Eatwell Farmhouse Kitchen

This is not a recipe but more an update on my adventures with our heritage meat birds.  We have learned much since our first round of processed Bruce’s!  I have been determined to figure out how to use our healthy, active bird for a good roast chicken dinner.  Watching a PBS food program one night I came across an idea I tried and really liked.  One of the problems when roasting one of our birds is that they are very lean and tend to dry out before they roast all the way through. 

In an episode of “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having” he was in Paris and looking for perfect roast chicken.  One restaurant roasted chicken that was coated with hot duck fat!  I have fantastic pork lard from our friends and neighbors George and Anne at HouseHogs. I melted some, put the chicken in a very small cast iron fry pan (squeezed it in actually!), poured over the hot lard, sprinkled on salt and pepper, and popped it into the oven at 350 for about 45 minutes.  Took a look at him, checked the inner temp on the thigh and pulled him out when he was done. 

I also recently read an article in Cook’s Illustrated on the topic of perfect roast chicken, it was fascinating.   In this article they recommend placing a 12” oven proof skillet into the oven (rack positioned in the middle) and heating to 450 F.  Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and rub entire surface with oil.  Sprinkle salt and pepper over the surface of the chicken, then rub in with hands to coat evenly.  Tie legs together with twine and tuck wing tips behind back.  Transfer chicken, breast side up, to a preheated skillet in the oven.  Roast until breast registers 120 F and thighs register 135 F, 25 to 35 minutes for a 3 1/2 lb bird.  Turn oven off and leave chicken in the oven until breast registers 160 F and thighs are 175.  Transfer to carving board and let rest uncovered, for 20 minutes.  Carve and serve. 

We are working on finding the best way to get these delicious pasture raised meat birds to you with your CSA share, hopefully that will be available very soon.  In the meantime though, come see us at the Ferry Plaza Saturday Market.  If you are just a couple celebrating a quiet Thanksgiving, I highly recommend treating yourself to a Bruce, they are a most delicious bird!