I’ve had a lot to learn about
growing our own meat chickens, especially once I brought our heirloom
birds to the kitchen. If your recipes are based on storebought
meat, chances are they start with a line like “Take two chicken breasts
and….” Here are some tips and recipes I’ve developed over the
last two years that help you enjoy and respect your homegrown chickens’
The easiest way to make
use of the whole bird is to roast your chicken, then stew up the
bones. One of our small layer-breed broilers (less than two
pounds) can turn into four to six meals if we first roast the chicken
with vegetables, then use the carcass as the base for a delicious
soup. You can read my in depth description of roasting a chicken
99 cent ebook, or
can see the recipe I
developed mine from here.
Heirloom chickens have a
lot more leg than breast, so it’s useful to know some recipes just for
the legs. If you’re buying storebought meat on a budget, chicken
leg recipes are even more helpful since legs are often one of the
cheapest cuts of meat. This garlic
and thyme chicken leg recipe is my new easy and delicious
way to use up chicken legs.
Finally, if you’re serious
about making your flock self-sufficient, you’ll often end up with old
layers who are too tough to chew. Traditional chefs love these
chickens for their richer flavor, which can be stewed out by cooking
for a long time at low heat. The resultant soup is
How have you found
cooking with real chickens to be different from cooking with
storebought meat? Do you have any heirloom chicken recipes to
their meat will keep us healthy.
Have you tried skinning your chickens instead of plucking them?
We actually believe that the skin is one of the most nutritious parts of the chicken, so we wouldn’t want to waste it. Even when we don’t roast our chickens whole (which is my favorite method of cooking them), I put the bones and skin in a pot of water to make awesome stock.
And now that I’ve read Harvey Ussery’s new book, it sounds like I also need to stop wasting the feet, egg sacs, and more!