I don't often see the Community Farm at the market. They had lovely greens and honey today. And of course Annie Elder's brilliant smile.
Our market haul included some really nice greens (from Brines Farm and Frog Holler), brussels sprouts and radishes (from Tantre) rutabagas (Frog Holler) and red, white and blue potatoes (Shetler's). We also picked up the 2 chickens I ordered from Ernst Farm so that we can continue with The Chicken Project.
As with a number of other things, it seems unreasonably hard to find a place to buy chickens that were raised somewhere around here and led a happy chicken life. It's not mainstream, so you have to find a chicken guy or a chicken lady to get your native chicken. And you have to negotiate with them about when it will be ready and where you can pick it up. It's not like just throwing something in your grocery cart; you have to do some legwork to finally get this bird into your oven.
The Ernst Farm chicken is Chicken Number 2 in the Project. It weighed in at 3.75 lbs. and cost $8.34. For each bird, I'm using the recipe for roasting a chicken that I got from Sally Schneider's "A New Way to Cook" - and which Nano used to call "A Pain in the Ass Way to Cook." It is kind of a pain, but it makes a really nice chicken. And we're very hungry so it's going to taste great.
Sunday Night Roast Chicken
1 3 lb. roasting chicken
1 t. kosher salt
1 t. pepper
3 T. fresh rosemary, thyme, and/or savory (inside chicken)
3 cloves garlic, 1 minced, 2 smashed
1 large lemon, washed and cut in half
2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped (I used more than this)
2 shallots, cut lengthwise in half (I use onions if I don't have shallots)
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 C. madeira or dry white wine
Preheat oven to 350º, oil the pan. Stuff chicken with herbs, garlic and lemon. Rub chicken with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Truss closed.
Place chicken breast side down. Nestle carrots, shallots, garlic, thyme sprigs and giblets around. Roast for 15-25 minutes. Then turn breast side up and roast another 20 minutes more.
Then, increase oven temperature to 400º. Roast another 20 minutes or until done. Instant read thermometer should have 170-180º in the thigh or 150-160º in the breast. Remove stuffing and make pan sauce by deglazing with the wine.
Tonight's chicken was very tasty. Seemed perhaps milder than Chicken 1 - Brad Judge's Buckeye chicken - and perhaps a bit spongier in the texture. Chicken 1 was perhaps a bit undercooked and definitely had more chicken flavor, especially the dark meat. Although mild, this one was about perfect. Also not a lot of fat, but more than Chicken 1. I'm not sure what kind of bird this one was. But it was perfectly tender - both the legs and the breast. The bones are roasting for soup right now.
Tonight's wine was another one suggested by Mary at Everyday Wine, the Danubio Grüner Veltliner - citrus-y, maybe lime-y? - quite good with the chicken, refreshing. As usual, B. preferred the red, although the leftover Lascaux Languedoc from Morgan and York seemed a bit flat and tired after being opened 2 days ago. But hey, when you've got wine with dinner, who's complaining?