The Big Fat Hen

I have nothing less than extravagant praise for the chicken raised by Jill and her boys at Jolly Farms in Santa Fe (Texas, that is). They have solved all of the many problems confronting those who have tried to raise free range chickens year round. They do it better than our several tried and failed chicken partners - and not by just a little bit. The product is just delicious while avoiding ALL of the negatives that come with industrial chicken.

After consuming the breasts, wings, legs and thighs, you will end up with a carcass that has some meat clinging to it. What signal does that give you? It’s bone broth time! Third child John Henry has come up with additions to our broth recipe (see the recipe section on our website) that adds zestiness to the result. Here goes.

For a gallon and a half of water, add the carcass plus the ingredients listed in our recipe section, and these additions á la John Henry:

  • 2 inches of whole ginger cut into 3 equal chunks, and
  • 2 whole lemons, cut in half with the skin on

Follow the rules for broth making - always a long, slow simmer to produce a pretty, clear broth. I like 24 hours but it doesn’t have to be so long. 6 hours will do and in a pinch, 3 hours will produce enjoyable results.

How to eat it: strip the remaining meat from the carcass and add it back along with your choice of vegs and a starch if you like; drink it straight from the pot; use it to make rice or pasta; or any combination of the above.

HoniAnn and I make 4 dinners from the one 4 lb. hen grown by Jolly. That’s not only great eating but also a wasteless and therefore frugal use of your package.