Monday, September 17, 2007
Attack of Chickenzilla
The title may sound scary and the size of this bird was frightening, but Chickenzilla was easily the best chicken I have ever had. Three of three family members agree, including our child who was munching a leg in one hand and crispy bits of skin in the other, all the while calling for "More!"
Based on our great success in sourcing local beef, we decided to look for local poultry as well. I had met a farmer who had both chicken and lamb, and he sold me some of his chickens to "try." I meet him, he has two ginormous birds, two smaller ones and a pack of lamb shanks. He asks me for ten bucks. I tried to force forty on him. He met me at twenty.
"You're nuts," I said. "This is a hundred bucks worth of meat at Whole Foods."
He smiled. And just handed over the bag. He's won us over for good.
You see, the natural meats, even at Whole Foods, are not pastured chickens. They are cage free, meaning they have some access to outdoors, but not true pastured chicken. That natural diet of grasses and bugs supplemented with organic grains. For the first time chicken didn't have an indistinct flavor that could be any tasteless meat. Chicken really does taste like chicken. And, I tell you, it's not what you've been eating all these years. Wow.
Here's the menu for our feast:
Apple-sage Roasted Chickenzilla
Honey-Sage Sweet Potatoes with Shallots
Looking for these recipes? They will be part of an upcoming book with Ali at The Cleaner Plate Club.
Dessert? No, we just had chicken skin for dessert. It was that good. The only problem now, I muttered to my spouse over a bite of chicken, is that we can't ever get chicken out again. We're ruined. Sad, but so true.