Friday, September 30, 2011

Crock Pot Apple Glazed Pork Roast

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A few blocks away from where we live there is a beautiful historic district. It is filled with beautiful homes from the turn of the century's high-to-do-folk and big whigs from the city's past. They are large, victorian inspired houses with cobbled walkways and elaborately detailed gardens. Now that its cooler out, Ladybug and I have been talking long walks almost daily. She points and things and babbles on in toddlerese while I gaze at the houses and dream about one day owning a house like that. And then invariably we crash because I haven't been paying attention to where we have been going and a giant tree root has quite suddenly jumped into our path and made a bumpy mess out of the brick sidewalk. 

This is a perfect fall meal to make, especially since it utilizes the crock pot, leaving you time to explore and daydream the day away. For this perfectly tender pork roast I didn't even need my carving knife to cut this. In fact, using the carving knife just made a huge mess, because the pork just fell apart and shredded as I tried to slice it. The light gravy and apples complimented the pork perfectly, and made a satisfying meal. 

What is your favorite thing to do on a crisp fall day?


Crock Pot Apple Glazed Pork Roast (Atkins Farms)

1 (4lb) pork loin roast
salt and pepper to taste
6 apples, cored and sliced into 6 pieces per apple
1/3 cup apple juice
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger

Trim excess fat from the pork roast
Season the roast with salt and pepper.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with a smidge of olive oil.
When the pan is hot, brown the roast on all sides (you aren't cooking it, just searing it to help keep it moist).
Arrange the sliced apples on the bottom of the crock pot.
Place the pork loin on top of the apples.
In a small bowl, whisk together the apple juice, brown sugar, and ginger. Pour this over the pork roast.
Place the cover on the crock pot, turn it to low, and allow to cook for 10-12 hours, turning occasionally.
When cooked, remove the roast and tent with foil.

For Gravy:
Remove the juices that have collected at the bottom of the pan, and pour into a small skillet.
Heat the juices over medium-high heat until steam begins to come off of the liquids.
In a cup, stir together a small bit of flour and some milk with a fork, until smooth.
Pour the milk mixture into the warmed juices, and whisk until well incorporated.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, and continue to whisk until the gravy thickens.

Apples:
Spoon the apples into a medium bowl, sprinkle a tad of brown sugar and cinnamon on top and gently fold to combine. They are going to fall apart and turn to mush, so think of this as a really rustic applesauce.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Daring Bakers Make Croissants!

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The Daring Bakers go retro this month! Thanks to one of our very talented non-blogging members, Sarah, the Daring Bakers were challenged to make Croissants using a recipe from the Queen of French Cooking, none other than Julia Child!

I ate a few croissants still warm from the oven with a dollop of Nutella - YUM!
Ah, the croissant. Besides baguettes, the croissant is the quintessential "french" bread. To be honest, I've never been all that impressed with a croissant. Sure, its buttery and flakey, but I've just never really liked them. Maybe its due to the fact that my previous experience with a croissant has been either out of a refrigerated tube or out of a plastic box bought at a grocery store. But a homemade croissant, now that is an entirely different story. After my first bite I was really disappointed that there were only twelve. They didn't even last the day!
The rest of my croissants were enjoyed with my awesome chicken salad - and they were awesome. I ate three. In a row.
Now, I don't want you to look below here and see that it takes about 12 hours and 57 steps to make this and freak out. Take a deep breath. It's not that hard, trust me! While it is indeed time consuming, I was really impressed with how easy it really was to make homemade croissants! Most of the time is hands off time, while the dough rests and rises. And you can even split it up into two or even three days (which is what I did) and it makes it even easier!

Before you get started, I highly recommend that you watch this awesome video by the Queen herself, Julia Child: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfygewLUAmo&feature=related


Preparation time: In total, 12 hours.
Making dough, 10 mins
First rise, 3 hours
Kneading and folding, 5 mins
Second rise, 1.5 hours (or overnight in the fridge)
Rolling in the butter (turns one and two), 15 mins
First rest, 2 hours
Turns three and four, 10 mins
Second rest, 2 hours (or overnight in the fridge)
Forming croissants, 30 mins
Final rise, 1 hour (or longer in the fridge)
Baking, 15 mins



Ingredients
¼ oz of fresh yeast, or 1¼ teaspoon of dry-active yeast
3 tablespoons warm water (less than 100°F)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 3/4 cups of flour
2 teaspoons  sugar
1½ teaspoon salt
½ cup  milk
2 tablespoons tasteless oil (I used generic vegetable oil)
½ cup chilled, unsalted butter
1 egg, for egg wash
Directions:

1. Mix the yeast, warm water, and first teaspoon of sugar in a small bowl. Leave aside for the yeast and sugar to dissolve and the yeast to foam up a little.
2. Measure out the other ingredients
3. Heat the milk until tepid (either in the microwave or a saucepan), and dissolve in the salt and remaining sugar
4. Place the flour in a large bowl.
5. Add the oil, yeast mixture, and milk mixture to the flour
6. Mix all the ingredients together using the rubber spatula, just until all the flour is incorporated
7. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and let it rest a minute while you wash out the bowl
8. Knead the dough eight to ten times only. The best way is as Julia Child does it in the video (see below). It’s a little difficult to explain, but essentially involves smacking the dough on the counter (lots of fun if you are mad at someone) and removing it from the counter using the pastry scraper.
9. Place the dough back in the bowl, and place the bowl in the plastic bag.
10. Leave the bowl at approximately 75°F for three hours, or until the dough has tripled in size.

11. After the dough has tripled in size, remove it gently from the bowl, pulling it away from the sides of the bowl with your fingertips.
12. Place the dough on a lightly floured board or countertop, and use your hands to press it out into a rectangle about 8 by 12 inches.
13. Fold the dough rectangle in three, like a letter (fold the top third down, and then the bottom third up).
14. Place the dough letter back in the bowl, and the bowl back in the plastic bag.
15. Leave the dough to rise for another 1.5 hours, or until it has doubled in size. This second rise can be done overnight in the fridge.

16. Place the double-risen dough onto a plate and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place the plate in the fridge while you prepare the butter.
17. Once the dough has doubled, it’s time to incorporate the butter
18. Place the block of chilled butter on a chopping board.
19. Using the rolling pin, beat the butter down a little, till it is quite flat.
20. Use the heel of your hand to continue to spread the butter until it is smooth. You want the butter to stay cool, but spread easily.

21. Remove the dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured board or counter. Let it rest for a minute or two.
22. Spread the dough using your hands into a rectangle about 14 by 8 inches.
23. Remove the butter from the board, and place it on the top half of the dough rectangle
24. Spread the butter all across the top two-thirds of the dough rectangle, but keep it ¼ inch across from all the edges.
25. Fold the top third of the dough down, and the bottom third of the dough up.
26. Turn the dough package 90 degrees, so that the top flap is to your right (like a book).
27. Roll out the dough package (gently, so you don’t push the butter out of the dough) until it is again about 14 by 8 inches.
28. Again, fold the top third down and the bottom third up.
29. Wrap the dough package in plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge for 2 hours.
30. After two hours have passed, take the dough out of the fridge and place it again on the lightly floured board or counter.
31. Tap the dough with the rolling pin, to deflate it a little
32. Let the dough rest for 8 to 10 minutes
33. Roll the dough package out till it is 14 by 8 inches.
34. Fold in three, as before
35. Turn 90 degrees, and roll out again to 14 by 8 inches.
36. Fold in three for the last time, wrap in plastic, and return the dough package to the fridge for two more hours (or overnight, with something heavy on top to stop it from rising)

37. It’s now time to cut the dough and shape the croissants
38. First, lightly butter your baking sheet so that it is ready
39. Take the dough out of the fridge and let it rest for ten minutes on the lightly floured board or counter
40. Roll the dough out into a 20 by 5 inch rectangle.
41. Cut the dough into two rectangles (each 10 by 5 inches) 
42. Place one of the rectangles in the fridge, to keep the butter cold
43. Roll the second rectangle out until it is 15 by 5 inches.
44. Cut the rectangle into three squares (each 5 by 5 inches)
45. Place two of the squares in the fridge
46. The remaining square may have shrunk up a little bit in the meantime. Roll it out again till it is nearly square
47. Cut the square diagonally into two triangles.
48. Stretch the triangle out a little, so it is not a right-angle triangle, but more of an isosceles.
49. Starting at the wide end, roll the triangle up towards the point, and curve into a crescent shape.
50. Place the unbaked croissant on the baking sheet
51. Repeat the process with the remaining squares of dough, creating 12 croissants in total.
52. Leave the tray of croissants, covered lightly with plastic wrap, to rise for 1 hour
53. Preheat the oven to very hot 475°F.
54. Mix the egg with a teaspoon of water
55. Spread the egg wash across the tops of the croissants. 
56. Put the croissants in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the tops are browned nicely
57. Take the croissants out of the oven, and place them on a rack to cool for 10 minutes before serving. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Roasted Carrots

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Quick, think of all the ways you can eat a plain carrot!
1. Raw Carrots (with or without a dip)
2. Glazed Carrots
... Did you make it past two? Before, I wouldn't have been able to without venturing into baked goods. But then I thought, hey, why don't you roast them in the oven? OH YEAH!

This is a simple recipe, and a perfect way to add carrots to your meal!


Roasted Carrots
Carrots
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
wash, peel, and cut carrots into coins.
Place the carrot coins on a baking sheet.
Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss.
Spread the carrots into an even layer.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Enjoy!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Crock Pot Garlic Herb Chicken Thighs

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Fall is definitely here now, and I am loving it. I've always been a "autumn" girl - cardigans and boots, apples and pumpkins, crunchy leaves and crisp air are some of my favorite things. When we lived in Missouri, the beginning of fall was always crazy weather wise. Its always hard to know what to wear when its 50 degrees one day and 80 the next. Being on the East Coast now is slightly better, we still have changes in temperature from day to day, but they stay in the 60-70 range, so they aren't quite as drastic. Its been really nice to have the windows open during the days, but I really miss having them open at night. The street we live on is too busy for that, and there is a post office right across the street from us. Did you know that post offices' get deliveries at 3AM? It only took us one time to wake up to BEEP BEEP BEEP (that's a truck backing up) and BANG SLAM (doors opening and closing) and MUMBLY GUMBLY (that's a couple men talking as loud as they possibly can) for us to realize that however nice it may be during the day, at night time the windows are closed and the A/C gets turned back on.

Fall is also the perfect time to pull the crock pot back out of storage. This is probably one of our new favorite ways to make chicken. After just randomly throwing things into the crock pot yesterday morning, I wasn't sure how this was going to turn out, but it was phenomenal! Not only did it make my apartment, ok, entire building smell utterly divine all day long, the chicken itself turned out really good! It was so moist, tender and juicy. I tried to stab a leg with a fork, and it completely disintegrated in the crock pot.


Crock Pot Garlic Rosemary Chicken Thighs

1.5 pound chicken thighs
3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 sprig thyme (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 container of Knorr Chicken Stock Concentrate
1/3 cup white wine

In a medium bowl, whisk all the seasonings and liquids together.
Pour into the bottom of a crock pot.
Place chicken legs on top of the liquids, turning to coat. Place a few of the garlic clove slices on top of the chicken.
Turn the crock pot on and allow to cook either on low for 8 hours or on high for 4.
If possible, turn the chicken occasionally.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Banana, Honey and Date Muffins

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Have you ever used frozen bananas? I just recently started freezing bananas when they reached that "do or die" stage and my counter already happened to be filled with baked goods.
So when I noticed the other day that my freezer was getting a little overwhelmed with the amount of frozen bananas in there, I figured maybe it was time to actually do something with them! Having never before thawed out a frozen banana before, it was really inteteresing! As they thawed, which took a surprisingly short 30 minutes, they became white and super frosty! I won't lie, Ladybug and I had a lot of fun making fingerprints in them. 


A few weeks ago there was a Honey Festival here in town, and it was so fun to go to! I forgot to take pictures, so sorry. But it was chock full of beekeepers, honey, and honey products. They even had a table set up where they were conducting blind taste tests of honey from over 30 local beekeepers! It was really cool to taste how different honey can be from one to the next, depending on what types of flowers and trees the bees collect pollen from. We also learned how if you eat honey that was produced locally it can really help alleviate your seasonal allergies.

These muffins were a breeze to throw together, and were great. Moist and flavorful, with just a bit of natural sweetness from the honey and dates. Ladybug and I have really been enjoying snacking on dates. They are sweet without being overly sugar-sweet, and only 1/4 a cup of them equals a serving of fruit! We love eating them, and they were awesome in these muffins!

Banana, Honey, and Date Muffins (the quinces and the pea)

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup honey
1 egg
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped and pitted dates
brown sugar to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a muffin pan.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cardamom.
In a separate bowl, blend together the bananas, honey, egg, applesauce and vanilla.
Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Stir in dates.
Fill muffin wells about 2/3 full and sprinkle brown sugar on top of batter.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until done.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip and Pecan Cookies

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Ever have one of those days where everything you attempt ends up in the trash can? I literally had one of those days this weekend. I tried two new kinds of muffins, and they both failed miserably. One was completely tasteless, and the other refused to bake - 45 minutes later and they were still little balls of mush in the muffin tin. Fine. Be that way.

Not to be done in by my kitchen that day, I charged ahead and decided at least I could make some of my old standby chocolate chip cookies. They have never failed me. Then somehow I found myself adapting the recipe. I added some applesauce (those stupid muffins used up most of my eggs), added in some cinnamon and pecans, and found myself with a slightly fall-ish version of my favorite chocolate chip cookie! I love these cookies! They are so soft and chewy, even three days later they are perfectly soft. (secret, its the melted butter that does it!)


Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (Adapted from the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook)

3 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 eggs
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 (12 ounce) bag chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugars until combined.
Beat in the eggs, applesauce, and vanilla until combined.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add in the flour mixture until well combined.
Add in the chocolate chips and pecans.
Using a scoop or spoon, place rolls of dough onto the cookie sheet, about 2.5 inches apart.
Bake 17-20 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the center is soft and puffy.
Let the cookies cool slightly before removing them from the cookie sheet, and then cool completely on a wire rack.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pork Chops with Apples AND Cheesy Bacon Grits! Oh my!

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You get a twofer today! Two awesome recipes! You should feel really lucky. You will feel lucky if you make it for dinner, tonight! Or tomorrow, that would be ok, too. Either way, you need to make this soon.

This meal is a perfect way to usher in fall! So delicious, and utterly not good for you! But hey, we all have to fatten ourselves up a bit for our winter hibernation, right? But it tastes so good you won't care if your jeans won't fit tomorrow. The pork chops are so easy to make its ridiculous. And the grits aren't hard, too, unless you forget to check what kind of grits you have and then realize 10 minutes into cooking that they have formed a massive gelatinous blob and then spend the rest of the time trying to fix it. And then getting too much liquid so that they are runny. And then the toddler wakes up and is hungry and dismantling the kitchen, screaming, while you try and cook around her. Sigh. They still turned out well, but the next day leftovers were a billion times better! Also, the original recipe makes enough for 12 people, so I cut it down to 6, thinking we would have plenty of leftovers. Well, plenty is right because I ended up filling almost every container we had and gave a ton to neighbors. And I still have some left in my fridge.



Cheesy Bacon Grits - 6 ridiculously huge servings (Tasty Kitchen)
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 cup grits (Important: check your grits and see if they are fast cooking or not!!)
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 cup cream
3/4 cup shredded monterrey jack cheese
1/2 dash cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy pot, cook bacon just long enough to start rendering the fat.
Add the onions and cook the onions and bacon until the bacon is cooked through and the onions are starting to turn brown.
Add the grits, broth, and water.
Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the grits are soft.
Pour in the cream and simmer for another 3 minutes or so.
Add in the seasonings and remove from heat.
Stir in the cheese until melted.
Keep covered until ready to serve.

Pork Chops with Apples (Pioneer Woman)
3 boneless pork chops
1 tbsp EVOO
1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
dash of salt and pepper
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup + 1/8 cup maple syrup

Heat the skillet and melt the butter and olive oil.
Salt and pepper the pork chops on both sides.
Place the chops in the skillet and brown on both sides. Set aside.
Reduce the skillet heat to medium, add in the apples, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to soften.
Add in the wine and vinegar to deglaze the pan, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom.
Simmer for 5 minutes, until the sauce has reduced a bit.
Pour in the syrup and season lightly with salt and pepper. Mix well.
Add the chops back in and simmer for 20 minutes, turning the chops over at 10 minutes.
Serve the chops with the apples and sauce on top, alongside the cheesy bacon grits!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Cinnamon Apple Pecan Bars

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A while ago I mentioned that I had 16 recipes for zucchini on this site. However, fall is now making itself known - the entire country is getting a bit of a cool spell, leaves are starting to turn, and apples are making their way into markets. So, make way zucchini, bring in the apples! Let's see how many apple recipes I can make this fall!


I don't think these actually classify as bars. To me, they are so moist and crumbly they should be a cake.  Originally, the recipe called them "Blondies" but I don't think this fits at all. Blondies are supposed to be relatives of brownies, and should be dense and chewy, right? As you can see by the photo below, these are really crumbly. And in case you were wondering, its a bad idea to share one of these with your toddler on the couch. Crumbs. Everywhere. Thank goodness for dogs! :) 


Cinnamon Apple Pecan Bars (Life's A Feast)

2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp brown sugar
dash of cinnamon

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
2/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Grease a 9x13 pan with either cooking spray or butter (I suggest butter)
Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a large skillet.
Add the apples to the skillet, sprinkle with the cinnamon and brown sugar and stir to coat.
Suatee the apples until they are soft.
Remove the apples from the heat and allow to cool to just barely warm.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and pecans.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, cream together the 2/3 cup butter and 1 1/2 cup brown sugar.
Add in the eggs one at a time and then the vanilla.
When thoroughly mixed, scrape down your bowl.
Mix in the flour mixture until just combined, and then mix in the apples.
Pour into the prepared baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Allow to cool before serving.
Enjoy!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Daring Cooks Make Stock and Soup!

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It's something that everyone should know how to do, but few actually take the time to actually do it. I know I am more than likely to open a can or two when needed, as are most people. And why not, its fast, its convenient, and for the most part, canned stock is acceptable. 

However, making your own stock (whether chicken, beef, or vegetable) is highly rewarding, not only emotionally, but it adds a fantastic depth of flavor to your cooking.

Peta, of the blog Peta Eats, was our lovely hostess for the Daring Cook’s September 2011 challenge, “Stock to Soup to Consomm√©”. We were taught the meaning between the three dishes, how to make a crystal clear Consomm√© if we so chose to do so, and encouraged to share our own delicious soup recipes!


I chose to use my stock as the basis for one of my absolute favorite meals, Chicken and Noodles with Mashed Potatoes. Have you tried it yet? A thickened chicken and noodle soup served over creamy mashed potatoes - its hearty, warm, and comforting, like a big firm hug from your favorite person. We were also challenged to make a beautiful garlic herb brioche bread, that was so easy to prepared (as long as you let the mixer do the work, this dough is sticky!), and tasted wonderful! It accompanied our soup perfectly!


Making stock from scratch requires another step that people tend to shy away from - cutting up a chicken. I think after years of watching master chefs beautifully break down a chicken as if they were cutting a piece of bread, we all tend to get a little intimidated. Have you seen Jacque Pepin? This video blows me away every time I see it.  But in truth, its not that hard. Don't worry about getting 8 beautiful and perfect pieces. Let the chicken be your guide, let your knife find its own way, and the parts will separate at the joints easily. 


Basic Chicken Stock (Martha Stewart’s Cooking School)

1 whole chicken, cut into 8 parts
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into 1" pieces
2 medium celery stalks, chopped into 1" pieces
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped into 1" pieces
3 sprigs parsley
2 sprigs thyme
1 dried bay leaf
3/4 tsp black peppercorns
7 or 8 cups of cold water

Cut up your chicken:

First remove the legs and wings. Place the chicken breast side up and gently pull the leg out away from the body, extending the joint. 

Slice through the skin between the breast and thigh.
Pull the leg outward until the thighbone pops out of the socket.
To separate the drumstick from the thigh, turn the leg skin side down and cut along the white fat line to separate the thigh from the drumstick.
Cut along the backbone and around the ball and socket, pulling the leg away to detach. Repeat on remaining side.
Lay the breast on its side and pull the wing out until the joint is exposed and cut between the joint and the breast. Repeat on the other side.
If you want to separate the wingtips, cut on the joint.
To separate the breast from the back, lift the breast up and slice between the rib cage and shoulder joints (this is the step I often have the most trouble with, but keep hacking away, you’ll get it!)
To split the breasts, place the breasts skin side down. Split the wishbone in half with the heel of the knife and then slice along the breastbone. Then crack it open with your hands.

Make the Stock:

Place all the chicken parts in a large stockpot.
Add the vegetables on top.

Place the thyme, parsley, peppercorns, and bay leaf on top.

Add enough COLD water to just cover everything.

Bring to a boil, and then bring down to a gentle simmer.
Skim off any foam as necessary.

Allow to simmer until the chicken is done (7-10 minutes for breasts and 10-15 minutes for thighs and legs).
Remove the chicken and allow to cool (let the stock and veggies simmer away).

When the meat is cool enough to handle, remove the skin, and shred the meat. Toss the skin, cover and refrigerate the meat, and return the bones back to the stock.

Simmer the stock for one hour.
If you need to add more water to the pot, add HOT (but not boiling) water until all the chicken and vegetables are covered again.
Strain the broth through a fine sieve and discard any solids.

Skim off any fat that forms on top. (I like to make my broth ahead of time. I refrigerate the broth until needed, and skim off any fat that turns to a solid).
Your broth is now complete!! You can now add the broth back to a clean pot to use to make soup, or you can portion out your broth into servings and freeze. I like to put mine in the fridge for a while first. Any fats that are in the stock will solidify and rise to the top, making it very easy to skim it off. 



Braided Herbed Brioche (total time, about 3.5 hours)

2 cups flour
2 tsp yeast
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk, warm
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp parsley, chopped
1 tsp dried italian seasoning
1 garlic clove, minced super fine


Whisk together the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.
In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the warm milk, butter, dried italian seasonings, and 2 of the eggs.
Slowly mix this into the flour mixture until incorporated.
Knead the dough until its super smooth and comes away from the side of the bowl. This means that you really need to do this bread with a mixer - its just way too sticky and messy to do by hand, trust me! 
Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and allow to rise until doubled, about an  hour.
Chop your parsley, thyme, and garlic.
Punch down the dough and turn out onto a well floured surface. The dough is going to seem still too sticky to work with, but flour your hands really well and it will be ok.
Gently flatten and pull the dough out with your hands to get a rectangle. Don't be tempted to use a rolling pin, you'll just end up with a mess. Pretend you are in Italy making a pizza crust and you will do just fine. :)
Press the parsley, thyme, and garlic into the surface of the dough.
Roll the dough up like a jelly roll (the long ways) so that you get a long cylindar.
Place the dough onto a baking sheet and twist it around itself to form a rope.
Cover with saran wrap and a kitchen towel and allow to rise until doubled, about another hour.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Whisk your remaining egg and, using a pastry brush, glaze the bread.
Bake at 400 degrees for ten minutes.
Turn the oven temperature down to 350 and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Cool and enjoy!

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