Our UA staffer and expert food educator, Andy Minton, is starting a new series to help you learn more about the local items we sell at our market store.
Today, learn everything you need to know about roasting whole pastured chickens.
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The chicken we sell at Urban Acres is 100% pasture-raised from Mike and Connie Hale’s Windy Meadows Family Farm in Northeast Texas. Their chickens are hatched on site, ensuring a stress-free start. They are not only cage-free and free-range, but pastured, meaning that the chickens live out their days in fresh air and sunlight. They receive organic feed free-choice to supplement the nutrition they receive from their natural diet, which includes insects and their pasture grasses, which have been pesticide and herbicide free for nearly thirty years.
Whole Roast Chickens
(We’ll get to the other cuts soon enough.)
Most of Windy Meadows’ whole chickens are called “fryers.” This means they’re between 2.5 and 4 pounds total. They are sold without gizzards/innards for ease of roasting (they use these components in-house to reduce waste). If you’re looking for gravy, they are all sold neck-on. Keep the neck for gravy. Seriously.
Roast these whole chickens. This is the recipe to use. Know this concept. It is the best way to cook a whole chicken. End of story.
Don’t bother trussing the old way with butcher’s twine. Do this. It’s easy.
If you’re not cooking for a family/new girlfriend, let it rest for 15 minutes under an aluminum foil tent. Then eat it with the fingers. Don’t forget the “oyster.” It’s the best part. If you don’t roast chickens, you’ve never eaten one. The cooks eat them before plating.
Or carve them this way. Carving will look ugly your first 5-10 times, but then it magically become showroom pretty.
Keep the bones/carcass for broth. We’ll get to broth soon enough…