CHICKEN stock.. CHICKEN puree.. In baby food? Really?
Don't worry if you are scratching your head like I did at those two things being together. If you already knew this, then you are super smart and should come over and teach me a couple of things.
Before I started making my own baby food, I naively thought baby food had to be only fruits and vegetables.
Done and Done.
Well of course I was wrong. That is not a well rounded diet. Your baby needs more whole grains and protein then that.
And then of course I opened my eyes and saw that baby food was indeed sold with chicken in it. In pouches or jars on a shelf. Just sititng there. On a shelf with chicken in it? I still scratch my head on how that is ok to eat.
Chicken, whether used as a stock to thin down purees or as a chunky puree added to other fruits and veggies is a great way to get protein, iron and minerals into your baby. This becomes especially important around 9 months, when babies need more of those nutrients then ever before.
So go ahead and add it in.
Chop, chop, chop.
It doesn't have to be pretty.
8 cups water
2 organic free range split chicken breasts or 2 lbs any chicken parts**
2 organic carrots, peeled
2 organic stalks of celery, ends trimmed
2 sprigs of thyme
pepper to taste
Roughly chop onion, carrots and celery. Place in large pot with chicken, thyme and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 1-2 hours or until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Periodically, skim surface and remove any excess fat [if only it were that easy to do on my thighs].
Move chicken to a bowl and allow to cool. Strain broth through a fine sieve and discard the vegetables. Let cool and then use for any recipe or freeze in ice cube trays for future use. Defrost when you are making purees or want to add some extra flavor and nutrition to grains such as quinoa or barley.
Will last 5 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.
I tend to use the chicken I cook the chicken stock with to make a puree, but any poached, steamed, baked or roasted chicken will work just fine.
1 cup cooked chicken
1/4 cup chicken stock or water
Cut chicken into chunks and place in blender or food processor. Blend until it is pieces of flaky chicken (looks like fine shredded chicken) and then add enough stock or water until is it a constant puree.
Serve immediatly or freeze for future use. Is great mixed with any root vegetables, potatoes, apples or spinach mixes.
**Chicken breasts are higher in protein and lower in fat while dark meat is higher in iron and higher in fat. Because dark meat has more fat is is easier to blend into a puree.