(UPDATE, March 2017: As of 2013, my body began to reject animal products and by-products (hence falling for the ‘paleo’ bone broth/gut health myth), and by February 2015, I consciously chose to reject the idea of eating anyone who was murdered. I no longer believe that there is any such thing as ethically murdered animals–organic or not. And, I take back the idea that eating the whole animal without wasting any body parts is the right thing to do. I know many chronically ill people who have gone the Paleo way, just as I did, with the belief that recipes such as follows have gut healing properties. I reject the idea that our health is more important than any animals’ life; for we are animals ourselves. I would not eat my dog, nor would I eat a steak sliced out from your left buttock: it’s the same thing. I’ve already lost and alienated friends purely by my dietary choices and speaking up about animal liberation, so I really don’t care if I lose readers also.
I would love to delete this post because reading it fills me with shame. However, I do understand that we are all in different places along the journey to health and freedom. So I’m hoping that by leaving this recipe here, it can stand as a signpost showing my personal moral failings along the road towards veganism; as well as the successful health recovery that being vegan has bought my way. Please consider going vegan: the chicken below didn’t want to die. She had a family. And if any of her children were male, they would have been ground up in a meat grinder while still alive. It’s just wrong.)
To celebrate the fact that chicken is something I don’t have a food intolerance to, here is my ‘My Triple Cook Chook Recipe’ for cooked chicken pieces, chicken soup, and chicken stock. It’s very basic, consisting of two whole organic chickens, half a pot of filtered water, two table spoons of organic apple cider vinager (I use Mocks!), four large tablespoons of organic coconut oil, and some Macrobiotic sea salt. It makes three separate meals–four if you count the marrow-drained bones, I feed to my boxer dog, Bella.
In the vein of liberating animals, know this: The chickens in this pot died for me. For us. Perhaps they were intelligent chickens; or maybe, they ruled the roost because they were feminists fighting for equal rights against misogynist rooster counterparts? Or maybe, they were just lovely soft feathered creatures who loved to bathe in the dirt, and peck their way through life? As chickens should…
Speculative fictional aspects aside, mythology suggests past tribes ate the whole animal out of respect for the animal’s life. Today, how many people (I’m looking at you, KFC eaters!) eat meat without a whisper of a thought for how the animal lived or died? Or even if it lived: Eating it as if it’s just another commodity coming out of a wrapper, and made in a factory (farm)? Nowadays, there are many who think on a more ethical and healthy level about eating animals. And I am one. Here’s how I make the most of my expensive $30.00 organic (well loved) chickens:
- First, I put the chooks in the pot, and cover with filtered water:
- Then I add in two shots of Biodynamic vinager (during my elimination diet, the one I’m on right now, I skipped this step because I’ve not tested it yet!). (Apparently though, vinager helps draw out the nourishing marrow from the chook’s bones.)
- It’s then cooked for 90 mins; any longer, and the chicken is too drained of flavour. I don’t scrape the fat of the top because I eat it! Mixed in with the soup, and in with the stock. (I know, how Palaeolithic of me!)
- The chickens (which literally fall apart when grabbed with tongs to take them out), are then stripped bare, fatty skin pulled away, the flesh picked from their bones. Using kitchen scissors, I cut it all up, and mix it all together. (My daughter has always detested chicken veins; she’s got a real complex about them, so I make sure they are cut up too, and not visible 😉 )
- Once this is done, I scoop four large tablespoons of organic Loving Earth Coconut Oil (to amp up the natural fat content!) over the top. Then, liberally, sprinkle over sea salt, and mix it well. (By now, I can’t help myself: I’m eating it, with oil running down my chin!)
- I try to leave it to cool. Once it’s cold the chicken pieces go into glass containers with plastic snap lock lids. (I used to put the chicken into plastic snap lock bags (like in this photo) but have improved my system with glass instead—it’s much safer too!)
- And then I put most of the containers (or bags (like in the photo)) into the freezer.
- This makes about 16-18 serves of cooked chook, giving me, and my daughter, instant serves of protein to go with our meals! One serve makes an ultra fast, nourishing snack. I then throw all the bones, gizzards, and mushy skin back into the pot, and cook for another 90 mins. (Some people recommend that it’s better to cook them for longer, as the whole point of this process is to release the bone marrow into the water, which when eaten (or slurped, rather) supposedly, facilitates healing of the gut! For me, it soothes my stomach; and, additionally, it doesn’t cause me any symptoms. (It’s a winner, all over.)) If I cook it for longer, I have problems with any burning or overcooked food: my sinuses ache.
- Once it’s finished, I leave it to cool, scrape the fat off, put it aside, and strain the nutritious liquid so I can remove all the bones and bits.
- Then I put the bones asides for my dog, but not before removing the the gristly bits from them (these are attached to the joints) and chuck them back into the liquid: note these are important for women to eat.
- I chuck the fat back in, reheat it so that it mixes in evenly—Did I mention that I cook this outside? No? Well, my sinuses and airways can’t handle breathing in the steam that’s vaporising the chicken and oil molecules out into the air; and if I’ve had any severe chemical exposures, I have to be careful not to breathe it in, as it just aggregates any sinus inflammation (hence wearing a mask sometimes when cooking). (Note to other sufferers who experience this type of pain from natural aromas; it goes away as the body heals! I know this as a fact. But it takes clean air, and avoidance of chemicals to heal this… (There could be more to this story of ‘Cooking, Sinuses and Pain’, hence testing for food sensitivities, so I’ll come back to this topic another day.)
- Then, once cooled, it’s poured into rinsed out recycled Bonsoy containers; this is stock used for soups, but sometimes, especially when I’m sick, you know laying-on-the-couch-in-agony-too-sick-to-cook type of sick. It makes the perfect, tummy soothing, nourishing meal. (I just microwave it and slurp it up!)
- The leftover liquid, I use to make pumpkin soup using one whole organic pumpkin, whatever veggies I have handy (usually zucchini and carrots) a can of full-fat coconut cream, a couple of handfuls of the delicious chicken and some more sea-salt!
This recipe is adapted from Sarah Wilson’s recipe, which you can find here. The first time I made it, even though I cooked it outside, it was a disaster. Perhaps, it was the onions, or the multitude of other ingredients that once upon a time I would have been fine with; or, perhaps, I cooked it too long, and it had that burnt, overcooked quality that it seems, only I can notice in foods (and take-away coffee): my sinuses start pulsating after eating/drinking it, then go on to ache, giving me, and any family members who introduce any odours into the house, grief. Anyway, it was not a total failure: my dog adored this batch of soup!
Below, is a part of the Sixty Minutes show about chickens that I watched last weekend (if this doesn’t make you switch to organic chickens (or at least (true) free range), then nothing will):
UPDATE: the truth about chickens and the industry who profit from their demise.