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Them Bones!

Getting the most out of shopping at Costco

Happy Friday the 13th!!
In honor of this unlucky holiday, I thought I'd slaughter a chicken and boil the bones.  (It sounds super creepy when I say it like that, huh?
I love shopping at Costco, I admit it. Especially since they've added a ton of Organic products and produce with the rising demand.  Granted, those organic products aren't necessarily any healthier than conventional (Organic sugar is still refined sugar), but you gotta appreciate a company of that size taking some of the pesticides out of the environment.
As much as I'd love to only buy organic products, my budget just doesn't allow for it. One of the things that I still consistently buy, even though it's not organic, is the Costco rotisserie chickens. They're 3-lb birds for $5, and I get so many meals out if those things!
Seeing as its just me, I buy one of those and get roast chicken for dinner the first night. I immediately take all the skin, the bones and even the sting that holds it all together and cover them with filtered water in my crock pot. Set that puppy to low and let it go for about 24 hours.
About half-way through, I'll go in with my kitchen shears and cut up the bones as best I can. Cutting through bones sounds impossible, but they should already be starting to disintegrate at this point, and they should crumble. Why bother doing that? Because a lot of awesome nutrients are in the marrow, which is in the center of the bones. If that never gets out of the bone, it'll never make it to the broth. That may not be necessary, but I like to do it anyway.
At the end of 24 hours, I strain the broth with a metal strainer and stick it in the fridge. Next morning, I skim off the fat (you can reserve this for later use if you want, but I generally use butter for all my fat needs) and put the broth into a pot on the stove or back into the crockpot to reduce. Either way, leave it uncovered and on low because you want the water to evaporate out. When it's reduced by at least half (this will take at least 2 hours even on the stove top if you keep it on low), stick it in a bowl and throw it back in the fridge.
The next day, it'll be like jello, but chicken flavored.  Jiggly chicken flavored jello. What am I supposed to do with that? Well, for starters, you can use it to make chicken pasta salad (I'll post that recipe on Monday). You can use it to flavor soups, stews, chili, tacos, sauces or anything else. You can dilute it and have a single serving of chicken noodle soup. Or, as is becoming popular among traditional cooks, just drink a cup of bone broth in the mornings for a nutritional supplement.
After cleaning the bones, you should still have a lot of meat left over, unless you were crazy hungry. Use that meat on sandwiches, in pasta, for tamales or enchiladas, or just eat it cold (I do that last one more than I'll generally admit to).
And before you say you can't eat a whole chicken, just remember that you have a freezer for a reason.
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