Chicken No-Noodle Soup… Mmm Mmm Good

The recipe inspired graciously by Elaine Gloria Gottschall of Breaking the Vicious Cycle: Intestinal Health Through Diet.

The Goods
4-5 Ibs. chicken legs and thighs
2 packages baby carrots or 10 peeled and chopped carrots
2 large onions
few stalks of chopped celery
few stalks of parsley leaves
salt to taste

The Gettin’
1. Clean and chop carrots, onions and celery.
2. Place chicken pieces and vegetables into large pot, add parsley and salt to taste.
3. Fill pot to cover with water.
4. Simmer pot for 4 hours.
5. Pour soup through colander to separate broth from the vegetables and chicken. (You may wish to take some of the broth and pour it into ice cub trays for freezing as means to add flavor to other dishes later!)
6. Let chicken pieces cool, then de-bone and de-skin chicken.
7. Place veggies and chicken meat back into broth and enjoy!

The Take
This is your average chicken soup. (You may wish to take some of the broth and pour it into ice cub trays for freezing as means to add flavor to other dishes later!)

Total Time:  4 hours 27 minutes
Prep– 7  minutes
Cook– 4 hours
Cool/De-bone–  20 minutes

Yield:  15 servings

Level: Intermediate

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Death by Carnitas

This recipe GRACIOUSLY stolen from David Lebovitz.

The Goods
7-8 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 5-inch chunks, trimmed of excess fat
salt
3 Tbsp. neutral vegetable oil
2 cinnamon sticks
2 1/2 tsp SCD chile powder
3 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly-sliced

The Gettin’
1. Rub the pieces of pork shoulder all over with salt. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
2. Heat the oil in a roasting pan set on the stovetop. Cook the pieces of pork shoulder in a single layer until very well-browned, turning them as little as possible so they get nice and dark before flipping them around. (If your cooking vessel is too small to cook them in a single-layer, cook them in two or more batches.)
3. Once all the pork is browned, remove them from the pot and blot away any excess fat with a paper towel, then pour in about a cup of water, scraping the bottom of the pan with a flat-edged utensil to release all the tasty brown bits.
4. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
5. Add the pork back to the pan and add enough water so the pork pieces are 2/3 submerged in liquid. Add the cinnamon stick and stir in the chile powders, bay leaves, cumin and garlic.
6. Braise in the oven uncovered for 3½ hours, turning the pork a few times during cooking, until much of the liquid is evaporated and the pork is falling apart. Remove the pan from the oven and lift the pork pieces out of the liquid and set them on a platter.
7. Once the pork pieces are cool enough to handle, shred them into bite-sized pieces, about 2-inches (7 cm), discarding any obvious big chunks of fat if you wish.
8. Return the pork pieces back to the roasting pan and cook in the oven, turning occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the pork is crispy and caramelized. It will depend on how much liquid the pork gave off, and how crackly you want them.
9. Immediately upon tasting, you may die. Please take precautions for such a response.

The Take
So even when you accidentally smoke up the house, spill grease on the floor, and suffer through mind-blowing smells you wish you could tweet (it is a bad thing in the torture sense) it is all worth it. 

Total Time:  5 hours 30 minutes
Prep –  1 hour
Cook–  4 hours 30 minutes

Yield: 10 servings

Level: Intermediate

Vanilla Ice Cream & Strawberry Jam

The following dishes were graciously stolen from NoMoreCrohns.com and Peggy Rogers at BTVC Yahoo, to be married and consumed forever and ever, amen.

Vanilla Ice Cream (NoMoreCrohns.com)

The Goods
3/4 cup honey
3 eggs
4 tbsp melted butter
2 ½ cups homemade SCD yogurt
3 tsp. vanilla extract (made with vanilla and alcohol only)

The Gettin’
1. In a saucepan over medium heat, constantly whisk honey, butter and eggs together until thick and starting to boil (and we mean constantly, if you don’t want egg chunks!)
2. Allow mixture to cool (using the freezer or refrigerator will cool it faster, 1 hours time, if you need the ice cream to be ready quickly).  A colder mixture makes fluffier ice cream – patience is a virtue!
3. Combine yogurt, and vanilla extract and add to the honey and egg mixture using a whisk or electric
mixer (mix well).
4. Pour into a countertop electric ice cream maker, and process for about a half hour; or until thick and creamy.
5. Carefully spoon into a low, long container and freeze immediately.  The ice cream will lose its soft texture over time – better eat it quickly!

The Take
This is very good!  It has a tartness that is kinda refreshing (due to the SCD yogurt.)  If you want a creamier, less tart ice cream, try making your yogurt with half and half or heavy cream!

Total Time:  1 hour 45 minutes
Cook– 15 minutes
Cool – 1 hour
Ice cream Maker–  30 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Level: Intermediate

Strawberry “Or Your Fav. Fruit” Jam (BTVC Yahoo)

The Goods
4-5 cups fruit
1 cup cranberries
1 cup honey, or to taste (plenty of honey helps cancel out cranberry tartness)

The Gettin’
1. Combine fruit and cranberries, bring to a boil (add a little water or orange juice if liquid is needed).
2. When fruit is tender, mash with potato masher or anything else that works.
3. Simmer until desired consistency is reached.  It splatters a little bit, so be careful!

The Take
4 or 5 cups of fruit will get you about 2 jars of jam.  We made red plum, blueberry, peach, strawberry, and cherry jams!  Our favorite is strawberry!  We think it will last a few weeks in the fridge or a few months in the freezer.

Total Time:  1 hour 5 minutes
Cook– 1 hour
Mash- 5 minutes

Yield: 2 jars

Level: Easy

Steamed Mussels

This recipe stolen graciously from allrecipes.com.

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*Note: These are amazing.*

The Goods
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup shallots, minced
3/4 cup dry white wine
3 lbs. mussels, cleaned and debearded
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
ground black pepper to taste

The Gettin’
1. In a medium stock pot, heat butter over medium heat. Add shallots and saute until translucent.
2. Pour in wine and mussels. Raise heat to medium/high and steam mussels until shells open, about 7 minutes.
3. Pour mussels and cooking liquid into a serving bowl, sprinkle with parsley and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

The Take:
These are good, but they require a bit of prep!  Letting the mussels sit in some water before you begin for 20-30 minutes lets them expel dirt or sand.  Don’t use any mussels that aren’t closed to begin with – they’re probably dead!  You can check by sharply tapping the mussel – if it closes, it’s still alive and safe to cook.  Any mussels that don’t open after steaming should be thrown away.

Total Time: 52 minutes
Prep – 45 minutes
Cook– 7 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Level: Intermediate

Perfect Roast Chicken

This recipe stolen graciously from Ina, Lauren’s fav.

The Goods
1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
fresh Ground Salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
1 lemons, 1 halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges (Don’t be scared, it is GOOD)
olive oil

* Note, we enjoy doubling the vegetables and adding more lemon slices outside of the chicken. Sometimes we add mushrooms and green beans just for the heck of it. You can see what you like and adjust.*

The Gettin’
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry.
3. LIBERALLY salt and pepper the inside of the chicken.
4. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic.
5. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper.
6. Tie the legs together with kitchen string (needle threads worked for us!).
7. Tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken (see her video for help).
8. Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan.
9. Toss the veggies with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil.
10. Spread the veggies evenly around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.
11. Roast the chicken for 1.5 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh.
12. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes.
13. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

The Take:
The first time we made this, it turned out pretty dry.  We made it again for Lauren’s parents, and it turned out fantastic!  We don’t know what the difference was…

Total Time: 2 hour 10 minutes
Prep – 20 minutes
Cook– 1 .5 hours
Inactive – 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Level: Intermediate

Lobster Tail, We Fancy

This recipe stolen graciously from Giada.

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The Goods
1 cup water
4  lobster tails
salt and pepper
melted butter, for serving (you can clarify it if you want to be fancy)
nimble pinkie fingers

The Gettin’
1.  Add the water to a large pot and bring to a boil.
2. Rinse the lobster.
3. Open the lobster tail in butterfly form (fancy!)
4. Salt and pepper, to taste.
5. Place the lobster tail in the pot to steam (we used a steamer basket) and cover.
6. Steam cook for 8 minutes (it turns a beautiful red!)
7. Serve with hot melted butter, raise pinkies high and enjoy. 😉

The Take:
Lobster tails seem intimidating, but they weren’t hard at all!  And they were oh so tasty, despite looking a dull brown and unappetizing when we bought them from the local supermarket.  The trickiest part was the butterflying, but even a mistake still tastes good!

Total Time:  23 minutes
Prep – Realistically for Newbies like Recipe Thieves: 15 minutes
Cook– 8 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Level: Intermediate