One Week to Our First Pastured Chicken: Final Selection of Recipe Has Begun!

15 Jun

Leandro's first homegrown peapod

Just before this week’s visit to Restoration Farm, we went out into our yard where Leandro picked the very first pea pod from a plant he himself started from seed! We were very pleased, even though the peas weren’t so tasty raw. This was a random variety from a garden show craft, so we have high hopes for the others we planted – Burpees Garden Sweet (organic). His eyes reflected the magic of a seed transforming into food.

Trish and one of her flock

Then at Restoration Farm, we visited that other transformation into food; Trisha tells us that the pastured chickens are a week away from our cooking pots. They will be seven weeks and one day, and — we hope — about five pounds. She had initially planned to go to eight weeks, but due to the window of opportunity for processing and the fact that they are getting slower and heavier and more prone to disease, she figures next week is it!

Ignorance is bliss

 

Leandro still finds the chickens stinky (and really, they are pretty pungent at this point) and was more interested in drawing sweet beads of nectar out of the honeysuckle blossoms that are exhaling seductive breaths of fragrance all over the farm these days. He learned the art of drawing out the style from Farmer Steve and then taught me! Delicious.

Honeysuckle gives it up for Leandro

So now I am planning what to do with my first bird. As I expect it to be less fatty and moist than a factory bird or even an organic chicken from a large facility, I am thinking about dishes that will help contain the moisture and make the most of the added flavor that a slightly more muscular bird will have. I also want to do something that is already in Leandro’s growing list of delectable foods, so as not to risk some refusal. And then there is the desire to honor my Caribbean forebears who lived off the land (some still do, at least in part).

So… I’ve got two ideal candidates from the criollo* canon: arroz con pollo: chicken and rice,or asopao de pollo: soupy chicken and rice. Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on which one it should be!

*Criollo or Creole refers to the generations of colonialists actually born in the colonized place. In the case of Puerto Rico, the Spanish were the first Europeans to settle. They remained Spaniards, but their offspring born on the island (in many cases, half European and half native) were known as criollos – not quite European, but not quite native, either. Criollo cooking (like Creole in New Orleans, for example), reflects the meeting of different worlds of cooking ingredients and techniques.

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2 Responses to “One Week to Our First Pastured Chicken: Final Selection of Recipe Has Begun!”

  1. James Taylor June 16, 2011 at 5:26 am #

    Hainan chicken rice is a variant of soupy chicken and rice, that uses chicken 3 ways, justice to any home reared bird. First a plentifull stock is made with the whole bird with ginger , garlic and anthing else to go in. Then takeoff enough stock to cook rice with by the adsorption method. Then take of the chicken flesh and mound up on a plate, lastly season the soup. Meal is served as chicken soup, chicken rice and chicken meat, which is dipped in perhaps 3 sauces, eg soy and green chillies, sweet chillie sauce and hoisin sauce. Garnish fresh cilantro.

  2. Politica Panoramica June 15, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

    Beautiful! and funny!

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