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TDG: Bone Soup


Fat Guy
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Introducing Nina Planck.

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Be sure to check The Daily Gullet home page daily for new articles (most every weekday), hot topics, site announcements, and more.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I felt ill last week when I was asked to pick up boneless/skinless breast to save time. You can buy a whole damn chicken for the price of just the breasts. Not only is it wasteful of money, but you're stripping the meat of all the flavor! I've yet to find a commercial stock that's as good as homemade so it's not just about saving money. Plus, you can trim the wings, roast 'em at high heat and add a little hotsauce and butter for some buffalo wings. Buying just the breasts is a crime!

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Buying just the breasts is a crime!

Punishable by having to eat the bland nasty things.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Punishable by having to eat the bland nasty things.

Yes, yes, yes!! I refuse to go near 'em. I believe St. Mario sez they're the most useless cut of meat on the planet (paraphrasing, of course).

As to Nina Planck, she's my kinda woman; not only is she a farmers' market maven, her next book will extol the virtues of beef, butter, and cream -- while dissing margerine and soy milk. I'd love to have her do a Q&A at some point.

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Now I feel slightly guilty that the column I'm working on has a recipe involving boneless chicken breasts.

Yes, a terrific piece. Thanks.

But Mamster...I am sick of breast bashing. Sure I like thighs and legs better, but a chicken breast need not be dry, dull or flavorless. Reverse food snobism here.

Y'know...aint much wrong with a well made chicken Kiev.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Buying just the breasts is a crime!

Punishable by having to eat the bland nasty things.

May it please the Food Court,

I'm in line for Defendant No. 1 on the crime of boneless skinless chicken breasts.

But mine aren't bland.... :blink:

heheheh

Soba

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-- while dissing margerine and soy milk.

Never mind that some of us (*cough*) are lactose intolerant and therefore can't exactly consume milk and/or dairy products on a regular basis. :hmmm:

I do agree however on the margarine.

Soba

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I'd like to submit this as a friendly critique... :smile:

I'm curious as to her choosing the word 'broth' over 'stock.'

My education tells me that a stock is made from bones; broth is made from meat. The key difference being that flavored water made with bones, which has gelatin, gives stock its rich texture. You can reduce two gallons of stock down to one cup where it then becomes a rich demi glac. Stocks become richer the more you reduce them because the amount of gelatin doesn't diminish as the liquid diminishes.

As you reduce a stock, you come away with a (pardon the pun) lip-smackin' good product because the gelatin in the stock helps spread the flavors over your tongue. This is also true of non-reduced stocks, sauces, or gravies, only it's not as intense. Your tongue feels sticky against the roof of your mouth because the gelatin sticks to your taste buds filling them with the flavors from the stock, sauce, gravy, or demi glac.

Flavored water made with meat, which doesn't have gelatin, gives a broth its thin, or watery, mouthfeel. It doesn't have that same rich texture you get from a stock. It's clear because there are no bones to cloud it up (improperly made stocks get cloudy from the blood inside the bones; there's no blood in meat, and therefore, a broth should not cloud up). A broth is also easier to clarify which makes a it a good choice for consummé.

If you reduce a broth down from 2 gallons to 1 cup you'll have an intensely flavored broth that has the same 'water' consistency as it had at 2 gallons. There is no richness nor gelatinous characteristic gained through the reduction of a broth, and there is no stickiness to the taste buds.

And regarding vitamin A:

...This justifies classic combinations like liver and bacon -- liver is a very dense protein, rich in Vitamin A found only in animal foods.

Deep-yellow, or orange vegetables, like carrots and squash, are a great source of vitamin A, as are apricots and other orange-colored fruits.

Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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Another good article.

We have a freezer full of beef and chicken stock and regularly use it to make Asian style soups with noodles, wontons (also made in batches and frozen) and veggies....

'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.'

- Frank Zappa

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Andrew, that's a good point. I've read the article over several times, and love the basic premise, but am still a bit confused about "boiling." Not about cooking the bones several times -- that's the classic remouillage -- but about the rate at which they should be cooked. I too learned that a slow simmer will result in a clearer liquid.

Nina P: would you please explain? Did you really mean boil bubble bubble BUBBLE bubble BUBBLEBUBBLEBUBBLEBUBBLE?

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Great article Nina.

They have been doing studies lately that chewing on bones may help prevent rheumatoid arthritis. (Here's one). Arthriitis is caused by an autoimmune disorder where the bodoes immune system attacks cartilage in the joints. Apparently introducing the body to collagen through the digestive system may delay this.

This study was published in Science recently if anyone wants to look it up.

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Great article, I enjoyed it very much.

I believe St. Mario sez they're the most useless cut of meat on the planet (paraphrasing, of course).

I thought he said that about the "Filet Mignon". He says you will never find it in one of his restaurants. Same idea I guess...all muscle and no fat or connective tissue.

FM

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I found the phrase "complete protein" somewhat disconcerting to read in a modern discussion of nutrition. To the best of my knowledge, you don't need to eat all of the amino acids your body cannot make (essential amino acids) in one sitting. Most people who eat a varied diet, including vegetarians, will consume enough of these amino acids over the course of a week.

And I certainly hope there will be no soya milk bashing. Fresh soya milk with yew char kway or a nice warm bowl of tofu fa for breakfast? It doesn't get any better than that. I don't like soya milk that pretends to be cow milk, but bashing a whole catagory of foodstuffs that have a very long and lovely tradition based on a couple of soy coffee creamers would be unfortunate.

regards,

trillium (been known to consume soya milk, cow milk, oxtails and boneless skinless chicken breasts in the same week)

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Loved the article because it sounds like the kind of thing I would do. I have the same issues with living alone and sometimes working at home. I have some new directions to go now with that damn big chicken I baked the other day.

I do have a couple of questions about technique though... Basically the same one Suzanne had about boiling vs. simmering. The other one is how you can get a lot of flavor out of beef bones with only an hour of simmering? When I do this to make stock it is usually at least 3 or 4 hours before the flavor comes up and the meat gets tender. (I usually use neck bones and sometimes add shank bones with meat.)

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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-- while dissing margerine and soy milk.

Never mind that some of us (*cough*) are lactose intolerant and therefore can't exactly consume milk and/or dairy products on a regular basis. :hmmm:

I do agree however on the margarine.

Soba

Soba, I'm lactose-intolerant as well; that said, I indulge myself fairly often -- always making sure to have Lactaid Ultra close at hand.

Have you tried any of the other "milk" available? I've become a huge fan of almond milk, which I prefer over soy and rice milk hands down. Give it a try . . .

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I'd love to have her do a Q&A at some point.

Thats a great idea, but I think we should let her settle into her new job first!

Oh, indeed! She'll have her hands full running the Greenmarket enterprise, I've no doubt.

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Hello!

Thanks for all the comments.

Broth v stock. I hadn't even looked it up as I use them casually interchangeably - thanks for the precision.

Vit A and Vit D, both fat-soluble, are found only in animal foods. Precursors such as beta carotene (and dozens of other less fashionable carotenoid compounds) are found in dark and bright orange and green vegetables. But the body must convert them to useable Vit A and D. That in turn requires animal fats. Babies and infants particularly are poor converters. That is one reason no baby should be on a low-fat diet. Put butter on your carrots!

This is but one reason cultures all over the world eat animal foods and seek out animal fats, from cream to blubber to grubs to fish liver.

Soy: the soy industry here would have you believe that isolated soy protein, sugar, and vegetable oil (the basic ingredients in soy milk) has been eaten by Asians for 5,000 years, when the Chinese first learned that soy must be fermented to make it fit for human consumption. It is indigestible without fermentation and was before then used as a nitrogen fixer (adding fertillity to soil as a cover crop) and as animal fodder.

But US-style, industrial soy milk (and burgers and cheese and the other faux foods) are not eaten by Asians and never were. These are invented foods made from the by-product of soy bean oil production, which is itself the source of the worst food in the American diet: trans fatty acids or hydrogenated vegetable oil, found in all those processed foods because it's shelf-stable.

When you press soy beans for oil you get leftover protein. They use this waste product, 'isolated soy protein,' in all manner of phony foods, from cheese to burgers, and tell you that Asians have always eaten this way.

Some soy industry types recommend you eat 100 g of soy a day. Yet Asians average 10 g per day - one-tenth. Asians eat soy fermented, as a condiment, and in combination with animal foods which makes it more nutritious. They don't eat soy as a substitute for animal foods. Tofu, miso, natto, soy sauce: these are traditional soy foods. Enjoy them.

If Jason and Steven are willing, I'll post a soy essay.

Trouble with milk? Depends on your heritage and your early years. Try raw milk (pasteurization causes some milk allergies and intolerances). Goat milk is eaten by 65% of the milk-eating cultures in the world and it's naturally homogenized and easy to digest. Or, of course, cultured milk foods, where the lactase has been digested: yoghurt, cheese, kefir, etc.

The nut milks are nice too, but they're nut millks, not milk!

Complete Protein A purely vegan diet with no animal foods presents many deficiences. The best quality proteins are in animal foods. No single plant food contains all the essential amino acids, and in combination, plant foods are still inferior - for protein - to animal foods. Try www.beyondveg.com.

For more, see www.westonaprice.org, a foundation dedicated to real food and accurate nutritional advice.

What a great forum! What fun! Thanks to Jason and Steven.

Best wishes, Nina

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