chick ‘n’ masala and homemade bone broth

This was my very first time EVER cooking a whole chicken! I know the recipe says to use a poussin, but the butcher I go to only had chickens. So chicken is what we ate. Also, if you’re like me and have no clue what a poussin is other than a funny word, it’s apparently a butcher’s term for a young chicken (less than 28 days old) and therefore it is smaller it it is supposed to be more tender than a full-grown chicken. Ah well, my birdie still turned out great 🙂
And the best part about cooking a whole chicken is you get the bones to make homemade bone broth, full of healthy minerals, vitamins, cartilage, amino acids and essential fatty acids! (Keep reading for a super simple recipe to make bone broth in an instant pot!)

The spice blend on this was quite tasty. The whole recipe lasted me several days, and by the third day the rub on the chicken got real spicy. I mean, I wasn’t screaming or hallucinating or cussing like Key and Peele when they ate wings on Hot Ones, but it definitely had my noes and eyes running. I’m a sucker for spicy food I guess.
Unfortunately, the shallots turned out disgustingly slimy and mushy and inedible. Literally. I had to throw them away. What a waste of money, because shallots here ain’t cheap. I suppose this disaster occured because the shallots were under the bird while it cooked, so all the fat and juices soaked into the shallots. They were just sort of stewing in the chicken broth and everything, and it made them just plain nasty.
And, as you may know, I have a crippling fear of setting off my fire alarm (for the twelfth time…) so I was nervous about broiling the chicken. I was terrified that the rub would get smokey and cause my sensitive little fire alarm to scream it’s over-reacting head off. After about 8 minutes under the broiler, the rub got really blackened and I couldn’t stand to risk it any longer. So the skin ended up chewy and squishy and also inedible. At least it matched the shallots? *shudder*
Overall, I gave this chick ‘n’ masala recicpe a 1 out of 4 stars. The chicken meat turned out good, and by taming the spice of the rub with a ton of quinoa, I was able to enjoy it.

chick ‘n’ masala
from Magic Soup by Nicole Pisani and Kate Adams

what

– 1 Tbsp tikka spice blend
– 1 tsp English mustard
– 1 tsp ginger paste
– ½ tsp crushed garlic
– ½ tsp flaky sea salt
– 1 Tbsp tomato puree
– 1 poussin (a small, young chicken)
– 1 lemon
– 3 to 4 shallots, peeled and quartered
– 1 ¾ cup hot chicken stock
– a bunch of fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
– 1 scallion, thinly sliced

how

– In a bowl, make a paste with the tikka spice blend, English mustard, ginger paste, garlic paste, lemon zest from half a lemon, salt and tomato puree.
– Preheat the oven to 375 F.
– Pat the poussin dry with paper towels.
– Slice a lemon in half and rub it on the bird, squeezing some juice onto it too.
– Rub the spice paste into the poussin and over the shallots.
– Cut the wing tips off and then place the poussin on the shallots in an ovenproof dish.
– Roast, uncovered, for ~ 30 minutes.
– Turn on the broiler and cook for ~ 5 minutes, or until the skin has browned.
– Pour the hot chicken stock around the poussin. Turn the oven back to bake mode on 375 F.
– Cover the dish with aluminum foil and continue to cook in the oven for another ~ 30 minutes (until the internal temperature is at least 165 F.)
– Keep the foil on and let it rest for ~ 30 minutes.
– Serve portions of the meat and shallots in large shallow bowls topped with cilantro leaves and scallions and a ladle of broth.

YAAAS – it is time for bone broth! Bone broth is super nutritious for you! It took me a good bit of time to get used to the taste and texture of it. But after a month of basically living off bone broth on the GAPS diet, I have become quite fond of this golden liquid treasure. I use bone broth in soups, I use bone broth to cook grains like rice and quinoa, and sometimes just sip some bone broth out of a mug like a savory tea.
Bone broth has been around for centuries and it can help with gut health, joint mobility, strength of your hair, skin and nails and even provide more restful sleep. Aha! The long-desired elixir of life was right under out noses! (Slight theatrical exaggeration.)
By making bone broth at home, you can also save money because you don’t need to buy broth and stock, which include preservatives to lengthen shelf life in the grocery stores.
And of course, it puts into good use those bones and veggies scraps you were going to throw away!

homemade chicken bone broth

what the heck?

– carcass and bones from one organic, free-range, happy chicken
– scraps from your kitchen (peels and ends of onions, shallots, garlic, carrots and leeks; stems of herbs, kale, broccoli and mushrooms)
– any dried herbs you have on hand, such as a bay leaf or a sprig of rosemary or thyme.
– any other seasonings you like – I enjoy about an inch piece of ginger, cumin seeds and a bit of paprika
– 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
– 1 tsp sea salt
– a splash (about 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar)
– water

how the heck?

– Place the chicken carcass and bones and the kitchen scraps in the instant pot.
– Sprinkle the herbs and seasonings on top, as well as the pepper and salt.
– Add the splash of apple cider vinegar (not too much, or it tastes weird).
– Fill the pot to the max fill line with water, or enough to cover everything that’s in the pot.
– Turn the instant pot to Manual for 120 minutes.
– Let the pressure release naturally for at least 30 minutes. Then CAREFULLY (I use a wooden spoon held at arms-length) release the pressure valve. A lot of steam will erupt.
– Carefully (the broth is still super hot) scoop out the pieces of vegetables and bones with a slotted spoon. Strain the broth.
– Let it cool completely, then refrigerate for up to ~ 5 days. Or freeze your bone broth up to ~ 6 months in an airtight container.

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