Monday, October 5, 2009

Doing What I Love and Roasted Things

The past week I have been doing what I love to do.

And what is that?

I have been

a. traveling
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:

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
olive oil
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!

This is a picture of Rikki making Ricotta Cheese
* If you want to learn more about the harmful effects of mass produced foods that large corporations are churning out, read Fast Food Nation AND more recently, Sunday, October 4th. edition of The New York Times - Front Page.


  1. I have just heard recently about those heritage turkeys. If you get one next year, you'll have to share about that!

    I think it's fabulous that you have a source of healthy foods on that farm.

  2. blueviolet - everyone has access to healthy, organic farm raised foods you just have to make the effort. Believe me, once you experience the difference in taste, plus the long term health benefits, you will never go back to mass produced foods again! I am getting a Heritage Turkey for Thanksgiving (not from burningheart) and will certainly be posting about it!

  3. You always make me so hungry. That broccoli looks so good and I will have to roast a chicken this weekend! I have some farms close by....I might have to ask a few questions and maybe snag me a bird!

  4. Kathy - I promise if you ask a local farmer questions they will talk your ear off as I have found them to be so proud of their products....AND you will be providing a community service by supporting your local farm community!! I'm so glad my posts make you hungry - there is no higher praise for me!

  5. this post is TORTURE!!! I love roasted chicken and that looks like a great way to do it! and roasted broccoli? never tried it but oh so tempting!

    but I don't have an OVEN!!! :o(

    will have to file this away in the memory banks somewhere and try it after xmas... ;o)

  6. The roasted chicken and broccoli look fabulous. I will try these if we ever get a cool front! The cheese making and the farm look interesting, too.

  7. I don't think it bears thinking about how some mass producers churn out their food. And we still eat it!! Lovely chicken btw.

    CJ xx

  8. What a great post. We have found a local producer for meat and fish. Farmer's Markets are now going all year for some things, delivering about 15 miles from our house, once a month. It's really great, you just order what you want on-line.

    I agree with you, I am done with mass-produced food, if I can help it. Organic, free-range, raised responsibily and humanely, is our goal for everything we buy.

  9. CrazyChris - when you get an oven just give me a shout!

    Marguerite - thank you - I will admit, the chicken does taste better when there is a nip in the air

    Crystal - I don't know how bad it is in the UK - but here in the states it is getting positively dangerous.

    Nancy - that is music to my ears! Good for you and good for your family and community! You don't have to go vegan to eat responsibly or healthily. I'll be posting some more recipes with seasonal produce. There is a roasted butternut squash recipe that even my picky eaters love. This is MY time of year - HARVEST!!!

  10. Lovely post about a topic that is near and dear to me. I have seen the book. I think I need to pick it up to enjoy. My husband wants to be able to live off the land. I would just prefer to live off my neighbors land. I am not sure I would make a great farmer, but I am more then happy to pay local farmers to grow my food for me!

    When I cook chicken, turkey or pork roast I typically will brine it to help keep it moist. It offers amazing results. Do you ever brine your meats?

  11. My mouth watered when I saw your chicken.
    I'm a vegetarian, by the way. :)

  12. Hello!!! I'm glad you had a good time! :) I'm finally getting on my computer at home so I can comment! :)

  13. Tamis, Do read the book - it will change your life! On brining, yes, I do brine quite a bit. I love how it plumps up the meat and keeps it moist. I have found with grass fed pork and beef a little brining is a must as there is a lot less fat in the meat than corn, feedlot fed. Plus it's a great way to add flavor.

    Phoebe - I made a vegan's mouth water? Wow!

    Meeko - Hello!! We had such a good time! Glad to see you.

  14. I have never seen anything like those "potholes". Nature is amazing.

  15. this looks fantastic. thanks for sharing... i found this site through looking for reviews of burning heart and i think it'll be worth the 2 hour drive to get there ^_^


Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I love feedback... what with being a cook and all. I will respond to your comments via email (if you do not have a "noreply" address or here, below your comment) As always, Bon Appetite!

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