off after the 15 minutes of cooking are off, and carefully open pressure valve (from the side, to avoid burning your hand with steam!) to release pressure. Once the silver float valve has fallen, you're good to open the lid again.
  6. Strain broth through a fine-mesh sieve once done (you won't want to keep the veggies or chicken from this, it'll be pretty darn flavorless by then). I use this.
Notes
  1. Let your chicken broth cool, then chill, covered, for up to one week, or freeze in quart-size heavy-duty freezer bags (lay sealed bags flat on jelly roll pans in freezer until solid, so you can then store upright or horizontally). You can decide to spoon off the fat once broth is cooled, if desired.
Adapted from La Cucina Italiana Mag
Emi Ponce de Souza http://www.emiponcedesouza.com/

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Stove-top Vegetable Broth
One hour inactive cooking. You need a double batch for a large batch of soup, so double up on the ingredients.
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Ingredients
  1. 4 medium button or cremini mushrooms
  2. 1 large onion, quartered
  3. 1 large leek (white and green parts) very roughly chopped
  4. 1 carrot, chopped into 3 pieces
  5. 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
  6. 1 medium turnips, roughly chopped
  7. 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  8. 1 cups very roughly chopped green cabbage
  9. 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley
  10. 2 1/2 quarts water
  11. 1 Tb sea salt
Instructions
  1. In a 4-5 quart heavy stock pot or Dutch oven, combine all ingredients.
  2. Bring just to boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  3. Strain broth through a fine-mesh sieve once done (you won't want to keep the veggies or chicken from this, it'll be pretty darn flavorless by then). I use this.
Notes
  1. Let your chicken broth cool, then chill, covered, for up to one week, or freeze in quart-size heavy-duty freezer bags (lay sealed bags flat on jelly roll pans in freezer until solid, so you can then store upright or horizontally). You can decide to spoon off the fat once broth is cooled, if desired.
Adapted from La Cucina Italiana Mag
Emi Ponce de Souza http://www.emiponcedesouza.com/
Instant Pot Vegetable Broth
You need a double batch for a large batch of soup, so double up on the ingredients.
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 4 medium button or cremini mushrooms
  2. 1 large onion, quartered
  3. 1 large leek (white and green parts) very roughly chopped
  4. 1 carrot, chopped into 3 pieces
  5. 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
  6. 1 medium turnips, roughly chopped
  7. 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  8. 1 cups very roughly chopped green cabbage
  9. 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley
  10. 2 1/2 quarts water
  11. 1 Tb sea salt
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in Instant Pot.
  2. Lock the lid into place, close the steam release valve, and press the "manual" button. The display will show 30, indicating the default time set for that mode. Use the "down" arrow until you reach 5 minutes. After 10 seconds the display will turn to "ON" indicating that it is heating and pressure is building (this takes about 10-15 minutes).
  3. Once the pot has reached high pressure, the display will begin to count down 5 minutes. After the 5-minute beep, it will switch to "keep warm" mode - let it stand exactly as is until it naturally releases its pressure (which takes about 15 minutes). In other words, don't try switching the valve open, just let the silver float valve on the lid fall down on its own. Then, open the steam release valve, and open the lid.
Notes
  1. Let your chicken broth cool, then chill, covered, for up to one week, or freeze in quart-size heavy-duty freezer bags (lay sealed bags flat on jelly roll pans in freezer until solid, so you can then store upright or horizontally). You can decide to spoon off the fat once broth is cooled, if desired.
Adapted from La Cucina Italiana Mag
Emi Ponce de Souza http://www.emiponcedesouza.com/

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RECIPES

  1. The-Best-Freeze-Ahead-Soup-Known-To-Man. No, seriously.
    *This soup is perfection as is, but absolutely withstands omissions and substitutions. Whether it’s a vegan thing, a dairy- or gluten-allergy thing, or a “kid hates anything remotely green” thing, I promise you this soup will see your modifications and raise you an OMF’nG.
  2. BONUS How-To: Chicken Stock/Vegetable Stock to use in your soup, that will just make you feel sorry for all those suckers eating out of a can – EXTRA BONUS: we’ll do this stove-top, but Ill tell you how to do it with your Instant Pot as well, which is just a whole other level of awesomeness.
  3. Mini Mac-and-Cheese Muffin Bites.
  4. Pumpkin Spice Waffles 

 
BONUS SNACKS
 

  1. Ridiculously-Easy-And-Totally-Worth-It (yes, it’s a theme) Bagel Chips (three ways, people!)
  2. Chewy Dried Pears

EQUIPMENT

Here’s the list of equipment you’ll need, and a list of equipment that makes life easier.

DEFINITELY needed:

  1. Large Stockpot. No need to try to stir slowly to not slosh out of a 10 quart stockpot. Go for this 16 quart stockpot. It’s about $25, and will make your soups and broths far easier.
  2. Measuring Funnel Pitcher – 3.5 cup
  3. Muffin tins, for your individual servings of mac and cheese. You will be baking eight tins so you’ll want at least two, but ideally four
  4. Silicone Muffin Cups for soup – standard size or jumbo
  5. Paper muffin liners (don’t get the foil wrappers for these! Foil muffin liners + Microwave = bad words in comments on my blog)
  6. Waffle Maker
  7. Big Tupperware Bowl
  8. Gallon Freezer Ziplocks

Strongly suggested, but not absolutely needed:

  1. Stand-up mixer (it was mentioned in a comment thread earlier this week that some of these lunch batches really won’t fit in a standard 5QT mixing bowl – if you don’t have one already, but are thinking of taking the plunge, consider purchasing a 7QT mixer like mine; I can throw an entire birthday party in there, and everything fits.)
  2. Food Processor – can’t emphasize this one enough (see? I wasn’t lying in Round 1 when I said we’d be using it!)
  3. Nesco Food Dehydrator, and remember, the Nesco has extra trays if you need ’em!
  4. Dutch Oven – 7qt
  5. Parchment paper
  6. Jelly Roll Pans – get two

A WORD ON FREEZER SPACE

I admit, I have a lot of freezer space. I live with four adult-sized appetites, and one healthy child-sized one, and I tend to freeze and pack 20 weeks’ worth of food for all the kids at a time. Plus, once upon a time, I used to do this regularly for dinners as well as lunches.

So, I have a freezer upstairs for regularly-used items, then a downstairs freezer for frozen lunches, and a separate chest freezer for when I’m feeling particularly go-getter-y (or for when I make Thanksgiving meals ahead of time because I have the stupid schedule). I call the chest freezer my Sexy Beast, and I make my hubby apologize to it if he doesn’t treat it with an appropriate level of tenderness.

The FDA does specifically say that a closed, full freezer will maintain its temperature for 48 hrs without power (a half-full one will maintain it for 24 hrs), so food does not need to be thawed or refrigerate or transferred anywhere, as long as you kee the doors closed. So even if your power goes out Saturday, your lovingly-prepared lunches should be safe till Monday when the repair guy comes! Just sayin’ …

Now, you certainly don’t have to have this. We’re going to work on how to maximize your packing strategies in order to best use your space, and we’re going to use flash freezing and labeling techniques that make my heart skip more than Ryan Gosling (who, for the record, has NOTHING on vacuum sealing). But you should plan on being able to fit two jelly roll pans or large cookie sheets into your freezer at once at any given time during your prepping. If you can’t do that, it may be worth it for you to take a look at getting yourself a separate freezer – not necessarily your own Sexy Beast, but maybe something a bit smaller and inconspicuous, that can still guard your hard work (and only cost you an extra $0.75 or so per lunch if you hold 4 months’ worth of meals for one person in it, right?).

ADDITIONAL

STILL NEED HELP PACKING LUNCHES?
Check out my feedback on how to pack the lunches, with reviews and discussion on cold foods, hot foods, beverages and lunchboxes! But if you don’t think you can take another second of wading through my never-ending drivel, and just want to cut to the chase to know what my absolute preferences are, here’s the short list:

  1. For hot foods, Funtainer Food Jar or Stanley Food Jar (sorry, you do need to make this decision yourself based on the details).
  2. For the rest of your lunch, and cold entrees, EasyLunchboxes system: containers, lunchbox, and mini dippers. Close second: PlanetBox.
  3. Funtainer water bottles (Doc McStuffin, Wonder Woman).

EMAILS:
Sometimes, I come across good deals and want to share them, but I don’t want to send you unwanted emails. If you’d like me to email you when I find something really good (like the Instant Pot that went on sale last week for $69.99) you can sign up for those emails here. These would probably be once or twice a month.

I’M ON INSTAGRAM & TWITTER:
You can follow me on Instagram @emiponcedesouza. You can also follow me on Twitter @poncedesouza. If you share your photos, use the hashtag #EmisLunches, and please tag me!

Posted on August 26, 2016 in Lunch Recipe

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