The past week I have been doing what I love to do.
And what is that?
I have been
b. buying food
c. learning about food
d. cooking food
e. eating food
Beginning with last Wednesday and culminating with a long weekend away - this is the stuff of my dreams!
On Wednesday I traveled to Hackettstown New Jersey and picked up my winter supply of organic, free range lamb and chicken from Burningheart Organic Farm. David Becker, owner of Burningheart is doing what many small farmers across the country are doing... that is providing us with locally grown organic and free range meats free of steroids, antibiotics and the harmful bacteria found in mass produced and slaughtered foods*
What a treat to visit a beautiful, bucolic farm in the lush hills of New Jersey and actually SEE where my food was raised. David is adding heritage turkeys to his flock this year and the turkeys will be available sometime in early 2010.
The first meal I cooked when I got back from Burningheart was a simple Sage and Lemon Roasted Chicken with Garlic Roasted Broccoli.
Sage and Lemon Roasted Chicken:
One 3 to 4 pound chicken
1 lemon, zest removed, then slice in thin rounds
1 sprig fresh sage
1 tablespoon kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
Pat chicken dry inside and out.
Mix lemon zest, salt and a few grinds of pepper together in a small bowl.
Rub chicken all over (inside and out) with lemon mixture.
Slip some sage leaves and lemon slices under the skin of the breast meat. Tuck the rest of the lemon slices into the cavity.
Set on a rimmed cookie sheet and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours UNCOVERED.
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Take chicken out of fridge about 30 minutes before roasting.
Brush chicken with half of the melted butter.
Place chicken on a rack, breast side down.
Roast in top 1/3 oven for 30 minutes.
Turn over, brush with remaining melted butter and return breast side UP to oven. Roast for 20 to 30 more minutes until legs are "loose" and juices run clear when pierced at thickest part of thigh.
Remove to platter and let rest 15 minutes before carving.
*This chicken from Burningheart Farms was moist, juicy and flavorful. We all agreed that it was one of the best chickens we had ever tasted. There really is a difference folks. If you have access to locally grown and processed poultry, do yourself a favor and make the effort. You will be forever glad you did AND you will be supporting your local farmers!! To find a farm near you, check out: http://www.localharvest.org/
Roasted Garlic Broccoli - There is tons of broccoli to be found in Farmers Markets right now. Roasting gives this a nutty flavor that pairs well with the chicken.
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
2 cloves garlic, sliced very thin
sesame seeds (optional)
Toss the broccoli with the garlic slices and olive oil. Place on rimmed cookie sheet and roast for 10 minutes. Turn and roast for 10 more minutes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional) before serving.
Add a crusty loaf of bread (preferably home baked) and you have a beautiful autumn dinner.
A Cook's Notes:
I had the good fortune to travel to Ashfield and Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts this weekend to attend a cheesemaking workshop with none other than Rikki Carroll, the Cheese Queen (if you've read Barbara Kingsolver's book, "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" you will recognize Rikki's name) I will be posting about the rest of my long weekend throughout the week. - but here's a hint, it was FABULOUS!!! I got to spend time with like minded people - folks who are concerned about our food supply, home cooks, chefs, and people from all walks of life who are committing to a locavore lifestyle.
More about cheesemaking, Rikki, Ashfied and Shelbourne Falls this week!