We make room for dietary philosophies of all shapes and sizes on The Chalkboard. We love to talk about it all – and to acknowledge the simple truth that there are different strokes for different folks. Most of the diets we love best include two vital components: an element of traditional wisdom and straight-from-the-earth ingredients. Blogger Jennifer McGruther is one of our favorite voices in the traditional foods arena and her blog The Nourished Kitchen provides a culinary blueprint for anyone subscribing to a traditional foods diet.
Jennifer’s cookbook The Nourished Kitchen, hitting shelves April 15, is filled with beautiful farm-to-table recipes including fermented veggies, wholesome fats, bone broths and other traditional foods aimed at deeply replenishing the gaps in many of our modern diets.
Below, Jennifer shares a delicious shakshouka-like dish that can be made in just one dish and enjoyed morning, noon or night. Try this deliciously spicy dish at home and don’t miss her recipe for the homemade broth that gives the dish it’s nourishing depth! Here’s Jennifer…
The soft, buttery orange yolk of the egg melts into the fresh tomato sauce, which offers just a little bit of a kick thanks to the inclusion of crushed red pepper flakes. I prepare this dish often in the summertime, especially for lunch; I pair it with a simple green salad spiked with basil and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
eggs poached in fiery tomato sauce
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp finely ground unrefined sea salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 cup chicken bone broth (see below)
3 pounds tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
6 slices toasted sourdough bread
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Warm the olive oil in a wide, nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. Toss in the shallot, garlic, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes and sauté until softened and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Stir in the celery, carrot, and thyme and continue sautéing until the celery and carrot have softened, about 8 minutes. Pour in the chicken broth and use a spatula to scrape any bits adhering to the bottom of the pan. Stir in the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes, until the sauce becomes fragrant and the tomatoes soften and lose their form.
Crack the eggs, one at a time, into a small bowl and slip them very gently into the sauce, taking care not to break the yolks. Cover the pan and poach the eggs in the tomato sauce for 3 to 5 minutes, until the whites become firm. Poaching for 3 minutes will yield runny yolks, and 5 will deliver firm yolks.
Place a piece of toasted bread into each of six bowls. Ever so gently, transfer one egg at a time from the sauce to the bowls using a slotted spoon. Evenly distribute the sauce among the bowls, top with basil, and serve.
I slow roast a chicken every Sunday for my family, and I always reserve the chicken’s leftover framework to make a simple savory broth that will nourish us throughout the week. Simmered in water and wine with fragrant herbs, the chicken releases the flavor of its bones and marrow into the pot, and the minerals of its bones dissolve into the smooth yellow liquid. With prolonged cooking, the bones will break away and crumble when pressed between your thumb and forefinger, and then you know the broth is finished, for the bones yielded everything they could.
A good broth will solidify and gel when chilled because the prolonged simmering in water made slightly acidic by wine helps to release amino acids and collagen from cartilage-rich joints. This gelatin-rich broth aids with digestion while also yielding beautiful body to any soups or sauces made from the broth. I often drink broth in the morning with a clove of minced garlic and a bit of parsley and sea salt.
chicken bone broth
Makes about 4 quarts
carcass of 1 roasted chicken
2 yellow onions, 1 chopped and 1 quartered
4 ribs celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
3 sprigs thyme
6 to 8 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup white wine
4 to 6 quarts cold water, plus more as needed
Combine the chicken carcass, onions, celery, carrots, peppercorns, thyme, parsley and bay leaves in a large, heavy stockpot. Pour in the wine, then cover the chicken and vegetables with the cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then immediately decrease the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 12 to 14 hours, adding water as necessary to keep the bones submerged. From time to time, skim away any scum that might rise to the surface. The foamy scum isn’t harmful, but it can leave the broth with a very faintly acrid or dirty flavor.
Strain the broth, discarding the solids, then pour it into jars, cover, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months. As the broth cools, a bit of fat might float to the surface and then harden with chilling. You can scrape it away and discard it, or use it as you would any other cooking fat.