Farmhouse Cooking

A new cooking column by Ellen Lewers will feature local produce and food

Chicken three ways

 

With winter rain and shorter days upon us we look for the comfort of good local foods to give healthy nutrition to our families.

Roast chicken

The purchase today will be: a fine, fat chicken which has been grain fed and ranged.

We will need:

fresh (dried) parsley and sage, celery or celeriac,

1  small onion,

stale bread (1/2 loaf whole wheat).

First, have the chicken thawed if frozen, or a fresh chicken. Wash it in cold water and remove any pin feathers, let it drain while preparing the dressing.

Cut 1/2 loaf of whole wheat bread into smaller squares, set aside.

Heat one cup of water.

Saute, chopped celery, onion with the giblets if you desire.

Add to the bread crumbs, with hot water, salt, pepper, chopped parsley and sage. Mix well and put into the chicken cavity, making sure you have removed the neck and giblets.

Rub a little sunflower oil over the chicken and add a little salt and pepper to the chicken.

Put in roasting pan with lid and into a heated oven at 350’ F. ( 5 pound chicken approx. 3 hours.) The chicken is done when you push down the leg easily without resistance. Use a thermometer is you are not sure. Lift the chicken from the roasting pan onto the cutting board. You will have a fine juice at the bottom of the pan.

You may also have some lovely potatoes and a vegetable such as local carrots, peas, or beans.

Add 1 cup of the  water from the cooked vegetables to your chicken broth and save the rest of the water in another pot for later.

Bring the broth  to a boil and add 1/8 cup flour mixed with 1/2 cup water and stir with a whisk until dissolved and the broth is thickened. You now have lovely gravy for your mashed potatoes and roast chicken.

While this is cooking, carve the chicken and remove the meat from the bones.

Chicken soup

chicken bones

vegetable water from cooked vegetables

leftover vegetables

egg noodles

2 eggs

salt

1 tbsp. flour

Drop these bones into the leftover vegetable water and add a little more if necessary and leave this to cook on low with a lid, while you enjoy your chicken dinner. This broth will be your chicken soup or may be added to your chicken stew and dumplings for the next meal of leftovers. There should be enough broth for both.

Leftover vegetables may be added to the broth for soup with some egg drop noodles made with two farm fresh eggs,  beaten with a pinch of salt and 1tbsp. of flour beaten well and dropped into the boiling broth. You may freeze this for another day.

Chicken sandwiches

There may also be cold chicken for sandwiches for school the next day. One five- pound chicken can feed the family of four for three days or more. Look for more recipes to follow.

If you have any questions on how to cook local produce available at the markets please email Ellen at mrslewersfarmhouse@shaw.ca