- Important: All passwords were reset on 06/15/11. Old passwords will no longer work. Click here to retrieve your password.
- Subscribe to Our Free Dewsletter
We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.
Some Meat on the Bone
I ran into an old friend at a wing and rib restaurant last week. It was her young daughter’s birthday and when asked what she wanted for supper on her birthday, her daughter responded, “some meat on the bone!”
I’ve since done some reflecting on my own children’s love for “meat on the bone.” Our 9-yr old, very petite daughter, Maddi, could eat a dozen wings, a full rack of ribs or six chicken legs in one sitting without blinking an eye. And clean those bones too!
It makes sense, though. I don’t know if this is a Southern thing or if we’re just Clampett crazy, but every baby in my family cut their teeth on pork rib and chicken leg bones. My dad was once entrusted with watching my friend’s baby for an hour while she and I ran an errand years ago. When we walked in the door, I literally thought my friend had choked from the look on her face because there sat my dad and baby Aubrey with a chicken leg bone hanging out of her mouth.
When I had my babies, I’d save bones in a gallon zip-tip bag in the freezer for them to gnaw on when their teeth started troubling them (cartilage, etc. removed, of course). I always imagined the ice-cold temperature and remnants of flavor were what did the trick. I used them so much that I got in the habit of cooking just legs instead of whole chickens quite a bit (recipe below).
I still save bones in the freezer. Not for more babies (no thanks!) but for soups and stews. My husband once made a move to throw a ham bone in the trash and I all but clotheslined him before he could take another step (for God’s sake, at least give it to the dog… damn).
Here are a few of my “meat on the bone” recipes. I hope you enjoy!
Slow Roasted Chicken (recommended for dark meat)
- 10 chicken legs (leg quarts or thighs work well too)
- Chicken Seasoning*
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line large baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Season chicken pieces liberally with the Chicken Seasoning, place on the prepared pan and bake for four hours.
I came up with this recipe years ago when trying to concoct something similar to the rotisserie seasoning in the grocery story delis. I probably use this every time I bake or grill chicken. The white pepper and thyme just go so well with chicken.
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
There is nothing particularly special about the preparation of this dish but it is one of my favorite soups. I grew up eating dried beans and ham so when my dad used the Cajun 15-Bean soup mix instead of the white butter beans I was used to, I was skeptical. It is phenomenal. The secret is in the seasoning packet in the bean package. I hope you can buy this in your neck of the woods. If not, ask your grocer. This recipe is worth it.
- 1 pkg. Hurst’s Cajun 15-Bean Soup beans*
- 1 ham bone or smoked ham hock
- 2 quarts water**
- 2 cups ham pieces
- Red pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
Taste soup base for salt and add if necessary (soup will draw salt from the ham, so it’s best not to add additional salt until all ingredients have cooked together for several hours). Remove ham bone or hocks from soup. Trim the meat away from the bones and add back to soup. Continue to cook until all beans are tender.
*Disregard recipe on the package but be sure to use the enclosed seasoning packet.
**It may be necessary to add water throughout the cooking process.
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
I live in Alabama, and though I wasn’t born here and didn’t even move here until I was in my late thirties, I have come to be All-Things-Alabamian. For those who don’t know, we attach miracle-like attributes to many of our foodstuffs here. Black-eyed peas, for instance, are thought to bring good luck throughout the South, especially when served on New Year’s Day. Well, who needs good luck then? Good luck is most appreciated when it matters most, and when it matters most here is now — the days following Thanksgiving. You see, we are very different from the rest of you. For instan Read on →
"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me." There is considerable cultural wisdom embedded within idioms, fables and nursery rhymes. Consider "The early bird gets the worm," "The Tortoise and the Hare," and "The Boy Who Cried Wolf." Which makes the "sticks and stones" adage such a glaring exception. As a child, I broke three bones, once turning my forearm into a stair step by slipping from a swing -- at the zenith of its rearward arc -- onto wet grass. Although traumatic at the time, my orthopedic mishaps have long since healed, and I give them Read on →
Fantastic Meals. Number 95 of the Top 100 (Mostly Southern) Meals and Side Dishes of all Time If you were to ask me if I considered myself a soup lover, I would tell you “No” without even thinking about it. Isn’t it strange how I can tell a lie so easily; how I can fool myself into thinking things about the way I act that have no bearing on reality? I mean—I must be the Grand Marshall of Liars, for why else would I tell people—those both close to me and strangers—that I detest soups, stews, and their ilk? All one has to do t Read on →
"If you ever get the chance to go to Dallas, take it from me, pass it by," so sang Jimmy Buffett. "People do you wrong down in Dallas," the song pointed out. "Dallas," written by Roger Bartlett in 1974, had nothing to do with the pain we associate with "Big D." Yet the tragedy and heartache still comes to mind whenever the song is played -- at least 'round here. Some of John F. Kennedy's advisers wished the president would pass Dallas by. His personal secretary, Evelyn Lincoln told JFK of premonitions about a Dallas trip. Kennedy revealed a sense of Read on →