Most people don't have the stomach to find out where all the animals they eat come from. So in resignation to this reality I have decided to list the five worst treated farm animals out there. This way, if you do care, but just aren’t ready to do much about it, you can at least try to avoid those most abused. I am not endorsing this as constituting ethical eating, but it can be a real step in the right direction
1. Turkeys – Turkeys have been so heavily hybridized and genetically modified through intensive breeding methods that they are the only farm animal that cannot naturally reproduce, and must be artificially inseminated, not a pretty job. Once hatched, they experience terrible living conditions, often necessitating the painful removal of the birds’ beaks and spurs. Turkeys also grow so fast that their bones and organs can barely keep up, and they frequently go lame, or die of organ failure.
Writing this series has me on quite a journey. We've talked about so many of the elements that go into making a truly incredible chicken soup: the fat, the feet, the organs, the age... and most importantly the blood. I hope you've learned as much as me, so with no further ado enjoy the recipe!
Heritage Chicken Soup
Prep time: 1-2 hours
Cook time: 8- 10 hours
1 whole 4-6 lb heritage stewing chicken including the feet, gizzard, heart and neck - (if you source smaller 2-3 pound hens than you can use 2 birds)
2-4 tablespoons schmaltz (add more or less shmaltz depending on how fat your chicken is)
1 big bag of fresh or frozen vegetable scraps - such as onion skins & ends, carrot peels, celery leaves & buts, leek tops etc..
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2-3 medium yellow onions - quartered
1 head of garlic - 1/2 peeled and the other half minced
3/4 pound carrots - roughly chopped into large pieces
3/4 pound celery - roughly chopped into large pieces
3/4 pound cauliflower - roughly chopped (optional, adds thickness to the soup)
1 1/2 pound russet potatoes -peeled and halved or quartered
3/4 pound parsnip or celery root - peeled and roughly chopped into large pieces
1 head of fresh parsley - minced
1 pinch of dried thyme
Your choice of fresh herbs, I personally enjoy thyme or dill (optional)
A few cups of fully cooked noodles or rice (optional)
salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste (optional)
They say that “blood runs thicker than water”; well, in the case of poultry, it also runs deeper than feed or environment. While most feel secure in the animal welfare standards of organic and pasture-raised poultry, they don’t realize that the single most important thing one should consider when buying chicken or turkey is the bloodlines these animals come from. Should you buy hybrids or heritage? If you want to make the world’s best chicken soup, there’s only one way to go.
About the blog:
Welcome to The Kosher Omnivore's Quest! My old blog on kosher slaughter, kosher meat, and animal welfare. For new content check out my new website, The Kosher Cut™. There you'll find: blog posts about shechita and related topics, educational slaughter presentations, kosher slaughter training, and a selection of high quality professional kosher slaughter equipment.