Introducing Pastured Chicken from Moses Mill Farm
Pastured chicken, I thought long and hard about adding it to our farm adventure. It’s something I’ve been itching to do, but, if I’m honest with myself, it’s just not a good plan to add another adventure to the farm right now. I need to stick to what I do well, which is eggs, pigs and cows (still figuring out those goats and sheep).
Meanwhile, my good friend and fellow farmer, Amy Davis, from Moses Mill Farm, raises pastured chicken. I’ve visited her farm and seen for myself exactly how she’s growing her birds. Heck, I was even invited to help to process the chickens, which are slaughtered and processed right there on her farm!
All of Moses Mill Farm’s chicken is GMO free, plus, starting this year it will also be soy and corn free!
I really couldn’t do it any better myself.
So, I invited Amy to sell her chicken through our online store – and she said YES!
You can check out Moses Mill Farm on Facebook here.
Here are a few tips for roasting a pastured chicken:
(adapted from ournourishingroots.com)
- Since breast meat tends to be the driest, you should consider roasting your chicken breast side down. This helps to trap the moisture. I generally still roast mine breast side up. The kids love the crispy skin…
- Roast your pastured chicken at 325 degrees and for a bit longer than normal. This will help retain the moisture while still allowing it to crisp.
- Instead of roasting your chicken just in a pan, considering putting it on top of a bed of veggies, such as carrots and potatoes. The moisture from the veggies will steam your chicken while the fat and juices from the chicken drip down and lend them a flavor boost.
- Don’t cut your roasted chicken for 20 minutes after it’s done! This helps to prevent all those roasting juices from escaping which makes for juicier meat.
Herb-Roasted Pastured Chicken
I want to start by telling you not to throw away the carcass when you’re done eating the roasted chicken! There is another recipe below to make bone broth and soup using your chicken bones and scraps!
for the vegetable bed:
3 pounds potatoes, preferably organic Yukon Gold variety, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 large onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
20 cloves of garlic, peeled
4 organic* lemons, thinly sliced into wheels, ends discarded
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried parsley
*always use organic when you are able, but definitely use organic lemons for this recipe since you will be consuming the lemon peels
for the chicken:
1 3-5 pound pastured chicken
4 tablespoons butter
1 lemon, cut in half
1 onion cut in half
1 head of garlic, cut in h
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried parsley
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Make the vegetable bed: In a large bowl, mix the potatoes, onions, garlic cloves, and lemon slices together. Drizzle several tablespoons of olive oil over the mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the basil, thyme, rosemary, and parsley, and toss all together to combine. Place the vegetables into the prepared jelly roll pan and spread out in an even layer.
- Make the chicken: Remove the neck from the cavity of the chicken and set aside. Use it to make chicken stock. Rinse the chicken off with cold water, including the cavity. Pat dry with a towel.
- Stuff the cavity with one half of the lemon, both halves of the onion, both halves of the head of garlic, and the sprigs of fresh thyme. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine to keep the cavity closed, and to ensure the chicken roasts evenly.
- Place the chicken on the bed of prepared vegetables. If you are roasting the chicken breast side up, tuck the wings under the bird to keep them from sticking out. If roasting the chicken breast side down, use the kitchen twine to tie them down.
- Using your hands, rub butter all over the skin of the chicken that is showing. Squeeze the remaining half a lemon all over the vegetables and the chicken.
- In a small bowl, mix the dry spices together: basil, thyme, rosemary, and parsley. Sprinkle them all over the chicken so they stick to the butter and lemon juice.
- Roast the chicken on a rack in the bottom third of the oven for 2 1/2 hours, or until the chicken in tender and registers aro
und 165 degrees.
- Remove from the oven. Lift the chicken off the vegetables and onto a cutting board. Tent with foil or parchment and let rest for 15-20 minutes. Then, remove the parchment and carve the chicken to serve. Serve with the roasted vegetables, or even some preserved lemons on the side.
This recipe is courtesy of http://www.ournourishingroots.com/.
Bone Broth and Chicken Soup
Use those bones to make a bone broth. It’s super easy and makes for a great second meal from one chicken. Throw all of the bones (yes, even the ones you chewed on) into your slow cooker. Cover them with water. Cook them for 24 hours. Yes, 24 hours.
When it’s done, remove all the bones from the slow cooker. Let them cool. Pick all of the remaining meat off of them. You’ll be surprised at how much there is. Set the meat aside.
Now, pour the broth through a sieve to filter out the scraps, small bones and odd chunks. Pick any good chunks of meat from here and add it to the rest of the meat.
Use a ladle to skim the fat off of the top of the soup if you like.
You now have the basics for soup. Just keep it simple and salt the broth to taste, add noodles or rice and cook until done. Return the chicken to the broth and noodles. It’s simple goodness just like this.
You can make it even better by adding some lemon juice and fresh cilantro, finely chopped.
I like to add some chopped potatoes, carrots, and celery to the broth and cook them just until barely tender before adding rice or noodles.
You can season the basic soup recipe however you like. Just add your favorite herbs and spices. Add a can of crushed tomatoes, or a can of green beans.
If your kids are picky, run all those beautiful veggies and the broth through your blender. The kids will never know they are there. This will also thicken the soup beautifully without adding any flour.
Your options with soup are just about endless…