Farm Fresh Chicken User Manual [updated]

I am always humbled by the experience raising our own chickens, watching the transformation that meat must undergo. It is a labor of love for us, and we are grateful to have the opportunity and land to support this highly engaged, satisfying work. And this satisfaction is multiplied when we share with friends and family. With so much going into this meat, we wanted to share our techniques for basic storage and preparation so the meat is at its best for the dinner table. Continue reading “Farm Fresh Chicken User Manual [updated]”

Putting the broilers out to pasture and building a bigger coop

Let’s get right to it. We’ve been busy lately.  The garden is mostly planted. The broilers are now outside. The new chicken coop is about 80% finished.  But boy has it been a lot of work to get to this point!   Continue reading “Putting the broilers out to pasture and building a bigger coop”

Farm letter: Welcome baby chicks

After much thought, calculation, and preparation, the broiler chicks have arrived. They are a feisty bunch,  with some being so bold that they charge and peck at our fingers.  This is what we want, though. Active birds.  Broilers have a reputation of being lazy and prone to health issues, so we do a lot to encourage activity in our birds.

Continue reading “Farm letter: Welcome baby chicks”

Why Pastured Chicken is Better than Organic [updated]

All natural. Cage free. Hormone free. Free range. No antibiotics. Organic. All these terms and more clutter the labeling for “healthy” chicken and eggs throughout the stores and markets. But what do they really mean? I’ve discussed “organic” meat already (see post here), and discovered that just because something is organic doesn’t necessarily make it perfect. In the end it comes down to the farmers themselves and how they treat their animals. It turns out that some practices are more valuable than others, too. Continue reading “Why Pastured Chicken is Better than Organic [updated]”

smuttynose robust porter for coq au vin made with beer

An Old Hen Braised in Dark Beer: Cooking Coq au Vin, but with beer and a laying chicken [Recipe]

Coq au vin is traditionally an old rooster cooked for many hours in wine. We don’t have any old roosters in the freezer, but we do have a few old hens. That could work. But you know, it would really be a wasted opportunity to only modify one component of the classic coq au vin recipe. Continue reading “An Old Hen Braised in Dark Beer: Cooking Coq au Vin, but with beer and a laying chicken [Recipe]”

the rise of chicken popularity over turkey for thanksgiving

Chicken vs. Turkey: The Battle for Thanksgiving

According to some fast research on Google Trends, interest in chicken for Thanksgiving has more than doubled in the past ten years while interest in the classic turkey for Thanksgiving has gone down almost 20%. This surprised me, because not only is turkey THE American tradition for Thanksgiving dinner, it’s also priced insanely cheap in the weeks leading up to the holiday. Any meat under $1/lb is bound to be popular. But it would seem turkey is losing its grasp on consumers when they plan their holiday menus. If not for tradition or economics, why on earth are Americans turning to the simple chicken for one of the most celebrated dinners of the year?

Continue reading “Chicken vs. Turkey: The Battle for Thanksgiving”

Chicken Tomato Sauce Recipe

Rooster Tomato Sauce (Recipe)

This may or may not be a unique recipe, we’re not sure. Years ago we took the techniques to make a chicken gumbo and applied it to the preparation of tomato sauce.  Fusion? Intuitive? Possibly been done for hundreds of years?  No clue, we just like it and as far as we’re concerned we “invented” it!   Continue reading “Rooster Tomato Sauce (Recipe)”

Grilled Heritage Breed Chicken

Differences Between Raising Heritage Chickens and Cornish Cross for Meat (Part 3 – Eating)

“Finally,” the farmer says to the flock, feeling a mix of emotion. “You have grown for 5 months and are ready for processing.” She is solemn but proud. She thinks of the freezer to be carefully packed with the meat. She remembers the birds as chicks and when they first walked on the grass at 4 weeks. They were free to run and flap their wings and, eventually, crow and wake everyone up. But mostly she thinks about how she’ll only need salt and pepper to prepare the chicken for the grill this weekend. Continue reading “Differences Between Raising Heritage Chickens and Cornish Cross for Meat (Part 3 – Eating)”