Category: Chefs


Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with recipes from Heritage Chef Steve Pope

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Chef Steve Pope knows that American culinary traditions are tied to preserving Heritage Animals.These animals get to live as they are supposed to with plenty of outdoor space and time to grow and develop. This means a more flavorful bird, but it also means relearning how to cook a real chicken. He has worked with our friends at Good Shepherd Poultry to craft recipes specifically for Heritage Chicken and Turkey.
 
We have invited chef Steve to share some Cinco de Mayo inspired recipes this week. From our table to yours, please enjoy!

West Texas Chicken Soup

While living some 20 + years in San Angelo Texas just north of the Mexican border I discovered quickly the importance of Mexican celebrations, and Cinco De Mayo was at the top of the list. Fort Concho, San Angelo Texas is considered a National historical site. And the parades ground were used for many Celebrations. During the “fiesta” there were many booths set up with foods indigenous to the area. Along with the ubiquitous taco, burrito and empanadas was a very popular offering of various Mexican soups. Traditionally the soup was simmered throughout the day. Using large cast iron pots the women would tend to their concoction until it had reached perfection. I have adapted this recipe using the electric crock pot and while the atmosphere of a traditional West Texas Cinco De Mayo may not be the same, the “autentico sabor” is,……. right down to using the Heritage bird.

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients
  • (2 lbs) Good Shepherd Barred Rock or New Hampshire chicken parts ( I save the white meat for other dishes.)
  • 2 small cans of diced green chilies
  • 1 (15oz) can black beans
  • 8 oz frozen corn
  • 1 cup salsa (Yes even Pace will do)
  • ¼ cup sliced green onions
  • 2 large garlic cloves; minced
  • • ½ jalapeno; seeded and diced
  • 15 oz. water
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ¼ of a lime; juiced
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Kosher sea salt and pepper to taste

 

Instructions
  1. In a heated skillet with 2 tablespoons of Canola oil, lightly brown chicken parts
  2. Place jalapeno, green chilies, black beans, corn and garlic cloves in the bottom of crock pot.
  3. Pour in broth.
  4. Place chicken pieces on top and season with spices.
  5. Pour 1 cup of salsa and lime juice over top of chicken and cover.
  6. Cook 4-6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low.
  7.  About 30 minutes before finished, transfer chicken pieces to a separate bowl and shred..
  8. If mixture in crock pot seems thin, add 1 tablespoon flour to ¼ cup of broth and blend into pot.
  9.  Return shredded chicken to crock pot and cover for final 30 minutes.
  10. Top chicken soup with cheese, cilantro, green onions and a dollop of sour cream.
Hamburguesas de Pollo Mexicanas

Everyone loves hamburgers and this Mexican version using Ground Heritage Chicken can be a hit for any Cinco De Mayo celebration. By using chicken in place of the traditional beef you are cutting down on the calories and increasing the nutrition. The addition of egg water, and bread crumbs insures a moist and delicious burger.

Ingredients
  • 3 pounds ground Heritage Chicken
  • 3 onions, minced, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 pound shredded pepperjack cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped and juices strained
  • 2 bunches cilantro, chopped
  • 1 serrano chile pepper, minced, divided
  • 3 limes, juiced, divided
  • 5 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 12 hamburger buns or flat bread
  • Original recipe makes 12 servings

 

Instructions
  1.  Mix ground chicken, half the onions, bread crumbs, water, pepper jack cheese, and eggs in a bowl; form into 12 patties.
  2. Combine tomatoes, half the remaining onion, cilantro, half the serrano chile pepper, and half the lime juice; mix well to make pico de gallo. Cover and chill in refrigerator.
  3. Mash avocados, remaining onions, remaining serrano chile pepper, and remaining lime juice together in a bowl to make guacamole. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat; pan-fry poultry patties to desired doneness, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Assemble each sandwich by placing a burger in each bun; top burger with guacamole, and pico de gallo.

Buen comer!

The Heritage Chef Steve Pope

What Separates Heritage Chickens From the Rest of the Pack?

What really separates Heritage Breeds of chicken from the rest of the pack, and why is it so important to help preserve breed diversity?

Barred Rock Hen.
Barred Rock Hen.

What is most remarkable about the chicken is that every one of the approximately 12 billion that populate the planet earth are all descended from the Red junglefowl (gallus gallus) of southern Asia.

Of course, counting how many chickens exist is no easy task considering that chicken just surpassed beef as the most eaten meat in the United States. Chickens also live in backyards and rooftops in every country in the world — they only need a small space to provide us with eggs and meat. Sadly many varieties of chicken are on the endangered species list. This cultural loss began in the 1950s but sped up in the 1970s.

Frank Reese and Good Shepherd Ranch are part of an underground movement to preserve old genetics. Today Good Shepherd with Heritage Foods USA is the only company selling 100% USDA inspected factory farm free chicken meat. This means no genetic meddling took place other than preservation of what real chickens once were. No one knows what real chickens are like better than Frank who has been in the business for over 50 years, since he was a little boy. He knows the taste and composition of every chicken that ever walked on American soil. His farm is a museum of the past and if good sense prevails, also the future! Of course no antibiotics are needed on Good Shepherd Ranch because the animals are strong and capable of reproducing on their own. These are chickens with 10,000 year histories.

In an effort promote heritage chickens, Heritage Foods USA is starting to sell ground chicken. This ground can be purchased as part of our livestock variety packs and soon by itself. The delicious ground meat is available in one-pound bags and consists only of heritage birds. Our goal is to increase the market for heritage breeds of chicken, allowing Frank and neighboring farms room to increase various breed populations.

Our whole chicken program continues each season with a rotation of all the breeds that Frank dutifully raises on his ranch. In 2014 the Rhode Island White, Leghorn, Minorca, and White Cornish will have been celebrated on dinner tables around the country. I asked Frank what the differences were between them and he answered, “It’s as big a difference as a Great Dane and a Chihuahua!”  We are proud to feature each breed by itself every 3 months as well as breed variety packs that allow you to compare and contrast the flavors and shape of the birds. For a full list of breeds we will feature over the coming months see below. Together we hope to turn the tide against monoculture in the American poultry industry.

Working to change the way Americans eat chicken is no easy task. The industry is dominated by a single variety of chicken that got its start in the 1950s but really became a central actor on the American stage in the 1970s when the folks at Tyson met with the folks at McDonalds to develop the Chicken McNugget. The nugget provided Tyson with a stable and consistent market while also relieving them of the pressures of the fresh poultry market — nuggets could be frozen. Fresh chickens as a dominant part of the industry now became a thing of the past. The nugget created the need for the development of a new industrial hybrid chicken broiler that made the most amount of meat using the least amount of feed. Another goal was that the birds produce almost exclusively white meat even though nature does not do that on its own.

The industry scoured flocks for abnormal candidates to breed together to develop the characteristics they desired, even though it has ultimately been unhealthy for the species. When the industry came across one of nature’s mistakes — say, a chicken so top-heavy with meat that it could barely walk—they pulled it from the flock, not to kill it in an effort to protect the group from bad genes, but to ensure that its abnormal genetics became part of the next year’s harvest. The misfits were cataloged and combined — corporate farms now consist of entire populations who’s skeletal, cardiovascular, and immune systems can’t keep up with their genetic engineering. Long before they got to the crowded feeding ops, these animals were doomed to a life of pain with a potpourri of scurrilous genetics. But boy, do they grow fast! A five-pound chicken has gone from taking 16 weeks to only six weeks to fully grow, but many are on the verge of collapse when they arrive on the kill floor. These are dead end animals.

Thankfully farmers like Frank resisted the trend. His farm consists of dozens of breeds neatly divided in pens. Frank works to improve each genetic line that he has acquired over the past decades. Each breed tastes different but they all boast more dark meat than industrial cousins. They also look like a chicken with thinner breast lines, and a strong build.

The flavor of the meat is intense and the fibers in the meat are very strong and difficult to break down. Heritage chickens must be cooked very low and very slow. Without this technique the birds will be tough. Moisture must also a part of cooking process or else they dry out over the long cooking time.

The breeds Frank raises include Columbian Wyandotte, Rhode Island Whites, Black Leghorns, Golden Penciled Hamburg, Dark Brahma, Silver Laced Wyandotte, White Laced Red Cornish, Dark Cornish, White Cornish, White Jersey Giants, Black Jersey Giants, White Leghorns, Buff Leghorns, Blue Andalusian, Barred Plymouth Rock, Ancona, Light Brown Leghorn, Dark Brown Leghorn, Silber Leghorn, Black Minorca, White Face Black Spanish, Silver Penciled Hamburg, Plymouth Rocks and New Hampshires among many more. We hope you will try each one and help us lay the path for a return of taste and dignity for our animals.

Hen standing in the sunshine at Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch.
Hen standing in the sunshine at Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch.
Jersey Giant from Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch.
Jersey Giant from Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch.
Columbian Wyndotte from Good Shepard Poultry Ranch.
Columbian Wyndotte from Good Shepard Poultry Ranch.
Barred Rock Hen on Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch.
Barred Rock Hen on Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch.
Hens forge together at Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch.
Hens forge together at Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch.

How to French a Rack of Lamb

In butchery, “frenching” is the process of removing all fat, meat, and connective tissue from the rib bones on a rack roast.

Personally, I like to leave all that stuff on when I’m cooking lamb. I love the crispy, fatty bits on the bones, but for the purposes of presentation, frenching is often preferred.

Basic Trimming:

A rack of lamb consists of a loin attached to a series of rib bones. When untrimmed, this loin is covered with a thick layer of fat and connective tissue that should be removed before cooking.

Begin by using your fingers to find the natural seam between the top layer of fat and the rack. Slowly peel away the layer. You may use a paper towel to help grip and a small knife to help free any stubborn connective tissue.

The fat should separate along a natural fault line leaving a thin 1/8th-inch to 1/4th-inch layer next to the meat. Be careful not to get carried away when trimming. The more fat left on a lamb rack, the more flavor will come through!

At this step, your lamb rack is fully trimmed ready to cook. To french the rack, follow the steps below demonstrated for us by Phil Lewis, Chef du Cuisine at Fat Radish.

How to French:

Using your knife, score the membrane along the center of each bone. Place the tip of the knife against the center of the bone about an inch and a half away from the cut end and pull the knife slowly and firmly down away from the eye of the loin. Repeat along each bone.

photo 1 (6)

 

Grip the meat and pull away from the ribs slowly and firmly. You can use a paper towel to get a better grip. the meat should pull cleanly away from the bones. Continue working each rib until all are exposed.

photo 3 (7)

 

Flip the rack over and use your knife to cut away the flap. Discard excess fat, or render if desired.

 

photo 2 (9)

 

If you’re really lucky, the fat and membrane will come cleanly off the bones, leaving them bare and pearly white, but most of the time, little bits of meat and fat will remain behind. These can be removed with the help of a small pairing knife.

photo 1 (8)

 

 

 

To divide rack into smaller chops, stand it on end, starting from the exposed rib end, cut between ribs with a smooth, single stroke. If you don’t get through in one stroke, pick up your knife, photo 2 (8)place it back in the seam, and pull it again. Try to avoid sawing back and forth, which will create jagged edges.

That’s it! It may seem intimidating at first but it just takes a little practice.

Leave any questions in the comments section bellow.

Happy Cooking!

It’s Brisket’s time!

Available just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.
March is the season for brisket!
Our brisket is fresh for 1 week only
and comes from 100% uncrossed purebred Akaushi.

FRESH Brisket, one 6lb roast Akaushi
$99

One 6lb Akaushi & One 6lb Simmental Brisket
$155

One 6lb Akaushi, One 6lb Simmental
& One 9lb Piedmontese Brisket
$245

Butcher your own steaks! Video Tutorial with Chef Matt Abdoo.

Butcher your own steaks to size with our revered Akaushi/Angus roasts in a new, more versitile size! Our 4lb roasts will be available fresh for
1 week only!

At Del Posto with Chef Matt Abdoo from Heritage Foods USA on Vimeo.

Ribeye Roast about 4 lbs, feeds 4 to 8. Akaushi/Angus  $110

Strip Roast about 4 lbs, feeds 4 to 8. Akaushi/Angus  $110

Tenderloin Roast about 3 lbs, feeds 4-6 Akaushi/Angus $120

Our revered Akaushi/Angus beef is now available as fresh 3 – 4lb roasts, perfect for 4-8 people. Roast it whole or custom cut your own steaks with nothing more than a sharp knife. Butcher to spec and freeze the rest! Order today as supplies are limited! Roasts are available fresh for 1 week only.
While there are many variations on what can be called Wagyu, ours is the result of a mixing of the revered Akaushi breed (or Japanese red cow) with America’s mighty Angus. Our Akaushi are sourced from the very same family of farms that first brought the breed to the States, Akaushi being perhaps the most marbled beef in the world. The beef is fed no antibiotics or added hormones and is pasture-raised and grain-finished.

Maple-soy glazed Pork Tenderloin on Sautéed Kale by Chef Scott Benjamin of Four Olives Wine Bar

 

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Ingredients

 

1 Duroc Pork Tenderloins

 

3-4 pounds of Kale

 

1 cup good soy sauce
1 cup mirin (sweet cooking wine from Japan)
1 cup real maple syrup
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 onions quartered
2 carrots peeled and chopped roughly
2T brown sugar
10 green onions with roots cut off
2 chunks of ginger peeled and chopped

 

10 green onions green part only
2T pine nuts
2T olive oil
Sea salt
Black pepper

Directions

Cut ribs out of 3-4 pounds of kale.
Blanch kale in salted water just until tender (about 4 min).
Shock kale in ice water, remove when chilled and squeeze out as much water as possible.

Combine in saucepan:
1 cup good soy sauce
1 cup mirin (sweet cooking wine from Japan)
1 cup real maple syrup
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 onions quartered
2 carrots peeled and chopped roughly
2T brown sugar
10 green onions with roots cut off
2 chunks of ginger peeled and chopped

Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes, strain off solids and reserve sauce.

Combine:
10 green onions green part only
2T pine nuts
2T olive oil
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper

Process in blender, you may need to add a little more olive oil.

Trim any excess fat off of pork, place in cold fry pan and slowly bring up heat.  When fat has rendered off of pork, strain and reserve.

Season pork tenderloins with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Bring a few tablespoons of canola oil to a light smoke in a large nonstick fry pan.

Sear pork until well browned on each side, then kill heat and ladle sauce on top of pork.  Return to medium heat and cook two minutes in the pan.

Transfer pork to a glass baking pan, and place in 400°F oven for a few minutes until internal temperature reaches 145°F (medium) be careful, these large cuts will rise in temp after they are pulled from the oven.

Meanwhile, put a few tablespoons of pork fat in nonstick fry pan and bring to a light smoke. Add Kale, pinch of salt and black pepper, sauté until a little brown is in the edges of the leaves, but still has a bright green color.

Center kale on plate, chop on top, use a spoon to drizzle a little of the sauce around the plate.
Garnish with a little green onion pesto on top

 

image http://www.flickr.com/photos/64443083@N00/8426576724/

Grilled Vietnamese-Style Pork with Asian Herbs

by Chef Erica Wides of the Institute of Culinary Education

Grilled-pork-chops-with-Basil-garlic-rub

Ingredients

Pork Marinade
Blend in a blender or food processor:
4 cloves garlic, peeled
3 shallots, peeled
2 Tablespoons Chinese rice wine or sake
1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 Tablespoon canola, or peanut oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless pork tenderloin, trimmed and sliced lengthwise in half
Fresh Asian herbs: cilantro, mint, Thai basil
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
sliced cucumbers

For Nuoc Cham, Vietnamese Dressing
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
juice of 3 limes
1/4 cup Thai fish sauce
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
2 Tablespoons shredded carrots

Directions

1. In a shallow dish, combine the pork and the marinade and cover with plastic wrap. Allow pork to marinate at room temperature for 2 hours.
2. Prepare a grill pan, charcoal fire, or broiler.
3. Grill or broil the pork for 10-15 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 140.
Transfer the pork to a cutting board, and let it rest 5 minutes. Slice on the diagonal in very thin slices and arrange on a platter. Sprinkle the herbs and peanuts on top and serve with sliced cucumbers and the dressing.

For Nuoc Cham, Vietnamese Dressing:
Mix well to dissolve the sugar, store in the refrigerator. Keeps for 4-5 days

 

Image via http://theaahfactor.com

Heritage Chef Steve Pope Prepares Fried Chicken

Laura’s Summer Picnic Fried Chicken is one of our favorite recipes.  We find it particularly well suited to our Columdian Wyandotte  Chickens.

 

 

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There is nothing that can compare to home fried chicken. Laura Reese could kill, pluck, clean and fry a chicken before you could get to, and from, local Chicken Shack in town. She had a way of cooking chicken that you’d swear it was God sent. Her culinary talents were uncomplicated but by no means uninspiring. Her cooking was no family secret, she simply had mastered her craft by repetition. Laura had a big well seasoned cast iron frying pan that was a family heirloom. By combining basic elements her cooking was delightfully and deliciously predictable.

Recipe:

1 selected Good Shepherd Ranch Heritage Chicken™

1/4tsp pepper

¾ cup flour

½ cup butter

1 tsp salt

cooking oil

¼ cup water

Cut chicken into halves or quarters. Wash carefully and pat dry. Shake in bag with flour, salt and pepper. Place in cast iron skillet with pre-heated cooking  oil  and brown on all sides.  Remove grease from skillet and then dot the fried pieces with butter, then add ¼ cup water , cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes or until done. When ready to serve turn heat back up to medium high and cook the chicken uncovered for 5 minutes turning to increase surface crispness.

Heritage Chef Steve Pope knows that American culinary traditions are tied to preserving Heritage Animals.These animals get to live as they are supposed to with plenty of outdoor space and time to grow and develop. This means a more flavorful bird, but it also means relearning how to cook a real chicken. He has worked with our friends at Good Shepherd Poultry to craft recipes specifically for Heritage Chicken and Turkey.

You can find many of his recommendations and recipes on his website here http://www.heritagechef.com/

 

Heritage Cowboy Chicken

So you’ve just gotten your Columbian Wyandotte Chickens and are looking for some recipe ideas. Here’s another great one from Chef Cheryl McCleary:

_cowboy chicken

Ingredients

1 3 to 4 lb Whole Heritage Chicken
1 Tbsp Olive Oil

Rub:
2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
2 Tbsp Sugar in the Raw (can use brown sugar)
2 Tbsp Ground Chili’s (ground roasted New Mexico chili’s)
1 Tbsp Large Grind Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Five Spice Powder
½ Tbsp Granulated Garlic
½ Tbsp Onion Powder
½ Tbsp Lemonade Powder
¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
¼ tsp Celery Seeds

Glaze:
½ cup Melted Butter
½ cup Balsamic Vinegar
½ cup Honey

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix all ingredients for rub and set aside until you prepare chicken. Cut chicken in half down center on back, open it up and lay it flat. Put light coat of olive oil all over chicken, on bottom side of chicken (would be the inside) lightly cover with rub. On top side of chicken generously coat with rub. Put seasoned chicken on top of broiler pan, bake to 165 degrees internal temperature. Turn oven up to 450 degrees to crisp the skin cooking until chicken reaches 175 internal temperature it take about 5 minutes, take chicken out of oven, glaze, let rest 10 – 15 minutes and let internal temperature rise to 180 degrees, glaze one more time and serve.

Remember, Heritage chickens cook differently than supermarket birds, so times and temperatures may need to be adjusted based on your oven.

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