Chicken to Cluck About
By Laurie Figone
I was overjoyed when Adam Parks asked if I would like to try one of his chickens. For one, Parks is a well-known name, one I have known since my days in 4-H. And secondly, I dearly miss the roasting hens my Grandfather used to raise. Adam of VicFarmMeats.com has a meat counter in the recently opened Community Market at the Barlow in Sebastopol…all of the meats are from a 25 mile radius and are names I know and trust…Stemple Creek Ranch, Cornett Ranch, Victorian Farmstead Meat Company, D. G. Langley Farms, Hagle Farm and Rossotti Ranch.
Adam’s chickens are rotationally raised, they are three weeks old when they are put out to pasture; a pasture that has been first grazed by his sheep who leave behind droppings…which bugs and insects love…and thus, creating a fabulous feast for his chickens. What impressed me most about the chicken I cooked…the flavor was what I have been searching for. Amazing flavor minus the fat that usually comes with chickens…I chill my broth after poaching and I didn’t even have a layer of fat to cover the top of the bowl!!
The best way to get your money’s worth out of this chicken is to poach it…you will have broth for other recipes and moist and delicious meat for many uses.
- 1 4 lb. Victorian Farmstead Chicken
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ yellow onion
- 4 celery stalks with leaves
- 2 cups baby carrots
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
- 12-14 cups water
- Rinse chicken under cold water. Place into a stock pot and add remaining ingredients, adding just enough water to cover chicken.
- Bring to a boil, immediately reduce heat to a low simmer and partially cover the pot with a lid. Simmer for an hour, just until done. Remove from the heat and let cool for ½ hour.
- Remove chicken from the broth. Pick the meat from the carcass as soon as it’s cool enough to handle; you should end up with about 5 cups of chicken meat.
Strain the broth. At this point you could be done, or you could add the bones back to the broth and simmer for another hour adding another layer of flavor to your broth.
Chill the broth until the fat has congealed; remove the fat. The broth can be used now or frozen.
Makes: 10 cups broth and approx. 5 cups cooked chicken