Tag Archives: broth

Something Fantastic Made With Leftover Chicken Stock or Rich Penne with Chicken Sausage (serves 4-6)

ah yes (glad I didn't throw that stock out!)

ah yes (glad I didn’t throw that stock out!)

Have you ever cooked a chicken or some other meat (either roasted or boiled) and after dinner still have a couple of cups of liquid left over? The thing that I hate the most in this world is to waste perfectly good food. People go to the trouble of making dinner and then after dinner something strange happens: the thing that was so enjoyed a few minutes earlier gets relegated to the category of waste or scraps. Why do we regard the part of the dish that has not been eaten as somehow inferior to what we just oohed and aahed over moments earlier? It’s time for you to start saving that cooking liquid and stop buying pricy cans and cartons of broth that is not half as good as the stuff you throw out after dinner!

as unappetizing as this looks, you should never throw away perfectly good stock for a cooked chicken!

As unappetizing as this looks, you should never throw away perfectly good stock from a cooked chicken!

What you see in the picture above is what I had leftover after a chicken dinner the other night. I had roasted a chicken with some basic veggies and added liquid to my pan halfway through to get a pan sauce without actually making one. After dinner, the chicken was gone (along with everything else) but this was left in my roasting pan. Most of the time this gets thrown out – admit it! it is so much easier to scrape this into the garbage than it is to put it in a container and store it in the fridge. When you throw something like this away you are throwing out the backbone of so many dishes that can be made in a hurry with delicious results if only you had saved what looks like a congealed mess.

The Ultimate Cheese!

The Ultimate Cheese (If you have a hunk of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese in your fridge at all times, it can be the savior of many a pasta dinner!)

I made this dinner merely to prove my point, and this is only one use. It can be used in a soup, in simpler pasta dishes, or added to a rice dish as the stock. You can also add water to it and discard the cooked veggies (using a sieve or small colander) and substitute it anywhere broth is called for in a recipe. It will taste far superior to its store-bought counterpart.

the backsteps

The back steps are beginning to look a little more Summery and I can’t wait for my garden to become lush and alive with herbs and flowers.

Of course you can still make this dish with bought stock! I guarantee you that I most definitely do not have stock in my fridge every time I need it and resort to bouillon cubes and water more often than using precious saved chicken juices. I just wanted to let you know that the thing you have been throwing away after some of your dinners could be put to good use!


You will Need:

1 lb sausage (chicken, turkey or pork will work – it can be a seasoned or flavored sausage), removed from casing

4 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 tsp chili flakes

4 to 6 cups chopped spinach (we love spinach so used 6!)

1 1/2 cups leftover stock (it can have stuff in it like onions, carrots, garlic, celery and herbs) OR 1 1/2 cups chicken broth OR 1 good quality bouillon cube and water

1/2 cup tomato puree

2/3 cup heavy cream

1 lb ridged penne pasta (I used Barilla Brand mini-penne)

1 tbs cold unsalted butter (optional)

grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese (if you have it)


1 – Put big saute pan on medium heat and add the oil. When it has warmed, add the chopped garlic and the chili flakes. Swirl around and cook for about 1 minute.

cook garlic and chili flakes

Cook garlic and chili flakes

2 – Add the sausage in bits (I broke it into the pan right out of the casing). Cook until the sausage is browned and nearly cooked through (about 12 minutes). You will need to stir and break sausage up with wooden spoon intermittently as it cooks.

add sausage

Add sausage

*Put the pasta water on (add about 2 tsp coarse salt to the water) and when it boil cook pasta according to instructions. Your aim is to have the pasta cooked by the time you reach step 6. Scoop out about 1/2 to 1 cup of pasta water before you drain the pasta. You may need it to thin out your sauce. Do NOT rinse the pasta when it is drained*

3 – Add the leftover stock (or whatever broth you are using) and let it come to a simmer. You may turn heat up slightly while you add the liquids.

add leftover stock or broth

Add leftover stock or broth

4 – Add the tomato puree and stir into the sausage mixture before adding the cream. Add the cream and let the sauce come to a slight boil.

add tomato puree and cream

Add tomato puree and cream

5 – Add the spinach and stir. Cover pan with a lid, turn heat down and cook for about 2 or 3 minutes at a low simmer.

Add spinach

Add spinach

6 – Turn off heat and add the cooked penne to your sauce and stir. You may also add a tablespoon of cold unsalted butter at this time if you want more glossy creaminess. If you like a thinner sauce or want to loosen the pasta a little, you may add some of the reserved pasta water until you are satisfied. You may also taste for addition of salt and pepper.

add cooked penne

Add cooked penne

Divide between bowls and pass grated Parmigiano Reggiano and more red pepper flakes if you so desire.



Whole Roast Chicken with Rosemary, Cherry Tomatoes & Onions (serves 4-6)

This dinner was inspired by my mother, who sadly is no longer in this world. Among countless other things, she was an outstanding gardener, and when her children left one by one, she put all of her energy into the dirt outside the house. One day when walking in the garden with my sister, among the roses, the trees, the heavy baskets of flowers weighing down the little stone bridge by the gate, she turned and said, “everywhere you look, you’ll see me” She was right. The gnarly rosemary bush aptly planted by the kitchen door is such a physical reminder of her, and I am so thankful for what she left behind.

Whole Roast Chicken with Rosemary, Cherry Tomatoes & Onions

The wonderful thing about last night’s dinner is I was able to walk out that same back door, and cut some heady sprigs of rosemary from her plant, and make something perfume-y and delicious for dinner. I am lucky enough to be home for the summer, which means: sleeping in my old room, admire my mother’s roses, cook dinner for my sisters and kids each evening, and walk the familiar country roads around our house.

My mother’s rosemary plant

Sometimes the food is only part of the story, and knowing that the flavor from the broth came from a herb my mother planted over 30 years ago changed the dish into something special for every member of the family.

 Sentimental, but true


*Blood Type A Friendly Diet*

You will need:

3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 whole chicken (about 4 lbs and as “free range” as possible)

1/2 lemon (optional)

2 medium/large sweet onions, cut into 6 wedges each

2 cups cherry tomatoes (yellow or red, OR a combination of the two)

3 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 cup white wine

2 cups veggie or chicken broth (or good quality bouillon cube and 2 cups water)

1 tsp course sea-salt

freshly ground black pepper (omit for Blood Type A Diet)


Preheat oven 425*

1 – Place the veggies, herbs and liquid in bottom of heavy casserole, or dutch oven with lid.

Place veggies and broth in bottom of pan

2 – Place chicken on top and drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Add lemon to cavity (if using). Cover with lid and place in preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours.

Place chicken on top

3 – Take out and let pot sit for 5 or so minutes before serving.

Cook for 1 1/2 hours

Serve with anything you like. In our house some had it on a bed of romaine leaves, while others sopped it up with basmati rice.

Crisp romaine leaves

Curried Chicken With Dried Cherries (serves 4) & More Fun With My Brother

Curried Chicken With Dried Cherries

Last Friday I paid an overnight visit to my brother’s, and I had so much fun that I decided to do it again! This time however I brought my two kids with me. I set off last week with the relishing thought of being away from everyone, but the honest-to-goodness truth is that I missed them. When I am with my son and my daughter they spur me on to do things I wouldn’t do when alone, like looking for frogs at the pond or going out for ice cream after dinner, and perhaps even turning the car stereo up really loud and singing at the top of my lungs (actually, I will admit to doing that last one solo on many occasions!)

My brother’s back porch

We arrived in the afternoon and after dropping in to my brother’s work place to say “ciao” we headed to the house armed with the ingredients for dinner. I put a bottle of prosecco in the fridge to chill and then off we went to catch frogs.

Anyone for late night badminton?

By the time Pascal arrived home, dinner preparations were in full swing, a movie underway and the bottle of prosecco half drained. I love nothing better than a loud kitchen with lots of happy people milling about amidst the wafting aroma of food. It has the magical effect of making you think everything is alright with the world, and if creating that illusion is a simply matter of preparing dinner I’m all for making the effort every evening that I can.

We ended the day with a riveting game of badminton, and although playing in flip-flops is not recommended, don’t let it stop you for a second!


*This is also a Blood Type A diet Dinner. if you do not want to use the flour (which is neutral), just omit and you will end up with a lovely, but brothier version*

You will need:

4 tbs extra-virgin olive oil

4lb cut-up chicken

1 white onion, large dice (yellow or sweet onion will do also)

3 celery ribs, including leaves, sliced

1/2 lb white mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup dried cherries

4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

2 sprigs fresh oregano

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1 1/2 tbs madras curry powder (or other aromatic variety)

3 tbs all-purpose flour,

4 cups veggie or chicken broth (or, 1 good quality bouillon cube & 4 cups water)


Prep all veggies before you start cooking

1 – Place big all-purpose pan (with lid) on medium/high heat and add the oil. When it is hot, sear the chicken in batches until surface is golden brown. Transfer to a plate as you go.

Sear Chicken in batches

2 – Turn heat down to medium/low and add the garlic, onion and celery. Saute for about 5 or so minutes, stirring occasionally.

Saute onions, garlic & celery

3 – Add the mushrooms, cherries, and herbs and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.

Add cherries, mushrooms & herbs

4 – Add the curry powder (and bouillon cube if using), and stir for a minute, then add the flour and mix well.

Add curry powder, then flour

5 – Add 1 cup of broth/water and stir well. Continue to add water/broth and turn heat to high. When mixture comes to a bubble, add the chicken in an even layer. Turn heat down to low (a simmer) and cover. Simmer gently for 1 hour.Turn off heat and let everything rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Add liquid

Serve alone, or with a pasta, rice or crusty bread. I served our dinner with tagliatelle (egg noodles) and it was really tasty.

Simmer on stove-top for 1 hour

Another lovely visit

Chicken Breast in Smokey Red Broth (serves 4)

 This fantastic dinner was made by my 10-year-old daughter! My kids are always in the kitchen with me at dinner time, so, it is only natural that they have started learning how to cook. Through the shear act of watching me, they know that crowding the pan when searing meat results in moist meat that will never brown, that adding flour to a vegetable base, then adding liquid, will result in a thickened broth, and that adding ingredients to a pan before it heats up sufficiently will give you no end of trouble with sticking, and food breaking apart. 

A wonderful way to cook chicken breast on the bone.

My daughter was really in the mood for something broth-y and comforting for dinner. She was so dead set on it that I decided she could make it herself!

Of course I helped her with the tricky bits, and told her what the correct measurements should be (like use 2 tbs of flour if you’re going to add 3 cups of liquid; this results in a semi-thick broth).

She felt very happy to be the one who provided us with our evening meal. (She also like squeezing the tomato puree from the tube into the pot). I was very happy knowing that my kids will be able to make me more yummy dinners like this one in the future!


You will need: 2 chicken breasts, bone-in, skin on, 3 tbs olive oil, 1 tbs unsalted butter,(Type A’s; omit butter) 2 medium carrots, sliced, 1 medium onion, diced, 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley, 2 tbs all-purpose flour, 1 tbs smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp hot paprika (add 1 tsp if you want more heat), 1 tbs tomato puree concentrate, (type A’s; omit tomato) 1 bouillon cube (I use Rapunzel brand Vegetarian with herbs & sea-salt), 3 cups water, (or 3 cups chicken broth), sea-salt and cracked black pepper to taste.

Preheat oven 375*

1 – Put heavy casserole on high heat and add oil. Season chicken lightly with sea-salt and pepper and sear on both sides until chicken browns.

sear meat

2 – Turn pan down to low and add the butter, carrots and onions. Saute for about 8 minutes. Add the paprika and stir together. Add the flour and mix well.

add onions and carrots

3 – Add 1 cup of water at a time and stir. Turn heat up and bring to a boil. Add parsley and tomato puree.. Turn off heat.

add liquids

4 – Return the chicken to the pot and baste with the broth. Cover and place in oven for 45 minutes.

return chicken to pot

Remove from oven and let pot sit for 5 or so minutes before removing lid (gives the meat a chance to rest).

Chicken Breast in Smokey Red Broth

Slice the chicken and divide between 4 plates or bowls, giving everyone plenty of broth and veggies. You can also serve this with rice, pasta, bread or some greens.