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Posts Tagged ‘chicken’

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday! It feels nice to slip back into our routine after a little break, and to bring some of that thankfulness into the routine. Especially in the form of leftovers! This recipe uses some leftover roasted turkey or chicken with sweet potatoes in a rich casserole.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 3 leaves of Kale, torn into small pieces
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1-2 cups diced cooked chicken or turkey
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. If your potatoes are oddly shaped, it may be easier to peel them if you cut them first. After they are peeled, cut the potatoes into quarters and slice into 1/4 inch slices.

Sautee diced onions, garlic, sage, and salt and pepper in the oil until tender.

Begin to layer your ingredients in an 8×8 casserole dish. 1) kale, 2) half of the sweet potatoes, 3) the diced onions and seasonings, 4) chicken or turkey, 5) the other half of the sweet potatoes. 6) pour the cream evenly over the casserole, 7) top everything with the cheese, and 8) cover with foil.

Bake for 1 hour, removing the foil for the last 10 minutes. The sweet potatoes should be soft, the cheese brown, and the cream will be bubbly. Makes about 6 servings.

Enjoy!

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I was a little intimidated by the whole chickens when I first joined the CSA. I usually only cook a whole bird on holidays. So I read a lot of recipes to try to find out what’s really important, but also how I could keep it simple. Now, I use this simplified version of Julia Child’s roast chicken from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Most good recipes, including this recipe will have you wash and thoroughly dry the bird before seasoning, and will start the roasting with a high temperature and then lower it. This recipe isn’t difficult, but it does require you to stay close by to frequently rotate and baste the chicken. The results are worth it. We enjoy slicing and eating the chicken right out of the oven, but we also often pull the meat off the bones and save it in a pyrex dish so that it can be used for several meals during the week.

And since you’re already working hard, take it a step farther and make chicken stock from the bones. You’ll fill your freezer with tons of chicken stock that is rich and practically free (if you were just throwing the bones away before). This method is very simple, and you don’t have to have any special canning skills or equipment.

Roast Chicken

time: approximately 1 hour and 20-30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3-4 lb chicken
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • salt
  • 1 TBSP olive oil

A 3-4 lb chicken will take about 24 hours to defrost, so plan ahead!

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Wash the bird. Rinse the inside of the cavity and the outside with water. Dry the bird thoroughly. I used to dry with paper towels, but a tea towel is more effective – just be sure to put it straight in the washing machine!

Smear 1 TBSP butter inside the cavity and then salt the inside. It helps to put the salt in a dish before you start, then you can scoop it up by hand and rub it in.

Next put the chicken in a roasting pan, breast side up. Julia would have you truss the chicken now, but I just tie the legs together with cotton yarn. This stabilizes the bird which is helpful when you’re turning it inside the oven.

Smear the remaining butter all over the skin.

Melt 2 TBSP butter and add 1 TBSP oil. You’ll use this for basting about 8-10 times while the chicken is roasting, so use a small amount each time. If you don’t have a basting brush, try putting the oil in a gravy boat and pouring it over the bird.

Put the chicken in the oven and brown for 20 minutes. You’ll be checking on the chicken at regular intervals, and I think it helps to set a timer for each time period so that you don’t forget. After 20 minutes, use tongs to turn the chicken to the left side. This can be tricky, and I usually end up leaning it against the side of the pan. Baste the chicken with some of the oil. Let brown for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, turn to the right side, baste with oil, let brown for 5 more minutes.

Then baste, and reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Leave the chicken on its side for 15 minutes, basting once half way through.

After 15 minutes, baste again and rotate to the left side. Leave the chicken on its left side for 15 minutes, basting once half way through.

After 15 minutes, baste and turn to breast side up. Continue basting every 8 minutes until done, about 30 more minutes.

The chicken is finished with the juices run clear yellow. The skin should be crisp and brown, and the legs will be loose in their sockets. Let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before carving.

Chicken Stock

You can do this in the evening after your roast chicken dinner, or save it for the next day. Making the stock is easy, but it will take several (passive) hours, so give yourself plenty of time. You’ll need a large pot, a strainer of some sort, and a bunch of ziplock bags.

Ingredients

  • chicken carcass
  • water

After you’ve removed all the meat from the bones, add the chicken carcass to a large pot. Fill the pot with water. You may want to add vegetables and other seasonings. Feel free! I keep it simple so that the stock will fit with a variety of recipes, and also its just faster and easier.

Bring the water to a boil, then cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool. We’ll be storing the stock in sandwich bags so you want to be sure the soup is cool enough that it won’t melt the bag. It can take a few hours for the stock to cool.

Once the stock is room temperature, grab a handful of sandwich bags and start filling. I put the bag in a large mug or small bowl (the mug below is bigger than your usual coffee mug), put the strainer on top, holding the bag in place, and our about 1.5 cups of stock per bag. You can store 1 cup or 2 cups per bag, whatever you prefer, so it will be pre-measured when you thaw it for cooking later.

When you fill each bag, close it and try to remove as much of the air as you can. Then lay the bag flat inside a casserole dish. Repeat until you’ve used up all the stock.

Put the dish ful of bags of stock in the freezer. Once they are frozen, you can remove them from the casserole dish. Freezing them flat will make them easier to store in the freezer so they take up less room. When you’re ready to use the broth, either move it to the fridge to thaw, or just run it under warm water and cut the bag off the frozen broth. Do not microwave the bag!

 

I ended up with about 16 bags of 1.5-2 cups each. I’ll be using this stock for several months!

It’s a full day of cooking, but I’ve ended up with a fridge and freezer stocked with flavorful meat and broth!

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Today we processed about 150 chickens, and I am cooking chicken for dinner! So needless to say, I have been thinking a  LOT about chickens today :). I decided to share one of our favorite ways to cook our chicken.

With pastured poultry, you have to be a little more careful about overcooking and making it dry and tough. We do not pump it up with a bunch of water that helps make it tender when it is cooked. Ours is also more muscular because they have more room to walk around and enjoy the bugs and grass.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 stick of butter – softened to room temp.
  • Herbs – anything you may have in your garden, or your favorites
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Garlic- if using fresh, chop very fine
  • Onion – if using fresh, chop very fine
Finely chop your herbs, garlic, and onion and put into butter, add salt and pepper. (I just toss a little bit of everything in there). Then you take your butter rub, and rub it between the skin and meat, be careful not to rip it as much as possible. Rub it in the inside of the carcass. Place chicken in a pan and bake at 250* for about 4-5 hours (depending on size of bird)I just recently discovered the instant read thermometer, and it has completely changed my chicken cooking life! When you are always cutting open the bird to check if done, all those yummy juices are escaping, making a much drier bird.

If you would rather grill the chicken instead of baking it. Just do the same as the above except spatchcock the chicken first. Here is a visual. Then after you spatchcock, you can put the butter rub on the chicken and put on your grill. You want to cook on one side, then flip over and let it cook until completely done on the other side because the more you flip, the more you will lose all those juices that come to the top of the bird. I like to save a little bit of the butter to rub over it after it is cooked. My grilling book says to cook 12-15 min on each side, but I have never had my chicken cook that quick, more like an hour or so. Once you take it off the grill, be sure to let it sit a bit to rest and let those juices sink back into the bird.

Also, if you would like to just be able to cut up the chicken into pieces for your favorite recipes, here is a good link by Daniel Salatin.

Hope you enjoy your chicken!!

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