Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pastured Chicken

A couple of weeks ago I loaded up my big old cooler with ice and drove about thirty minutes away to a farm in Powder Springs.  I think that I have mentioned them before~ Bray Family Farms. They grow delicious produce, grass fed beef, pastured pork and pastured chicken. I ordered five chickens from them. I went to the farm to pick them up. It was a great experience.

There were people waiting when I got there, so I got my cooler out and mosied on over to scope the scene. The chickens had been caught and contained in small crates. They were removed one my one and slipped peacefully into cones. Shortly there after, to spare you the details, they were cleaned and put on ice. When you were next in line your chickens are brought to you and you put them into your own bags and into your own cooler. 

This was my first time ordering and picking up chickens processed straight from the farm. Let me tell you, I will always buy my chicken this way if I have any choice. The chickens lead a happy life on a pasture in a chicken tractor. Their end is peaceful, no commotion. Seriously I saw their eyes in the end and they were content. This is how we should all view our food sometime. Don't worry, my girls never saw the cooler!

So I brought my chicken filled cooler home, cut my chickens in half and put them into the freezer before we went out of town. They lay nice and flat if you cut them in half. I couldn't wait to cook one though. Here she is:

Oh my lands!!!! Isn't she a beauty? I have never seen skin so crispy and golden. I made my potato rub and exchanged the dill for marjoram. I also tucked some Thai basil under the skin. Mercy! It was divine. I did nothing to this beautiful bird after I put her into the oven. I think that the secret to the pretty skin is starting off at a high heat, around 425, for twenty minutes or so, then turning down the heat to 375.  Let's have one more look:

I cooked some asparagus to go along with this beauty.
I like my asparagus with lemon pepper and dill. Yum yum.

Dave devoured his meal. So did I. In between bites of chicken he said, "So... tell me about this chicken.... was is raised like ours?" The taste in flavor is so different from store bought chicken. This was the most delicious chicken that I have ever cooked. Dave agreed.

The Bray's have another round of chickens ready to come to the table on July 7th. If you are interested in ordering some, check out this page. You put a deposit down and then pay the rest when you pick them up. Also, it might seem like a high price for one chicken, but think about it. The Bray's get them when they are a day old and care for them in every way until they are ready to go to your table. That means many hours of care as baby chicks, lots of feed, moving the chicken tractors every 2-3 days, catching them and butchering them. And I mean butchering in the nicest way possible because they were the best dressed birds that I have ever seen. Also, these birds eat grass and bugs and they run around! The typical chicken bought from the supermarket may have never seen the sun, ate only grains and most likely barely had room to walk around.

Ok, I'll get off of my soap box now. If you have the chance to try a pastured chicken you'll be hooked. I am going to cook another one soon. My mouth is watering thinking about it.

No comments:

Designed by Lena