Tag Archives: dinner

Lightly Crusted Flounder With Lemon Butter

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Lightly Crusted Flounder With Lemon Butter

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We’ve been eating a lot of fish lately and baking it, while delicious, can get a little old. So I mixed it up this week by putting a light crust on these filets and finishing them with a little lemon butter and dill. If you have rice flour, I recommend using it because it gives a light and crispy crust that you can’t get with regular flour, not to mention gluten free if you’re into that sorta thing. But if you don’t, regular flour works just fine.

Ingredients:
Flounder filets (I did 2 lbs)
Olive oil
1 T butter
Flour
Dill weed (optional but great addition)
Juice of 1 lemon

1. Season both sides of your filet with salt and pepper. Then using your hands, sprinkle a light dusting of flour on both sides as well.

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2. Pour a couple of tablespoons into a skillet on medium high heat. Then put your filets is for a few minutes each side. Leave it 2-3 minutes before flipping it over do it gets a nice crust and is easy to flip. Don’t overcrowd your pan and work in batches, pouring more oil in later if needed.

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3. Set your fish aside on your serving platter once it’s all done cooking. Then add 1 T butter and the juice of a lemon to your pan and stir around about a minute. Then pour lemon butter over flounder filets.

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4. Finally, sprinkle some fresh or dried herbs over your fish before serving. I love the taste of dill sprinkled over mine! White wine is fab with this dish 😄

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Acorn Squash

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Acorn Squash

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If you’re anything like me, acorn squash is probably a bit foreign. I know the first time I decided to try one, I had no idea how hard they were to cut into and that I should’ve sharpened my knife first. I didn’t know what it would taste like and wasn’t sure if I would like it because I know I don’t care for butternut squash. But boy, was I surprised at how delicious it was! Do you like Yukon gold potatoes? If so, you’ll love acorn squash. Do you love mashed potatoes or baked potatoes? That’s how I want you to think of acorn squash. Not that horrible cauliflower substitution for mashed potatoes, but a deliciously creamy and healthy substitution for a potato obsession. This recipe will be like healthy mashed potatoes, but feel free to change it up and serve with cheese and a little sour cream for a “baked potato” version!

Ingredients:
Acorn squash
Olive oil
Garlic salt
Pepper
1 T butter

1. First and most important, sharpen your biggest kitchen knife. If you have a dull knife, you won’t cut through this bad boy, trust me on that.

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2. Now you’re going to scoop out the seeds. I love my grapefruit spoon for this, but a regular spoon will work too if you don’t have one.

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3. Now put your acorn halves on a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil on both sides.

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4. Now bake on your center rack in a 400 degree oven for about an hour. You’ll know it’s done when you can easily stick a knife in it just like a baked potato.

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5. Now scoop out the inside of the squash into a mixing bowl. Add garlic salt and pepper to taste and your tablespoon of butter.

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6. Mix together and serve just like mashed potatoes! Soooo good!

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Sweet Chili Glazed Salmon

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Ok y’all, if you’re searching for the best salmon ever recipe, you can rest now because this is it! I had seen a recipe using sweet chili Asian sauce and orange marmalade on salmon and thought “Well there’s a cool idea!” and came up with this delicious concoction. It was so yummy my husband had me go back up to the store today and buy four more pounds of salmon to keep in our freezer for me to make this recipe again soon!

*  I have since revised this recipe so that it uses less sauce and it is just as delicious! *

Ingredients:
2 lbs salmon cut into filets about 8 oz a piece
1/4 c sweet chili sauce (found on the Asain isle – I love the Grama’s Sweet Chili Glaze) 
1 T apricot preserves
1 T soy sauce
1 T chopped green onions
1 garlic clove minced
Salt and pepper

1. In a small mixing bowl pour in your sweet chili sauce, apricot preserves, green onions, garlic, and soy sauce and whisk together.

IMG_2391 2. Cover a sheet pan with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray and lay salmon skin side down on the sheet. Season the salmon with salt and pepper, then pour sauce over the top of the salmon and allow it to marinate that way for about 30 minutes.

  

3. Once it’s done marinating place the salmon near the top of your oven under the broiler for approximately 15 minutes. You’ll want the sauce to caramelize on top of the fish and don’t worry if you see the sauce burning that slid off the fish and is stuck to the foil. 

*This is a picture from my original post, but you’ll get the idea of what the fish will look like when it’s done.

  
It’s now ready to eat and so yummy! My husband likes to pour a little extra sweet chili glaze on the side to dip his in. Yum! 😍

Confetti Quinoa

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Confetti Quinoa

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I get asked a lot about how I cook quinoa. The answer is: any way and every way you cook rice. It’s versatile and delicious, and very good for you. If there was a such thing as “the perfect food for you,” this would be it. This recipe is great for side dishes, or served as the main dish with some added grilled chicken or stuffed into acorn squash. I’ll give you my other favorite way to eat it at the bottom.

Ingredients:

1 sweet onion
1 bell pepper or a handful of those sweet tri-colored peppers
2 garlic cloves
3-4 kale leaves (or Swiss chard)
1 10.8 ounce frozen bag of mixed vegetables
1 1/2 c quinoa (any kind – I used rainbow quinoa)
Salt, pepper, cumin powder, Knorr chicken bouillon cube
Olive oil
3 c water

1. Drizzle some olive oil into a pot or Dutch oven and sauté chopped onion and peppers in there about 10 minutes over medium to high heat.

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2. Add the frozen vegetables and chopped garlic cloves and season everything with salt, pepper, and a few healthy dashes of cumin powder.

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3. Chop up your greens and add to your pot.

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4. Add your 1 1/2 c quinoa, 3 c water, and crumble up your chicken bullion cube and turn your heat up to bring everything to a boil.

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5. Put a lid on your pot and turn the heat down to simmer. Allow it to cook just like rice – about 20 minutes. My son loves his with cut cherry tomatoes served on top.

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Mexican Quinoa – add a chopped jalapeño with the sweet peppers and omit kale/spinach. After it’s done cooking add fresh chopped cilantro and 1 can of drained black beans.

Creamy Spinach With Caramelized Onions

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Creamy Spinach With Caramelized Onions

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This is definitely one of our favorite sides in our house. So delicious and cheesy and perfect! It’s a perfect side dish, but also something fun to stuff chicken with if you want to try something different!

Ingredients:
2 boxes frozen spinach drained
1 sweet onion
1 garlic clove
1/2 c mozzarella cheese
1/2 c cheddar cheese
2 oz cream cheese
2 T butter
1/4 c milk
1 T flour
Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper

1. Chop your onion and garlic and put in your skillet or Dutch oven with butter and season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Keep it on medium heat and cook for about ten minutes.

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2. Meanwhile, defrost your frozen spinach. I had taken mine out earlier in the day, but you can defrost it easily in the microwave.

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3. Place your spinach in a colander and squeeze all the water out with your hands. You will be surprised how much water comes out!

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4. Once your onions look golden and delicious, add your flour and give it a stir. Let it cook 2-3 minutes.

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5. Now turn down the heat a bit and add your squeezed out spinach, cheeses, and milk.

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6. Stir it around until everything is melted and combined. I like to add a little more salt and pepper here too.

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Enjoy 🙂

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Easy Oven BBQ Chicken

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Easy Oven BBQ Chicken

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Do yall ever just feel so exhausted you feel like making dinner is equivalent to climbing Mt. Everest? That’s how I felt yesterday after doing 4,573 piles of laundry. I was actually buried alive there for a little bit and things got iffy, by I made it out ok. I was craving my other BBQ Chicken, but as I said before, I had no energy and no ability to baste my chicken because I knew my arms would fall off. So I did it this way instead, and it was just as delicious and very easy to do!

Ingredients:
3 lbs chicken thighs bone in skin on (the cheap chicken thigh pack)
2 garlic cloves chopped
1 sweet onion
1 c BBQ sauce (Head Country is the best)
6-8 oz apricot jam (Mine was an 8 oz jar I had eaten some out of already, but you get the drift 😄)
1/2 stick butter
Salt and pepper

1. Melt your butter in a heavy duty Dutch oven and once it’s hot, place your chicken skin side down to get a nice sear on it. Make sure to season it with salt and pepper. Flip it over after a few minutes and then set it aside. It’s far from cooked, but we just want to get the skin crispy for later.

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2. Now toss in your onion and turn the heat down a bit if you need to. Again, season it with salt and pepper and cook it 15-20 minutes or until they’re golden and cooked through. Toss your garlic in there during the last five minutes.

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3. After that’s all cooked, add your cup of BBQ sauce and apricot jam into it and stir all together. Turn off the heat.

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4. Now lay your chicken in there with the skin side up, put the lid on it, and set in your oven at 325 for one hour.

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5. Now it’s done! If you don’t have a Dutch oven, but you do have a slow cooker, you could do all the cooking on your stovetop in a skillet (preferably cast iron) and dump it into your slow cooker on high for 4 hours or low for 8. We had ours with baked potatoes and it was perfection!

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Broccoli Rice Casserole

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Broccoli Rice Casserole

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We’ve all had broccoli rice casserole at one time or another, and this isn’t too far off from the original recipe from Cambell’s. It’s just got a few tweaks to give it some extra dimension and flavor!

Ingredients:
1 lb (16 oz) frozen cut broccoli
8 oz Velveeta
1 onion
1/2 stick butter
1 1/2 c rice
2 oz cream cheese
2 cloves of garlic chopped
Roasted red peppers
1 can cream of chicken and mushroom soup (the blend is really good!)
1/3 c milk
Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper

1. Sauté your chopped onion in your butter for about 15 minutes until they start to turn golden. Meanwhile, cook your 1 1/2 c rice according to the package instructions.

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2. Put your broccoli in a microwaveable safe container and fill halfway with water. Pop it in your microwave for five minutes to steam them so they’re cooked but still crunchy.

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3. After your onion is mostly cooked, add your chopped garlic and sauté another few minutes. Season it all with salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. I also added chopped up roasted red peppers. I only had a half a jar, but would’ve done a full jar if I had it.

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4. Add your cheeses and cream of mushroom & chicken and cook on low until it’s melted.

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5. Add your milk and it will thin out the sauce a bit.

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6. Now add your broccoli…

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7. …then add your cooked rice 😄

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8. Now pour this into a buttered casserole dish and bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. So good!

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Easy Glazed Ham

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Easy Glazed Ham

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Glazed ham has got to be one of my favorite things to eat and cook. It’s so easy and that delicious ham can feed your family for a week!

I remember years ago when I first tried to bake a ham for my first Easter away from home. If you’ll google ham recipes, you’ll find lots with cloves that you stick into the ham, then later remove. It’s pretty tasty, but cloves are expensive, plus time consuming to put in and remove before eating. I’ve tried all these complicated and expensive (to me) recipes, but I’ve finally settled on my favorite glazed ham recipe and it only requires three ingredients! I even have a solution to cloves and it keeps your ham moist, plus it adds some awesome flavor to your juice that you save and make a pot of peas, green beans, or anything else with. I’ll give you a bonus recipe as well with what I did with this leftover ham 🙂

Ingredients:
1 c apple cider
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c honey
Ham (I mean, obviously…)

Ok, first lets talk about the ham. Sure, everyone loves the spiral cut runway model of hams. But who has $50 to blow on a ham? Especially when you can spend $10-$15 on the same amount of meat and you just cut it yourself. Do yourself a favor if you’re penny pinching like me and buy the cheapest ham at your grocery store, which will most likely be the shank end of a ham. Remember you’re glazing it yourself, so no need for any extras like pre-packaged full of preservatives and other stuff glaze. Just a cheap ham shank. Also, this glaze is going to work for any ham up to about 12 pounds, so if your ham is bigger, just make a little more glaze.

1. Take a paring knife and cut all around your ham in one direction about 1/4 inch into the ham, then around it again in the opposite direction making little diamonds all over your ham. Now it sorta resembles a checkerboard. This will let the skin crisp up and allow the glaze to flavor the inside of the ham once we get there. Place your ham in a large roasting pan. Do not underestimate the amount of juice your ham will make and put it into a roasting dish that’s too small. You’ll end up cleaning up your oven forever! Ask me how I know this 😳

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2. Pour one cup of apple cider in with your ham. Any apple cider will do. They’re spiced and seasoned with yummy flavors like clove, cinnamon, and who knows what else. I just know it’s delicious and really gives the ham a yummy flavor, plus it keeps it moist. Then cover in foil and place in your oven 15-20 minutes PER POUND at 325. So, if your ham is 10 pounds, that’s 150-200 minutes baking time. The last 30 minutes of your baking time we will glaze the ham, so set a timer for yourself. Also, you pick the cooking time based on how your tastes are, so my suggestion is set a timer for the shorter time, look at it, and if you want to cook it longer (like I did), then cook it longer.

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3. The last 30 minutes of your baking time remove the foil from your ham and pour the glaze all over it. To make the glaze, just put your brown sugar and honey in a microwave safe bowl and nuke it about 1 minute, stirring halfway through. If you don’t have a microwave, you can do it on your stovetop. After you’ve poured the glaze on, put back in your oven for another 30 minutes.

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4. After 30 minutes your ham is done! Take it out and let it rest about 10-15 minutes before slicing into it.

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Things to do with leftover ham:

1. Similar to the Hawaiian Sweet Roll ham sandwich recipe I’m sure you’ve all tasted at parties, here is my spin on that: Using 24 dinner rolls from your store’s bakery, cut in half and place on a sheet pan. Cover bottom roll with 50/50 miracle whip/mayo and top with leftover ham and Swiss cheese. Place top back on rolls. In a microwave safe dish, mix 1 cup baked ham juice from roasting pan and 1 stick melted butter. Pour over the rolls and allow to sit anywhere from 10 minutes to overnight in the fridge wrapped in foil. Place covered in foil in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, then serve the most delicious little ham sandwich straight from heaven.

2. Save the leftover ham juice and ham hock. You can use them separately in different dishes to stretch out the use of your ham. Check out my turnip greens recipe if you like those. Or put the ham hock in a pot of beans, cream peas, soup, etc. You can’t go wrong! I even used part of my leftover juice to boil a bag of frozen green beans with salt and pepper and they were fantastic!

Hambone, hambone, have ya heard?! I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist 😄

Beef Stroganoff

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Beef Stroganoff

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Back in college I used to eat frozen dinners all the time, and this was one of my favorites. Thankfully, I’ve learned to cook since then and no longer shop in the frozen meals section. But I was craving beef stroganoff the other night and thought I could make it myself! You can use practically any beef for this. I used the “boneless family steak” cut from the 40% off clearance meat section of my grocery store. I have no idea what cut of beef “family steak” is, but when I figure it out, I’ll let ya know! You can use top sirloin or ground beef for that matter in this recipe.

Ingredients:
1 sweet onion
1 package of mushrooms (8 oz – 10 oz)
2 cups beef broth (about 75% of a box)
2 garlic cloves
1 stick of butter
1-1.5 lbs beef
12 oz (1 bag) egg noodles
4 T flour
Splash of worchestishire sauce
Splash of wine (optional)
Splash of heavy whipping cream (optional)
Salt and pepper

1. I forgot to take a picture (oops), but take about a tablespoon of butter and melt it in a hot skillet for your steak you’ve seasoned with salt and pepper. Cook your steak until pink in the middle, then take out and let it rest. Leaving the juices in the pan, now throw in 1/2 of your butter and chopped onion and cook for about ten minutes. I like to let the onions go first so they get a little golden before adding the mushrooms.

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2. Now add your mushrooms, garlic, a few dashes of Worchestishire sauce, the rest of your butter, and salt and pepper. Cook for another ten minutes or so until everything is golden and delicious.

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3. Are you drinking wine while making dinner? Lean over your sauté pan and spill some wine from your cup into the veggies and deglaze your pan. If not, you can skip this part, but it makes it soooo yummy 🙂 Oh, hello Mr. Box!

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4. Now add your flour to the pan and stir around for 3-4 minutes. You want the flour to thicken up your veggies and cook a little bit before adding your liquid.

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5. Now add 2 cups of beef broth and allow this to come to a boil. While you’re waiting for this to happen, go slice up your steak into this bite sized strips.

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6. Once it’s boiling, add your steak strips to the pan and turn the heat down to a simmer. This will continue to cook the meat and make the meat tender. Also, it gives the flour a chance to thicken up the sauce. Allow to simmer 20-30 minutes. Now is a good time to start your noodles if you want everything to come out at the same time.

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7. Lastly, and this is optional, add a splash of heavy whipping cream to your pan. It’ll take this sauce into a creamy heavenly perfection. Ahh, so good 🙂 If you don’t have heavy whipping cream, a few dollops of sour cream will do or 1/2 and 1/2. Or you can omit entirely if you’d like. Taste for salt and pepper needs before serving over egg noodles. It’s so perfect 🙂

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Homemade Chicken Broth

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Homemade Chicken Broth

Homemade Chicken Broth

Chicken broth made at home is so much tastier than the boxed/canned stuff you get at the store, not to mention much cheaper when you compare how much this makes! This broth is great for any recipe, like Chicken Noodle Soup, Texas Cornbread Dressing, or any other recipe that calls for broth or stock. What’s the difference between broth and stock? Stock is really more about the carcass of the animal (chicken bones, beef bones, etc.) and broth boils the meat. They’re both delicious, but broth is a bit quicker to make and doesn’t take all day boiling away, plus it leaves you with leftover meat you can chop up and make just about anything with (soup, chicken salad, enchiladas, the possibilities are endless!). Also, I should note I used chicken thighs for this broth recipe because that’s what I had in my freezer and not a whole chicken. Either one will work perfectly. The key is you want your chicken to have skin and bones, because it’s going to deliver the most flavor.

Ingredients:
1 bunch of celery with leaves
3 carrots
1 large onion skin on
2 bay leaves
2 Knorr chicken bouillon cubes
1 T garlic herb seasoning
1.5 gallons of water (24 cups of water)
1 large package chicken thighs or 1 whole chicken between 2.5-3.5 pounds (my chicken thighs were 3 pounds)

1. Don’t even bother peeling or skinning your veggies, just give them a rough chop and throw them all in your stock pot.
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2. Add your chicken and seasonings into the pot.
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3. Cover with water and bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and leave uncovered.
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Homemade Chicken Broth

4. After about an hour and a half your broth is done cooking! Take out a strainer and place over another large pot or bowl in your sink and pour everything out of your stock pot into it. I suggest pulling your chicken out first before trying this move, because if your strainer is like mine, it’s probably not big enough to hold all of that.
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5. Now you have lots of delicious broth left in your bowl and you can use it now or freeze in containers and use whenever you want. So good!
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