Monday, October 31, 2011

slow-roasted chicken

This year my parents decided to get a few chickens -- if "few" means nearly 150. 

Speckled Sussex

Good for both eggs and meat, ours are all hens with one rooster.  They're very sweet and love clover, squash, and watermelon.  The rooster is chivalrous; he attacks anything that lands in their pen, makes sure it's safe, then stands back and lets the ladies have at it, whether it's a worm or a piece of fruit.

For more on these chickies, check out my mom's blog.

Rainbow Rangers

These birds are full of testosterone and jump across the pen to peck at each other.  They're a free-ranging, foraging chicken that makes a nice meat bird. These are now all in the freezer.
For my birthday, my parents gave me two of their Rainbow Rangers, a cast iron chicken fryer from the chicken swap (a.k.a. Lucasville Trade Days), and a dedicated cutting board for chicken. 

For my birthday, I decided to thaw out the larger of the two birds.  I'll fry the other.

Unfortunately it was so large, it took from Sunday until Tuesday to thaw out.  Tuesday was my birthday, and we went on a spur-of-the-moment trip to Hollywood Casino for my first time. So on Wednesday after a meeting with the exec team for YPACS, I got down to business. 

I pulled out my James Beard cookbook, The Fireside Cook Book. 

I preheated the over to 350 and basted the bird with melty butter.

I tossed in some red potatoes (from my parents' farm), baby carrots, and sliced up celery.  I added a dash each of salt and pepper, then sprinkled on some thyme and sage. 

It's about 20 minutes per pound, according to James Beard.  He suggests basting it with the buttery pan juices every ten minutes, but since the Rainbow Rangers are a somewhat fatty breed, I decided to forgo it.

After roughly 90 minutes, the chicken was fully cooked.  It reached an internal temperature of 167 degrees (most cooks say 160 to 170).  James' way is to see that the liquid from the thigh no longer runs pink.

 Pollo delicioso!

Jenny (Scott's mom) helped me boiled down the carcass and make little baggies of ready-to-go chicken soup.  The broth is YUM!!  

Happy Halloween & happy eating :)

1 comment:

  1. How did you like the flavor of the meat? How is it different from your average Tyson chicken?