Fudgy Brownie Batter Dessert Hummus

The other night I was watching Shark Tank on TV and someone was pitching a dessert hummus in flavours such as brownie batter, choc-o-mint, vanilla bean, snickerdoodle and chocolate chip cookie batter. Wow; I didn’t even know dessert hummus existed! Hubs and I are huge consumers of regular hummus so dessert hummus sounded like something I had to try.

All the sharks were raving about it, so the next day I went online to find it, only to discover that it’s not even available for sale in Canada. Not a problem when you love to cook; I decided to whip some up at home!

I haven’t had apples for ages, but I just started a new diet to lose some weight so fudgy brownie batter dessert hummus was going to be a great accompaniment to my daily snack. And let’s face it, who’s going to stick to a diet unless there’s tasty snacks, right?

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 8 oz of canned chickpeas (I use Yves organic)
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (I use Camino organic)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I use Simply Organic)
  • 1/8 cup maple syrup (I use Uncle Luke’s organic)*
  • 2 tablespoons nut butter (I use organic sunflower seed butter)
  • 1/4 cup milk (I use Natrel 0% lactose-free)**
  • 1/2 tsp himalayan pink sea salt (sea salt is fine too)
  • Food processor (I used my Cuisinart Mini-Prep)

*Notes: I don’t use sugar, so the amount of syrup I used isn’t overly sweet. You might want to double the syrup or add in some other form of low-cal sweetener such as Stevia.

** I started off with 1/8 cup of milk as shown in the video, but ended up putting in another 1/8 cup (for a total of 1/4 cup) because it was still too thick. Add enough liquid to achieve the texture you like.

Watch the Video

Watch the video to see just how quick and easy it is to whip up dessert hummus!

Directions

Before you start, you should know that this recipe makes a fairly small batch. If you’ll be sharing this you might want to double the recipe and switch to a bigger food processor than I’ve used here.

Put all ingredients into the food processor.

Mix until smooth, then stop and add the milk. I ended up using 1/4 cup, but you can add more if you like a looser dip. You can also substitute almond milk – or the like – if you don’t use dairy. 

Remove from the food processor, place into a covered glass dish and keep refridgerated until ready to use.

You can use apples or strawberries to dip if you’re looking for healthy option or even pretzels.

I used an apple cutter to cut an apple into sections. Ready to enjoy! Make a small amount to enjoy on your own or whip up a few batches to feed a crowd.

If you try this recipe, let me know what you think – or leave me a comment on what you did to change it 🙂

Don’t forget to pin and share:

Subscribe to Birdz of a Feather if you haven’t already! In addition to recipes, you’ll also find home and garden DIYS and crafts on the site.You can follow right here (link in the footer) or via Bloglovin’:

Organic Carrot & Ginger Sauerkraut | Birdz of a Feather

Organic Carrot & Ginger Sauerkraut | Birdz of a Feather

 

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Organic Carrot & Ginger Sauerkraut

The process of fermenting food produces beneficial probiotics that are linked to many health benefits including improvements in immune, cognitive, digestive and endocrine function. When renowned natural health physician Dr. Joseph Marcola had homemade sauerkraut analyzed in a lab he found it had trillions of good bacteria. It equated to two ounces of home fermented sauerkraut having more probiotics than a bottle of 100 probiotic capsules – wow!

My all-time favourite sandwich is a Reuben, loaded up with melted swiss cheese and sauerkraut. My husband loves sauerkraut on hotdogs so we go through a LOT of it! We thought it would be fun to make our own sauerkraut and share the process.

With cabbages being plentiful this time of year, why not reap the health benefits of live culture fermented food by making sauerkraut right along with us?

Preserving doesn’t always involve boiling and sterilizing jars. As we recently found out, fermenting cabbage bypasses that canning step altogether. Canning involves high heat and will just ruin the good bacteria you work hard to encourage, so follow this method for tried ‘n true results. You can start off with one jar and scale up as you become more confident.

For this recipe, be sure to buy organic cabbage, carrots and ginger; why go to all the trouble of preserving something if it’s just going to be full of pesticides?

Watch the Video

The video shows the process from start to finish so take a minute to watch it before you proceed – and subscribe to my YouTube channel while you’re at it 🙂

You Will Need…

  • Organic sauerkraut
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 finger of ginger (total weight of the first three items should be 800 g or 1 pound 12-1/4 ounces)
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • Bowls
  • Knife
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Mandolin
  • Grater
  • Chopping board
  • Wide mouth mason jar
  • Scale
  • Snap ring (not shown)
  • Pickle pipes* (we used wide mouth)
  • Pickle pebbles* (we used wide mouth)
  • Reusable mason jar plastic storage lids* (we used wide mouth)

*Note: You can find the pickle pipes, pickle pebbles and plastic lids on Masontops and will receive a 10% discount if you use coupon code BIRDZOFAFEATHER. There are regular mouth and wide mouth versions of each product, so be sure to buy the ones that will work with the jars you are using.

Gadgetry Details

We could have gone old-school with the technique but my husband loves his gadgets. We intend to make sauerkraut on a regular basis so we purchased these accessories from Masontops: a set of glass pickle pebbles (used to weigh down the sauerkraut), pickle pipes (which allow the gas to escape as the cabbage is fermenting, but prevent air from getting in) and plastic storage lids (to seal the jar in the fridge after the cabbage finishes fermenting).

We also purchased snap lids (to seal the jar while the cabbage ferments) at a local retail store. We saved money by buying our jars at a yard sale for next to nothing so it wasn’t a complete splurge!

No worries if you don’t have the fancy gadgetry though; I’ll give you some other options too.

Peel and Grate

Zero the bowl on a scale and then turn it off for now. Peel the carrots and ginger.

Set it aside in another bowl.

Prep Cabbage and Set Mandolin

Take off the outer leaves of the cabbage, then cut into quarters (save a clean piece for later). Remove the core.

Set your mandolin to whatever thickness you prefer; we set our dial fairly high for a coarser shred.

Shred Away

Use the safety guard on the mandolin to spear the cabbage quarters – unless you have a cut resistant glove like we used.

Shred the cabbage then remove the glove. Turn the scale on and wait for it to zero.

Add the carrot and ginger to the bowl, followed by the cabbage. Fill the bowl until the scale reaches 800 grams – or 1 pound 12-1/4 ounces. Take the bowl off the scale and turn it off.

Sprinkle the tablespoon of salt over the cabbage and mix in well with your hands. At this point, you can continue to massage the cabbage until liquid starts to form in the bottom of the bowl or you can walk away and leave for 20 minutes to an hour. We chose to walk away and let the salt do all the work for us! If you like, you can give the cabbage an occasional stir and even squeeze it every once in a while to extract more liquid.

If you find yourself with extra leftover cabbage after weighing it, you can make it into coleslaw for later (all you need is some mayo, lemon juice, salt and pepper). You can easily get this done while you’re waiting for the salt to do it’s work.

Pack Into Jar

Give the cabbage a final squeeze to extract as much liquid as possible. Hold the jar over the bowl and pack the cabbage into the jar. I used my fist, but you can also use a tamper, or pickle packer, to pack it down. Once it’s all in the jar, pour the liquid in and pound the cabbage down to remove any air pockets and make sure everything is under the brine.

Now you can use the leaf you reserved earlier (it’s the one thing I forgot to show in the video)! Cut the leaf as wide as the widest part of the jar and then place it in the jar submerging it in the liquid. Put the pickle pebble on top and press down so liquid rises above all the cabbage, including the leaf and the pebble itself. Since the pickle pebble is typically smaller than the surface of the cabbage in the jar (most mason jars have a smaller neck), the leaf will help keep the air from spoiling the contents it as it ferments.

If you don’t have a pickle pebble, don’t fret! You can use a smaller, shorter jelly jar filled with glass gems – or other such weight – to weigh it all down (just make sure your makeshift weight is food safe; i.e. that nothing contains lead!). Ensure all the cabbage is submerged before moving onto the next step.

Cap and Let It Do Its Thing!

If you’re using a Masontops silicone pickle pipe for the first time, squeeze the ‘nipple’ to ensure that gas can escape through the top (there are slits that allow the carbon dioxide to pass, but prevent air from seeping back in).

Air can cause the cabbage to spoil, so take your time: when you’re satisfied that both the cabbage and pickle stone is below the liquid you can place the pickle pipe on top of the jar.

Seal the jar with a snap lid.

If you don’t have a pickle pipe, you can try a clean tea towel or cheesecloth and secure it onto the mouth of the jar with an elastic band. However, air can still get in and let in more mold and yeast. From what I’ve read, this is okay as long as you periodically skimmed it off.

Alternately, you could drill a hole in a plastic lid that fits the jar and insert an air lock from the brewing supply store to keep out air but release pressure.

Signed, Sealed and Delivered: Ferment It Up to Four Weeks

Once the jar is sealed, wipe it down and place it in a spot out of direct sunlight where the temperature is between 65 and 75 degrees F. We put ours in the basement where it’s consistently around 70 degrees F.

You can place a shallow dish under the jar just in case the brine leaks out. After the first day you’ll notice that the brine fills the air space in jar and you’ll be able to see the bubbles rising to the top and dissipating.

Write the date – and also what you made – on a piece of painters tape and stick it onto the jar. That way you won’t forget what you made, or when it will be ready.

After the first week, you can open the jar, pull out the pickle pebble and give it a taste. You can add a proper lid and refrigerate it at this point (wipe the outside of the jar if necessary) or keep tasting it at one week intervals to see how you prefer it. If you want to keep going, reassemble and seal it up again as before. You can ferment it for up to 4 weeks. I like it tangy so I let it go the full 4 weeks; I’m also hesitant to open the jar to taste-test before then and let air into the mix.

Don’t Forget to Pin and Share

You can experiment with different flavour profiles and other varieties of cabbage. Next time I’m going to add caraway seeds to my sauerkraut (to compliment my Reuben sandwich), and after that I’d like to try making it with red cabbage & beets. I’ve read that red cabbage is more challenging to work with, but I’m excited to try it!

If you enjoyed this post, please pin and share.

Get Your Own Gadgets

(Disclosure: we came across Masontops when my husband started researching the best way to make sauerkraut and paid for the accessories out of pocket. Masontops has an affiliate program that we signed up for once we already owned and began using their products – and discovered how much we love them. This means that at no extra cost to you, we will receive a nominal commission if you link to Masontops or Amazon to make a purchase).

You can get by without the gadgets we used, but Masontops accessories are food safe and simple to use so they take all the guesswork out of fermenting sauerkraut. If you want to try these accessories out too, just a reminder that you’ll get a 10% discount from Masontops by using the coupon code BIRDZOFAFEATHER at checkout.

Here also are links to Masontops from Amazon for the pickle pipes, pickle pebbles, storage lids and fermentation kit (which includes a tamper along with the pipes and pebbles). Again, don’t forget that there are regular mouth and wide mouth versions of each product, so be sure to buy the ones that will work with the jars you are using.

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The Unknown Chef

We just launched our recipe category, The Unknown Chef. So far we’ve made rotisserie chicken….

… and chicken soup:

Subscribe to Birdz of a Feather if you haven’t already! In addition to recipes, you’ll also find home and garden DIYS and crafts on the site.You can follow right here (link in the footer) or via Bloglovin’ (link below this post).

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls - Gluten Free! | Birdz of a Feather

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls - Gluten Free! | Birdz of a Feather
This Is How We Roll Thursday Party

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Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner

Since posting my chicken soup recipe last month, we’ve been inspired to explore cooking techniques that we’ve never tried. I’m going to occasionally post these culinary learnings here on Birdz of a Feather under a category I’m calling ‘The Unknown Chef’ (I’ve even created a new banner that you’ll see whenever you’re in the recipe category).

The Unknown Chef has always been my husband’s moniker; he coined it after graduating from culinary school many years ago when he was thinking about changing careers. The career change never happened, but I guess that’s only fitting because he’s still The Unknown Chef – lol. I hope our DIY culinary adventures are of interest to you too (everyone has to eat, right?).

There’s nothing more delicious than rotisserie barbecue chicken, but up until now we’ve never attempted it.

When my husband and I were married 12 years ago my parents gave us a barbecue with a rotisserie attachment as a wedding present. Since we never used the rotisserie, it subsequently got moved to their basement when we cleared out our own basement to build my craft studio and the mancave.

It almost went forgotten and we hardly gave the rotisserie a second thought. That is, until my brother-in-law mused at a mid-summer family BBQ about how he missed his old rotisserie (his former barbecue went to BBQ heaven and he doesn’t own a rotisserie now). It got my husband thinking that we should give our rotisserie a try; the only catch was that he had to find where it got buried in my parent’s basement. Lucky for us he found it!

I don’t know why it took us so long try the rotisserie: nothing could be simpler! The prep time is negligible and it only take two ingredients – chicken and spice rub – to make a roasted chicken better than any restaurant. Yes, you can get fancy with herb butters, basting and injecting, but a straight up spice rub is just as delectable. More importantly, it’s fast – giving you more time to enjoy the summer weather – and of course whoever you share your chicken with 🙂

Watch the Video to See How It’s Done

Learn how to attach a spit rod, balance a chicken, then cook it to perfection. Watch the video – and subscribe to Birdz of a Feather while you’re at it 🙂 You’ll find the video very helpful before your rotisserie for the first time!

Spice It Up and Add the Rotisserie

The chicken we purchased came prepped with twine tied around the legs and wings, but if it didn’t we would have trussed it ourselves.

If your bird doesn’t come pre-trussed, watch the Martha Stewart video below to learn how to do it yourself to get it ready for cooking; it’s a handy thing to learn whether you’re cooking a bird indoors or out! Before you truss though, make sure you remove any giblets that may be in the cavity.

Turn on the Grill and Spice up the Chicken

Remove the warming rack and turn the rear burner on high. Let the BBQ heat up until the temperature is between 450 – 500 degrees Farenheit.

While the BBQ is heating up, apply the spice rub. We shook on on a ready made (and gluten free!) spice blend all over the chicken and rubbed it in. Then we skewered the chicken onto the rod, secured the two prongs into either end of the chicken (tightening the thumbscrews to keep them in place) and added the counterweight (which also gets tightened on the rod). The next step shows you step-by-step photos to set up the spit rod.

Assemble and Attach the Rotisserie

  1. Place the first fork on the spit rod, just past the halfway point and push it into the meat. Turn the thumbscrew and tighten it in place. 2. Add the chicken then place the second fork onto the rod and push into the meat and tighten the thumbscrew (5th picture).3. Spin the rod in your hands; the heaviest part of the chicken will fall to the bottom (second last picture).4. Once you determine the heavy side of the meat, install the counterweight pointing upward (my husband kindly helped me with this part!). Tighten it onto the rod (last picture). If you have room around your sink area, another way to determine where the chicken is off-balance is to place the rod over a kitchen sink to see where the heaviest part of the bird falls.

Onto the Barbecue – Crisp Up That Skin!

Mount the rotisserie motor onto the bracket.

The barbecue should be good and hot! Slide the spit rod onto the brackets on either side.

We plugged the rotisserie motor into our outdoor outlet.

Then we took our chicken for an inaugural spin (as you can see in the GIF below!).

Be sure to place an empty drip tray directly underneath the chicken to catch all the fat (if you skip this step you’ll end up with a greasy mess on your barbecue!).

At this point, you can pull down the cover and leave it for 15 minutes so the chicken skin crisps up.

After 15 Minutes…

After 15 minutes, open the BBQ lid and check the chicken. If it looks like the skin is crisping up, turn the barbecue down to medium heat to let it finish cooking on a lower setting. Then close the lid again. As you can see below, I’m having fun with a newly acquired skill – making GIFs (this is the last one, I promise)!

Since I was taking pictures of the chicken with the lid open for this post, our chicken needed another 6 minutes. If it’s not quite to your liking, set a timer so you don’t forget it and check it again after another few minutes.

If you prep the rest of your meal in advance, or have some leftover side dishes, you can sit in your backyard and enjoy the fine weather while the chicken cooks. We already had some leftover rice and veggies that we just needed to heat up, so that’s exactly what we did! Take advantage of every opportunity to bask in the sunshine – especially if you live in a cold climate like we do!

Timing – How Long to Cook

For every pound of chicken, you should cook it for 20 minutes. Our chicken weighed 4 pounds so it needed an hour of cook time.

Set a timer for 45 minutes (since you already spent 15 minutes crisping up the skin) and then check back again when the timer goes off. In the next step, we’ll use a foolproof way to tell if the chicken is done.

Take the Temperature of That Bird!

After the allotted cook time, the chicken should register at least 165 on a meat thermometer.  We cooked our chicken to 180 degrees fahrenheit; anything ranging from 165 – 180 is fine and safe to eat. We always use an instant read thermometer to test for doneness; nothing spoils a delicious dinner more than the possibility of getting food poisoning if any of the chicken is still raw. Bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter can survive in chicken that is not cooked to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit, so I think a thermometer is a must!

When it’s done, remove the rotisserie from the barbecue and put it onto a pan. The rod, prongs and counterweight are all too hot to remove at this point so leave them alone for now.

Take the pan inside where you’ll tent the chicken for another 10 minutes.

Tent the Chicken

We bought extra wide, heavy duty foil just for this step but you can use two pieces of smaller foil overlapped if you don’t have it.

We tented the chicken loosely with a piece of foil for 10 minutes so the juices could get reabsorbed into the chicken and not run out when cut. This is an important step for succulent juicy chicken, so give it a try if you haven’t tented before!

After 10 minutes, we donned oven gloves, loosened everything holding the chicken onto the rod and then disassembled it. Lay all the pieces on a metal tray at the back of the stove to cool so no one accidentally gets burned if it’s still hot.

The Key to a Happy Marriage…

I firmly believe that one of the keys to a happy marriage is having a partner who loves the dark meat when you prefer the white!

Carve up that chicken and enjoy 🙂

Mmmm, Leftovers…. BBQ It Now and Still Enjoy It Later!

We only used half the bird for dinner so had plenty of leftovers. It was so juicy, we barely had to cut it apart – we were able to pull the leg from the carcass with ease.

We removed as much of the meat as we could, put it into a glass dish, covered it and into the fridge it went for the next day. The leftovers make a great no-cook meal when the weather is too hot to cook indoors or out; just add the cold chicken into a tossed salad and add some dressing!

We popped the remaining carcass into a zip-lock bag and removed all the air. We’ll store it in the freezer and use it later for soup.

The carcass will keep several months in the freezer; we’ll pull it out again when we have a penchant for chicken soup in the fall. The roasted meat and bones will add incredible depth of flavour to the stock. For a great chicken soup (with matzo balls!), check out my recipe here.

You really can’t beat getting three meals-for-one!

Pin and Share!

I don’t know what took us so long to try barbecued chicken on our rotisserie, but now that we have the first one under our belts (and in our tummy) I have a feeling it’s going to be a mainstay. You literally just set it and practically forget it, but end up with a juicy, succulent and crisp-skinned bird. Nothing could be closer to perfection 🙂

Next up on The Unknown Chef, we’re making sauerkraut for the very first time! Our very first batch is fermenting away and we’ll have the results for you in the next few weeks.

If you enjoyed this post, please pin and share – and don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already! You can follow right here on Birdz of a Feather (link in the footer) or via Bloglovin’ (link below this post) for more great home and garden DIY, craft projects, recipes and hacks.

Before you go, here are a few of the things in the Craft Rehab category you may have missed if you haven’t yet subscribed to Birdz of a Feather:

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls - Gluten Free! | Birdz of a Feather

  1. Soda Bottle Vertical Garden
  2. Paint Can Water Feature
  3. Paint Stick Pallet
  4. Blue Jean Planter
  5. Paint Chip Portrait
  6. Main Page to explore more….

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls - Gluten Free! | Birdz of a Feather

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls - Gluten Free! | Birdz of a Feather

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Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls – Gluten Free!

Today, for the first time, I’m posting a recipe to my blog! It’s one that’s near and dear to my heart. I grew up watching my grandmother make chicken soup every week but sadly I didn’t attempt to make it myself until after she was gone. What I wouldn’t give now to ask her a few questions about all her ‘recipes’! The fact is though, my grandmother never wrote down a recipe; she cooked by intuition; a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

Matzo balls are delicious dumplings my grandmother always made to embellish her chicken soup but before we get to the matzo ball recipe, we’re going to need some chicken stock! Just thinking about her soup brings back the best childhood memories 🙂 No one makes better chicken soup than my grandmother did, but I think this recipe will come pretty close!

Chicken soup isn’t just a winter favourite; we enjoy it year round by freezing big batches. Nothing could be better than a steaming bowl of soup with matzo balls; chicken soup for the soul, as they say!

Step 1: You Will Need (for Chicken Broth)

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls 026_BOF

  • Large stock pot
  • Three packages of chicken bones (totalling about 3+ pounds)
  • 1 breast or leg with skin (about a pound)
  • Two small onions, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed (optional)
  • 3 sprigs rosemary or two cubes of frozen from the garden (optional)
  • 2 celery stocks, cut in pieces
  • 3 carrots, cut in pieces
  • 1 small turnip, peeled and cut in half (or a piece of a large one)
  • Small parsnip, cut in pieces
  • 1 large bay leaf (or 2 small ones)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper – or you can use whole black peppercorns (easily removed when strained). If you use ground black pepper, just be aware that it will leave black specs in the soup.
  • Bowl of cold water with large spoon
  • Approximately 18 – 20 cups of water (enough to cover all the ingredients in the pot)

Start cooking early in the morning; the soup takes 4 – 6 hours to develop flavour.

We use 3 packages of chicken bones (ours weighed almost 3.4 pounds) and one breast or leg (another pound) for our soup.

Because a package of chicken comes with at least two pieces, we froze the other leg for our next batch.

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Buy organic vegetables where possible. I like to prep the veggies first before handling the chicken to avoid cross contamination (and also to have them ready to go).

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At our grocery store, both bones and chicken often go on sale the day before their best before date; when that happens we buy as much as we can and store it in the freezer until we’re ready to use it. Using chicken bones is an economical way to make the broth. The chicken and bones for our soup cost us just over $4 – which works out to less than .25 a bowl and worth every penny! The bones retain a lot of the actual meat and you’ll find the outcome is just as flavourful as spending a ton of money on chicken pieces!

You’re just a few steps away from rich golden broth!

Step 2: Grandmother Knows Best

Cut all the veggies and gather your seasonings.

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Place the bones in the pot.

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My grandmother always removed the skin from the breast or leg first but still added it to the pot. I think she did that to make it easier to remove and cut up the chicken after the first two hours of cooking.

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ALWAYS WASH YOUR HANDS THOROUGHLY after handling chicken and wash anything that came into contact with it too (i.e. counter, faucet handle) to avoid contamination.

Pour cold water into the pot until it’s just covering everything (I usually use about 18 – 20 cups for the size of the pot and ingredients I’m using). Note that at any time during the cooking, if the liquid evaporates too much you can add a cup or two of water back in, which my grandmother often did (but don’t overdo it or you’ll dilute the flavour!)

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Bring the water to a boil over high heat and move onto the next step to skim the soup.

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Step 3: Skim the Scum

Turn the heat down to a rolling simmer and then skim off the solids and foam that floats on the surface using a spoon dipped in water.

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Keep a bowl of water on the side to transfer all the particulates to. It takes about 20 minutes or so of skimming before the soup is clear and the rest of the ingredients can be added.

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If you don’t remove the scum, it will not affect the flavour in the least however, it does affect the look of the broth. As you can see below, on the left is a beautiful clear broth while on the right the stock is cloudy. Which would you prefer to eat? I’d rather take the extra time to end up with a professional looking broth!

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The next picture shows all the stuff that was skimmed from the soup. Don’t be tempted to dump it down the drain; it can clog your plumbing. You can pour this through a coffee filter to catch the particulates and dispose of the solids in your green bin – then you can put the filtered water down the sink.

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Step 4: Add Other Ingredients

Once the liquid is clear, the aromatics go into the pot along with the seasonings. Adjust the water if necessary so everything is still covered.

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Cover the pot with a lid, but leave it slightly open.

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There’s nothing better than the aroma of chicken soup bubbling away on the stove! Make sure at this point that the bubbles are just barely breaking at the surface; turn the heat down further if necessary and check the soup every once in a while to make sure it’s not cooking too rapidly or over-evaporating.

After two hours, take out the chicken breast, or leg, and remove the meat from the bones. Put the bones back into the soup. Once the chicken has cooled, you can cut it into pieces or shred it to put back into the soup the next day (or use in a salad). You can store the meat in the fridge in an airtight container for up to three days.

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Simmer the soup for a total of 4 – 6 hours; I find that the longer and slower it cooks, the more collagen-rich the broth gets. As I mentioned before, if you notice the liquid over-reducing during that time you can add a few cups of water back in.

Step 5: Strain the Soup

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When the soup is done cooking, get a clean pot and set it on a cork pad (because the bottom will heat up quickly once the liquid is strained into it).

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls 110_BOF'.jpg

Strain the liquid through a fine meshed strainer into the empty pot. Allow the broth and solids to cool down to room temperature and then discard the solids in the green bin. We sometimes put the pot into an ice bath in the sink to cool the liquid faster if we’re short on time.

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls 121_BOF

There’s usually some decent chicken meat still left on the bones which I eat it as a snack (the chef should always get a snack for his/her effort!)

Once the broth has cooled down, cover it. Sometimes the bottom of the pan is still warm, so I set the pan onto a cork pad on the fridge shelf.

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Leave it in the fridge overnight so the fat solidifies on the surface.

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Step 6: Skim the Fat – Watch the Video

Watch this quick video of skimming the fat from the soup after it’s been refrigerated overnight and heating up a bowl with matzo balls and other goodies (subscribe to my YouTube channel while you’re at it)!

When reheating the chicken soup, it’s nice to add back in some fresh vegetables (such as sliced carrots, celery or even frozen peas near the end) – and cooked chicken – as you’ll see in the video! Keep the lid covered until the raw veggies are tender, and the is meat heated through, or your delicious broth may evaporate into thin air before it’s ready to eat!

Step 7: Skim the Fat to Prepare to Make the Matzo Balls

The next morning, take the soup out of the fridge and remove the solidified chicken fat from the top. You need to reserve this fat to make the Matzo balls.

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We divide the fat up into small containers with 1/4 cup in each one. We often freeze one batch of fat (called ‘schmaltz’) so we can we make fresh matzo balls at a later date when we want them.

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Alternatively, you can use all the fat to make a few batches and cook the matzo balls all at once. They can then be frozen in Ziploc bags. We use the medium ziplocks and freeze about 4 – 6 at a time – as you’ll see when you get to the matzo ball recipe.

We also divvy up the chicken stock and freeze most of it for later using Ziploc screw top containers. It’s the perfect amount for the two of us for one or two meals. A note about freezing the broth: don’t be tempted to add in cooked chicken pieces or veggies or even matzo balls; it can all tend to go mushy and cloud the broth if you freeze it together with the soup.

Below you can see the towering results; well worth the effort for liquid gold!

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Step 8: Gluten Free Matzo Balls – What You Will Need

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Until gluten free matzo was available, I was unable to make decent matzo balls for the soup; thank goodness it’s available now!

The secret to a delicious matzo ball is using the chicken fat; you could substitute plain ‘ol oil, but why would you want to?

You will need:

  • ¾ cup matzo meal (grind Manischewitz GF Matzo-Style Squares in food processor)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon salt (for the water)
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) chicken fat (called schmaltz) or oil if you don’t have fat
  • (1/4 cup ground almonds + a tablespoon broth to moisten – optional)

This recipe will make a fairly firm matzo ball with some bite. My grandmother always included the ground almonds, which I love, but when I’m going to be serving them to guests I leave that extra ingredient out (due to potential nut allergies).

Step 9: Preparing GF Matzo Balls

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Mix eggs with the ‘schmaltz’, salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture into the dry mixture and gently mix with a fork. Don’t over mix or they may be tough.

Cover the mixture and place it in the fridge for ½ – 1 hour. Don’t skip this step as the liquid needs to get absorbed to achieve the proper consistency before cooking.

Step 10: Cooking the Matzo Balls

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil on the stove.

After the matzo ball mix has chilled, lightly roll teaspoon fulls into 1″ balls. You may need to keep your hands damp to prevent the mixture from sticking.

I roll and lay them out on waxed paper all at once, but you could also drop them directly into the water if you roll fast. Gently separate them in the water if necessary to prevent sticking.

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When all the balls are in the water and they float to the top, lower the temperature to low. Cover tightly and simmer for 25 minutes at a rolling simmer. DO NOT STIR. Remove from water with a slotted spoon and transfer the matzo balls with a slotted spoon to already heated broth. Simmer 15 minutes more in the soup.

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Step 11: They Freeze Well Too!

When I freeze the matzo balls, I never leave them in the broth. I put them on a tray and pop them into the freezer for an hour. Then I pile them into portioned out ziplock bags (I used the medium size) – about 4 to 6 to a bag so my husband and I can share them when we heat up the soup.

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Don’t forget to add the date for both the matzo balls and broth! Using painters tape and a marker, you can make removable lables so you can re-use the containers again and again.

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Step 12: Reheating From Frozen

Thaw both the matzo balls along with the frozen soup in the fridge. Reheat the chicken broth first on medium heat and keep covered so the chicken soup doesn’t evaporate. I’ve forgotten to cover it on occasion and it can disappear fast into thin air!

After the broth is hot, add the matzo balls and cook it together for another 15 minutes (keep the pot covered) and serve.

If you’re adding carrots, put them in right away as they take longer to cook. Add the matzo balls after 10 minutes and let them cook in the soup for about 15 minutes more. Add cooked chicken during the last 10 minutes and thawed frozen peas during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Enjoy (and Subscribe)!

If you keep the freezer well ‘stocked’ (pun intended) you can enjoy chicken soup with matzo balls whenever you have a hankering for some good ‘ol comfort food.

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This is my very first recipe on Birdz of a Feather! Up until now, I’ve only written about sustainable crafts (under the Craft Rehab category) and home and garden renos, but maybe I’ll have to expand to include gluten free recipes too now that I’ve gotten this first one under my belt.

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If you’d like to see more recipes, leave a comment and let me know; I’d appreciate the feedback!

If you enjoyed this post, please pin and share – and don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already! You can follow right here on Birdz of a Feather ~ Craft Rehab (link in the footer) or via Bloglovin’ (link below) for more great crafty projects and hacks.

Here are a few of the things in the Craft Rehab category you may have missed if you haven’t yet subscribed:

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  1. Soda Bottle Vertical Garden
  2. Paint Can Water Feature
  3. Paint Stick Pallet
  4. Blue Jean Planter
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  6. Main Page to explore more….

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