Family Recipes Cookbook

The cookbook I never got around to finishing…

Chicken Stock 12/28/2013

Filed under: CrockPot/Slow Cooker,Fall,Karin DeArmas,Reijo Pitkanen,Soups,Winter — kdearmas @ 1:40 AM
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We like to make our own stock with tons of flavor and lots of chicken fat and butter. We use the stock in many many recipes, including basics like rice or more complex soups. It’s the main reason we do Beer Can Chicken, to make stock.

We start with Beer Can Chicken.

Once the chicken is cool enough, strip off all meat and store for future recipes. I’m still developing those, including a work-in-progress Southwestern Chicken Chowder. We recently got a Food Saver for better storage of the extra chicken.

  1. After you’ve stripped off and stored the meat, take a cleaver and halve the carcass and the thighs to get the marrow exposed during cooking. Do the same thing with the wings. Split the rib cage. There is not real right way to do this.
  2. Put all bones, skins, and fat into a crock pot.
  3. Pour leftover beer and one more full beer into the pot.
  4. Add about a one quart bag of leeks, onions, and ends-and-stems of everything we’ve collected. We save all ends and stems of vegetables like carrots, onions, leeks, celery, etc. We store them in the freezer until it’s time to make a stock.
  5. Cover with water
  6. 6-8 hours on lowest setting, maybe 10 hours depending on what’s left on the bones.

Next day:

  1. Strain into a stock pot to remove most solids (all the chunky stuff). You are left with a very cloudy liquid.
  2. Reduce, reduce, reduce to your taste.
  3. To clarify, add egg whites, then strain them out.
  4. Use fine strainer to funnel into bottles for storage. We save 360 Vodka (which is a very decent and reasonably priced Vodka) bottles with the Grolsch-type tops for stocks.
  5. Fat plug optional: Butter on top floats and seals the neck, kind of like a wax plug. This helps preserve your stock from getting air into it. Good for if you intend to keep the stock for some time. Not needed if you intend to use stock quickly. If you want to do a fat plug: Quarter/half stick melted and poured on top of stock once it’s in the bottle.

Southwestern Chicken Chowder

Filed under: Fall,Karin DeArmas,Reijo Pitkanen,Soups,Stove Top,Winter — kdearmas @ 1:19 AM

This recipe is a work in progress. I will be amending it as I refine what I want out of it.

The reason for exploring this was to find a recipe that would allow me to use the chicken after making Beer Can Chicken. Our main reason for making Beer Can Chicken is to make Chicken Stock, but we end up with about 4-5 pounds of chicken left over and few recipes to do something easily.

First, after we tear the chicken off the bones, we are left with about 4-5 pounds. Using our new (as of 2013) Food Saver, we create 1-pound bags of chicken for later use. This Chicken Chowder recipe calls for about 1 ½- 2 pounds of chicken. I’ve modified the recipe as I’ve done it so far.

I started with this Chicken Chowder recipe, but immediately modified it.

Major departures:

  • Substituted black beans for potatoes. Major improvement as far as we’re concerned.
  • Dramatically increased the amount of chicken to about 1 ½- 2 pounds.
  • Liberal use of Tiger Sauce in addition to Creole seasoning/salt.
  • Like with most of my soups, I don’t like chunky vegetables or meat. So I tend to use my Cuisinart to finely dice vegetables and chicken. It’s entirely up to you.


6 slices bacon, diced

1/2 cup diced celery

1 15 oz. can of black beans

1 cup diced onion

1/2 cup diced carrot

3 tablespoons flour

2 1/2 cups chicken broth

1 teaspoon Creole seasoning or seasoned salt

Tiger Sauce (or preferred hot sauce) to taste; I use about a quarter cup.

1 cup corn kernels

1 1/2 cups half-and-half

1 1/2 to 2 pounds cooked chicken (see Beer Can Chicken)

1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes

salt and pepper, to taste



  1. Fry bacon in a large saucepan or Dutch oven
  2. Remove to paper towels to drain
  3. Add butter to bacon drippings, if necessary, to make 3 tablespoons.
  4. Add celery, onion, and carrot. Saute, stirring constantly, until onion and celery are tender.
  5. Stir in flour until well incorporated.
  6. Add chicken broth and seasoning or seasoned salt, stirring to blend well.
  7. Cook—stirring—until  thickened.
  8. Cover and simmer for ~12 minutes.
  9. Add the diced chicken and corn; simmer for 7 minutes longer, until vegetables are tender.
  10. Add half-and half and tomatoes. Heat through and taste.
  11. Add black beans
  12. Add salt and pepper, as needed.
  13. Serve with tortilla strips on top and additional hot sauce as desire.

Pulla (Finnish bread) 12/25/2009



  • 2 cups milk – Do not use nonfat milk.
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, (~1/16 tsp. optional, non-traditional)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 9 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted


  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • Ground cardamom to taste (~1/4 tsp. optional, non-traditional)
  • Nutmeg to taste (~ 1/8 tsp. optional, non-traditional)
  • Cinnamon to taste (~ 1/2 tsp. optional, non-traditional)
  • Allspice to taste (~ one small pinch per loaf.  optional, non-traditional)


1.       Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it just starts to evenly form small bubbles, then remove from heat. Let cool until lukewarm.

2.       Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Immediately stir in the lukewarm milk, sugar, salt, cardamom, 4 eggs, and enough flour to make a batter (approximately 2 cups). Beat until the dough is smooth and elastic.

3.       Add about 3 cups of the flour and beat well; the dough should be smooth and glossy in appearance.

4.       Add the melted butter or margarine, and stir well. If you wish to add cayenne pepper, do so at this time. Beat again until the dough looks glossy.

5.       Stir in the remaining flour until the dough is stiff.

6.       Turn out of bowl onto a floured surface, cover with an inverted mixing bowl, and let rest for 15 minutes. Knead the dough until smooth and satiny.

7.       Place in a lightly greased mixing bowl, and turn the dough to grease the top. Cover with a clean dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch down, and let rise again until almost doubled.

8.       Turn out again on to a floured surface, and divide into 3 parts. Divide each third into 3 again. Roll each piece into a 12 to 16 inch strip. Braid 3 strips into a loaf. You should get 3 large braided loaves. Lift the braids onto greased baking sheets. Let rise for 20 minutes.

9.       Glaze: Brush each loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar, optionally dust with cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice.  Mix and match your taste.

10.       Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes. Check occasionally because the bottom burns easily.  The bread will naturally tear between braids as it rises.

Other native variations of this bread include sliced/diced/shredded almonds and/or rasins at step 4.  A vaguely Russian(?) influence is making a glaze of Egg and Sugar and topping the hump of each braid with a few kernels of rock salt.  (See inclusive picture)


Beer Can Chicken

Filed under: Grill,Karin DeArmas,Main Course,Reijo Pitkanen — kdearmas @ 11:25 PM
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Beer Can Chicken

The main reason we make this is to make Chicken Stock, but it’s a great meal in and of itself.


Whole Organic Chicken

Cheap beer (PBR, Ranier Beer, etc.)

Rosemary, garlic, or other savory

Salt, pepper, and seasonings of choice


Cut off the top of the beer can (be careful)

Drink a few swallows of beer (be careful)

Put fresh rosemary, garlic cloves, or other savory of your choice to the beer

Remove giblets and other bits from within the chicken (you can reserve these for stuffing later if you have a recipe for it or if Adrienne posts her friend’s giblet stuffing recipe here)

Rub the chicken with salt, pepper, garlic pepper (or other seasonings of your choice)

Lower the chicken onto the beer can (could not find a way for that not to sound a bit sexual), be careful of the ragged beer can edges but ensure the chicken can sit upright on the beer can base.

Heat up the grill on high on both sides. Make sure it gets good and hot.

Once hot, turn off one side of the grill, leaving the other side on high.

Place the chicken on the beer can base on the off side of the grill.

Cook for one hour.

A great and easy side with this is winter squash (butternut, acorn, etc.). Simply cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, place in a roasting pan—flesh side down—in about 1-2 inches of water. Place the roasting pan on the hot side of the grill for ~1/2 hour (depending on the squash, butternut takes longer)