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Liquid Gold

It's something you will use all the time. It can replace water in nearly every recipe that calls for H2O, and is much more flavorful. It takes up little room in your freezer, and can be thawed in a microwave in minutes if you forget to set it out early. What is this little treasure? Chicken broth, my friends. Liquid Gold.

Whenever chicken is boiled, I add an onion, a few celery stalks, some salt and maybe a little thyme to season it. Years ago, I dumped the remaining liquid down the drain. That was sinful! The stuff in the pot can be simmered with the carcass after picking off the meat, strained easily through a colander into another pot, then poured into ziplock baggies or muffin tins for freezing. Shazam! Instant homemade 'brothy' goodness! This is no huge secret, southern mommas have been doing it for generations. I was merely behind the learning curve.

Homemade soups and stews are easy with this fabulous fluid. Quickie Rice/Noodles in a pouch are taken up a notch by using it instead of water. Any vegetable can be cooked in the broth to add flavor. It can be bought in a box at your local grocery, but there's just something about the ziplock stash that makes me think it's better than boxed. There's probably no difference in taste at all, but in my mind, recycling that juice makes me a better cook. I'm a sucker for homemade.

I didn't start out this way. My nearly perfect Momma did not teach sis and I how to cook. In her defense, we didn't ask to learn. We went off to college only knowing how to make a sandwich and push buttons on a microwave. I'll never forget calling her when my boxed mac & cheese came out wrong because I'd put the powder in the boiling noodles instead of saving it to mix in at the end. (I obviously wasn't very good at reading directions as well) The cute little 'add water and heat up in a cup' mac & cheese hadn't been invented yet. Now I make the REAL mac & cheese, as my boys call it. I haven't made it from a box in well over a decade. Does it take longer? Sure. Does it taste better? Oh yeah! Is it worth it? Just ask my boys.

I would've never saved liquid gold twenty five years ago. I had no idea all of the wonderful things it could do. I learned about bacon grease early on; my mason jar was generally full, sitting on the counter right by the stovetop for a quick spoonful whenever needed. These two weapons are always in my arsenal, ready and waiting for whatever needs an extra shot of yumminess. If you've never saved the broth, don't fret, you can begin the next time you boil a chicken. If you decide on the muffin tin route, make sure to take the liquid gold out of the tin once frozen and put it in an air tight container. It will come out easily by spraying warm water on the back of the tin. Pop them in sandwich sized baggies, and ta-da! You have individual portions ready to go.

Are you armed with both of these flavor bombs? Have you had cooking "fails"? Share them at Subscribe for FREE!

It's so easy! These little bags of gold make me smile.

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