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My Recipes-of-the-Week are featured here on my Home page. You can find 2000 of my kitchen-tested recipes using the Recipes tab, watch over 125 Kitchen Encounters/WHVL-TV segments using the TV Videos tab, join the discussion about all of my creations using the Facebook tab, or Email your questions and comments directly to me--none go unanswered. "We are all in this food world together." ~Melanie


~How to: Make Roasted Chicken Carcass Soup Stock~

IMG_3267As unappetizing as the two words chicken carcass sound, culinarily, those are the words that describe what's left of a boned chicken (what's left after the meat has been removed from the bones), and, truth told, whether the carcass is raw or has been roasted, there is a ton of flavor in those bones.  There's more, and this is important:  Discarding a chicken carcass without extracting the flavor from it is such a waste it should be a crime.  Whether I have raw ones (which I rarely do) or roasted ones (which I often do), even if I don't have time to "deal with them" immediately, I put them in a bag in the freezer and make a date with them for another time.  

IMG_8322One of the benefits of roasting two chickens each week, is my ability to make a lot of "roasted chicken carcass soup stock".  Yes, I really do roast two chickens almost every week.  Rotisserie chicken is not my "gig" -- I find it to be overly greasy and I don't feel well after I eat it. Instead, I choose to put two six-pound chickens on a rack in a pan in a 350º oven for two hours.  When they come out, we enjoy one hot meal (usually with gravy and mashed or roasted potatoes), and, for the rest of the week, I have leftovers for sandwiches and salads.

IMG_3084 IMG_3088 IMG_3091~ Step 1.  Carve and remove the white breast meat and dark leg/thigh meat from both roasted chickens.  Using your fingers, remove and discard as much of the roasted skin from the two carcasses.  Place the carcasses in a 16-quart stockpot.  If the chickens have been roasted as per my directions, there will be some flavorful dripping in the bottom of the roasting pan.  Pour the drippings into a fat/lean separator, add the lean portion only to the stockpot, then, discard the fat portion.

IMG_3096~ Step 2.  To the stockpot with the carcasses and drippings, add:

10  quarts cold water

1  1/2  pounds large whole, peeled yellow or sweet onions

1  1/2-2  pounds whole, peeled carrots*

3/4  pound whole celery stalks

4  tablespoons dried parsley

4  tablespoons sea salt & 1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely-ground black pepper

*Note:  If this seems like a case of "carrot excess", it is.  I love lots carrots in my soup, and, since I use this stock to make soup, I cook a lot of them, all at once.  When portioning the stock into containers for the freezer, I place a few whole cooked carrots in each container.

IMG_3099 IMG_3104~ Step 3.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Unlike making soup with meat-on whole chickens or raw chicken carcasses, there will be very little of the whitish/gray foamy matter that floats to the surface.  That said, if some surfaces, use a large slotted spoon or skimmer to remove and discard it.  Adjust heat to a gentle ready simmer. Continue to simmer, uncovered for 3 hours.  The soup will have reduced quite and bit, which will render it tastily rich.  Turn the heat off, cover pot and allow soup to steep for 3 more hours.

IMG_3107~ Step 4.  There will be 7-7 1/2 quarts of perfectly-seasoned chicken-soup stock.  Ladle the stock through a fine mesh strainer into desired-sized food storage containers (for the freezer) or jars (for the refrigerator).  These are 2-quart sized containers into which some of the whole, cooked carrots have been placed.  Use immediately as directed in recipe, or, refrigerate stock for up to 1 week, or keep frozen for 6-8-12 months.

Loads of rich, roasted flavor from roasted chicken carcasses:

IMG_3086Liquid gold-- Perfect for an upcoming chilly day lunch: 

IMG_3257How to:  Make Roasted Chicken Carcass Soup Stock:  Recipe yields 7-7 1/2 quarts perfectly-seasoned chicken-soup stock.  Simply add some diced celery, onion, and/or potatoes and simmer until veggies are tender.  Add cooked homemade egg noodles and it's time to eat.

Special Equipment List:  16-quart stockpot w/lid; fat/lean separator; large slotted spoon or skimmer; soup ladle; fine mesh strainer

6a0120a8551282970b015392bcbb3e970bCook's Note:   Making chicken stock to use all year long is a big event in my kitchen.  I usually make it on one of the coldest days of the year, so that I can use the great outdoors (a secure area on my patio), to refrigerate the entire 24-quart stockpot overnight.  To get my recipe for chicken stock made with whole, meat-on-the-chickens chicken-soup stock, click this link to read my post ~ It's National Chicken Stock Day -- In Mel's Kitchen ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2023)


~Grillmarked: Thai-Inspired Hot & Sticky Honey Wings~

IMG_4148Wings and tailgate.  Tailgate and wings.  If two words ever went hand-in-hand onto the gridiron, yep, it would be those two.  If I say tailgate, you say wings, and, if there is one thing we tailgaters can't resist, it's a new wing-flavor-profile to experiment with.  I came across this one in the Parade Magazine insert of my mom's local newspaper about a decade ago.  Parade credits the recipe to Michael Gulotta, chef-owner of MoPho and Maypop restaurants in New Orleans.  It's a keeper.

IMG_4153The moment I read through the ingredients list, I knew I was gonna love this recipe.  For starters the combination of Greek-style yogurt and honey is, um, the bees knees. It's divine.  Stir in some Thai seasoning soy, fish sauce and Sriracha.  What's not to love about that trio.  Personally, I'd be willing to drink the marinade -- it is that good. Chef Gulatta cooks his outside on a gas grill, turning them frequently, while keeping the grill covered in between turns.  I did mine inside, in my grill pan, on my gas stove, uncovered.  They cooked longer, 25 minutes, but came out perfect.

Hey, Honey!  I've got a hankering for some wings!

IMG_40832  pounds, large, meaty chicken wings, about 20-24 wings (Note from Mel:  If you want to push the wing count to 3 pounds, about 30-36 wings, the marinade amount can handle it.)

1  cup plain yogurt, preferably Greek-style

1/2  cup honey

1  tablespoon Thai fish sauce

2  tablespoons Thai seasoning soy sauce

1-2  tablespoons Sriracha sauce, to taste (Note:  Chef Gulatta says Sambal chile paste can be substituted.)

no-stick cooking spray, for preparing grill grids or grill pan

lime wedges for garnish and for squirting lime juice on wings

2-3  tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves, for sprinkling on wings prior to serving + cilantro sprigs for garnish

IMG_4090 IMG_4091 IMG_4093 IMG_4097~Step 1.  In a small bowl, place the yogurt, honey, Thai fish sauce, Thai seasoning soy sauce (not Chinese soy sauce) and Sriracha.  Thoroughly stir it all together.  Place wings in a 1-gallon ziplock bag.  Add all the marinade to bag.  Close bag, toss to evenly and thoroughly coat wings in marinade and place in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, turning/tossing occasionally.

Note.  Remove the wings 45-60 minutes prior to cooking them (so they are not ice cold going onto the hot grill grids).  Open the bag and using a pair of tongs, remove wings from the marinade, gently shaking all the excess marinaded off, allowing it to drizzle back down into the bag. Transfer marinade to a small bowl and set aside -- it will get used as a basting sauce.

IMG_4102 IMG_4104 IMG_4107 IMG_4111 IMG_4116 IMG_4121 IMG_4123 IMG_4126~Step 2.  Liberally spray gill pan with no-stick, place on the stovetop and heat over medium- medium-high.  Add the wings to pan, as many as will fit without crowding the pan.  Cook, regulating the heat over medium- medium-high, using a pair of tongs to turn the wings four times, about every 5 minutes, for 20 minutes, until golden brown and crisp, about 20 minutes, using a pastry brush to lightly baste (dab their tops) every time you flip them over.  After 20 minutes, stop basting and spend the next 5-6 minutes turning & flipping the wings constantly, until they are nicely-browned over their entire surface area.  The entire process will take 25-30 minutes.

Garnish w/cilantro & lime wedges.  Asian broccoli slaw anyone?

IMG_4149Simply & undeniably some of the best wings I've ever eaten:

IMG_4133Grillmarked:  Thai-Inspired Hot & Sticky Honey Wings:  Recipe yields 20-24 appetizers/4-6 servings/4-6 wings per person.

Special Equipment List:  poultry shears; 1-gallon ziplock bag; outdoor gas grill or grill pan on stovetop; tongs; silicon (high-heat safe) pastry brush

IMG_0990Cook's Note:  To make my Asian Broccoli Slaw w/Honey-Sesame Dressing, in a medium bowl, place:

1, 12-ounce bag store-bought broccoli cole slaw  

For the dressing, whisk together:

1/4  cup each: vegetable oil and white rice vinegar

1  tablespoon each: sesame oil and Thai seasoning soy sauce

2  tablespoons honey

Add all of the dressing to slaw, toss together and refrigerate until well-chilled  1-2 hours or overnight.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2023)