Tuesday, July 22, 2008

CSA Week 5 and 7 | Whole Fryer

Over the past few weeks we've received our third and fourth boxes of CSA produce as well as our first installment of our meat share. I've never had a refrigerator full of vegetables. Then again, I've never had a full refrigerator, but that's another story for another time. We've been eating a lot more salads these days and I've become a little more familiar with vegetables which were once unknown to me. Kohlrabi, cabbage, radishes, garlic scapes, and kale, are now somewhat a regular part of our dinner options. This past week we also received our first batch of carrots... don't they look crunchy?

In our meet share this month, we and the Daigles divided our delivery of two (whole) mini chickens, some beef steaks, pork shoulder, beef patties, and a dozen eggs. A few nights ago, TK and I decided to grill up our whole fryer which is, essentially, a chicken that is butchered around eight weeks old. Look how cute it is!

Well, not for long. In our attempt to cut up our bird, we realized early on that we had no clue what the heck we were doing. Our inexperience with meat - an entire body of meat, complete with bones, skin, and other things I don't even have the first clue about - was evident and humbling. I mean, I've prepared a Thanksgiving turkey a time or two, but this, for some reason was a new experience. One doesn't need to ponder the composition of a chicken's body or meat content when they buy boneless, skinless chicken breast from the store, packaged and ready to cook.

We commandeered what meat we could from this baby, doused it in some wing sauce, and put it on the grill. Served up with a salad made of mostly CSA veggies, we tasted - for the first time I can recall - chicken from a local farm, completely free range and unprocessed. I was wary of and didn't want to convince myself that the meat would taste better, just because I had been told and had read that it was supposed to. But chickens who live in open space, and are not fed garbage, or aren't "abused" - essentially "happy" chickens - must taste better, right?

RIGHT! It was scrumptious! This bird honestly tasted different from other chicken I've tasted before...more meatier, if you can imagine, more substance. We did feel a little like scavengers, pulling every last morsel off the bones after having cluelessly quartered it. Hopefully our next installment will include a larger chicken with more breast meat so that we can feast for a little longer. For now though, I am thankful for the meal this little whole fryer provided us.

6 comments:

Melissa said...

I am telling you right now that you MUST make Ina Garten's Perfect Roast Chicken recipe. It was the one that got me hooked on her at the tender age of 16 and is now a regular staple in our house. In fact, I just made it the other night! I'm inclined to think that it would give you an even better opportunity to really taste the delicious meat...so jealous of your great summer co-op! And by the way, I love cabbage and kale. There's so much you can do with them!

Amy and Andrew said...

Nice job on your little chickie! We cooked up our beef patties a few weeks ago, and I agree, it does taste different. I love how the CSA has been so inspirational in trying new food and new methods.

Sarah said...

That is a good idea, Melissa. Halfway through cutting it up, we were thinking we should have kept it in tact. Next time!

Heath&Thais said...

We have yet to experiment with our chicken, so this is a definite motivator to get going!

jm said...

I just asked for ideas on Mefi and they had some great ones. And, um, if you get a spike in traffic, whoops. I had to link to your picture of the itty bitty chickens so they could help ID them.

http://ask.metafilter.com/97239/Itty-bitty-teeney-tiny-chickenhow-does-one-cook-this

Alexis said...

We get a CSA fruit and veg delivery every week--where can we get a meat share? I've never heard of that, but what a great idea! I wonder if they have such a thing around here...
And I loooooove kohlrabi!