Brining chicken in a buttermilk bath before frying it to crispy golden-brown perfection has been a long standing southern tradition, but did you know using buttermilk to brine your chicken will produced juicy, fall off the bone tender result when roasted in your over too!
Union Square Cafe’s Executive Chef and Partner, Carmen Quagliata, is passionate about his native Italian cuisine. Carmen’s culinary style was formed by the Sicilian matriarchs of his family, who made sausage and bread by hand and grew pole beans from seeds carried across the Atlantic by their Italian kin.
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!
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.
- (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
- In a heated skillet with 2 tablespoons of Canola oil, lightly brown chicken parts
- Place jalapeno, green chilies, black beans, corn and garlic cloves in the bottom of crock pot.
- Pour in broth.
- Place chicken pieces on top and season with spices.
- Pour 1 cup of salsa and lime juice over top of chicken and cover.
- Cook 4-6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low.
- About 30 minutes before finished, transfer chicken pieces to a separate bowl and shred..
- If mixture in crock pot seems thin, add 1 tablespoon flour to ¼ cup of broth and blend into pot.
- Return shredded chicken to crock pot and cover for final 30 minutes.
- Top chicken soup with cheese, cilantro, green onions and a dollop of sour cream.
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.
- 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
- Mix ground chicken, half the onions, bread crumbs, water, pepper jack cheese, and eggs in a bowl; form into 12 patties.
- 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.
- Mash avocados, remaining onions, remaining serrano chile pepper, and remaining lime juice together in a bowl to make guacamole. Season with salt and pepper.
- 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.
The Heritage Chef Steve Pope
What really separates Heritage Breeds of chicken from the rest of the pack, and why is it so important to help preserve breed diversity?
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.
Grandma Litke was a God fearing woman and never missed Church on Sunday, which meant she had to get up early to start Sunday dinner. One of her Sunday specials was baked chicken. She’d get everything ready and just before she walked out the door it all went into the oven. She knew her hen would take longer to bake than most and she had the cooking time planed according to the standard 45 minute sermon, 3 hymns, the offering and the preacher handshake as they went out the door of the church. By the time they had arrived home the house smelled wonderful, and the bird, well the bird was cooked to perfection.
by Chef Steve Pope of Good Shepherd, KS
1 Good Shepherd baking hen cut into frying size pieces.
Pre heat oven to 325 degrees
1 cup white flour,
1 tsp of salt.
1 tsp pepper,
1/2 tsp powdered garlic
2/3cup Cooking oil
1 cup water
1. Rinse and remove excess water.
2. Bread pieces in dry mixture of flour, seasonings (I use a plastic bag for this)
3. Heat 2/3 cup of butter in a Skillet (cast iron works best).
4. Brown pieces on both sides using med/high heat. Remove from skillet.
3. Select large enough covered baking dish and place low rack in the bottom.
4. Place a small onion that has been sliced into large pieces on the rack. Lay browned pieces of chicken on top of onions. Pour in 1 cup of water. Cover tightly and place into heated oven for approx 3hr and 15 min (cooking time is to be adjusted 15 min for each pound of bird)
Mama’s Southern-Style Chicken ‘N Dumplings
Recipe courtesy of Mississippi Hometown Cookbook
by Sheila Simmons & Kent Whitaker
If you want a little taste of the south, chicken and dumplings are a good way to go. This would be extra special with homemade chicken broth so be sure to save all the chicken extras and bones you don’t eat to make your chicken stock.
1½ cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking powder
1½ tablespoons butter
2 quarts chicken broth
2 to 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
Salt and pepper
Sift flour, salt and baking powder. Cut in butter. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, to bring dough to consistency of pie dough. Roll dough out on floured board to ¼-inch thickness. Cut into strips. Cut strips into 2- to 3-inch lengths. Bring broth to rapid boil. Add chicken then salt and pepper to taste. Drop dumplings into boiling broth and cook until dumplings float to the top. Taste one to make sure they are no longer “doughy.” You may add butter if you need more fat in the broth.
Mississippi Hometown Cookbook
by Sheila Simmons & Kent Whitaker
Great American Publishers
Last week we had the pleasure to provide the meat for a lovely food and wine event at the Astor Center in New York. The event was titled “Grilling and Swilling: Hot Weather Reds and Heritage Meats,” and looked at pairing favorite summer grilling recipes with delicious red wines. The event helped raise money for our friends at Heritage Radio Network.
Chef Emily Peterson collaborated with wine expert Kimberly Severson to bring us these summer delights!
Charred Oregano and Lemon Chicken
Paired with Lagrein Rosato, Muri Gries 2012 from Alto Adige, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
Protein: 1 Chicken, cut up into 8 or 10 bone-in service pieces (generally 2 wings, 2 drumsticks, 2 thighs, and 2 or 4 breast pieces)
For the Marinade:
1/3 cup kosher salt
2/3 cup dried oregano
2 cups unoaked white wine
1. Melt one cup butter in a small sauce pan. Add the juice of the lemon and turn off the heat
2. In a large bowl, or gallon-sized zip top bag, combine the salt and oregano. Completely coat each piece of chicken in the mixture so that you can barley see any chicken through the coating.
3. Grill the chicken over high heat. As you turn it, basted it with the butter-lemon mixture. Cook until you have good color all the way around. This takes about 15 minutes. It smells amazing and you’ll understand why you’re outside when you see the herb-scented smoke plumes floating over your neighbor’s place.
4. Transfer the chicken to a pot large enough to comfortably hold it all, add the wine and remaining butter-lemon mixture and tightly cover. You can proceed from here either on a gar grill or inside on the stovetop.
5. Cook the chicken over medium-low for about 90 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and falling off the bone.
Pork Soulvaki with Tzatziki and Pita
Paired with Touraine Rouge ‘Les Cots Hauts,’ Mikael Bouges 2010 from Touraine, Loire, France
Protein: 2 lbs pork shoulder, cut into two inch cubes
For the Marinade:
2 cups red wine
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp cinnamon
6 cloves smashed garlic
Freshly ground pepper
1 whole red onion, peeled, root and stem end removed
For the Tzatziki
2 cups grated cucumber, seeds avoided
2 cups full-fat Greek yogurt
½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
A heavy glug of extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs finely minced garlic
Kosher salt to taste
Serve with 4 scallions, thinly sliced on the bias
1 cup flat –leaf parsley, roughly chopped
Warm pita bread
1. combine all the marinade ingredients, including the pork, a large pinch of kosher salt and a few cracks of black pepper in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate at large 2 hours, but preferably overnight.
2. Meanwhile, make the yogurt sauce – stir together all the ingredients, starting with just a pinch of salt, then taste and add more salt if you’d like. Keep cold. This can keep in the fridge for up to a week.
3. Skewer the pork cubes onto wooden or metal skewers (if using wood, make sure the ends don’t poke out form the pork – they’ll burn even if you soak them). Grill over medium-hot, preferably charcoal, but gas will do the job too, 20-25 minutes. Generously baste with the marinade for the first 19 minutes.
4. Arrange the skewers on a pretty serving platter and sprinkle with scallions and parsley. Serve with the cold yogurt sauce and the pita, wrapped in a beautiful tea towel.
Korean Beef Bulgolgi Ssambap
Paired with Lambtusco ‘Il Giullare,’ Roberto Negri 2011 from Lambrusco, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Protein: 2 pounds of sirloin steak sliced very thin across the bias (or boneless short ribs)
For the marinade:
2 scallions, thinly sliced
¼ cup sugar
3 Tbs chopped garlic
5 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs sesame oil
2 Tbs dry vermouth
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
A dash of Sriracha
Serve with whole bib lettuce leaves, Kimchi, Gochujang (Korean chili paste)
1. Combine the beef and the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Cover tightly. Refrigerate at least two hours, but preferably overnight.
2. Grill beef on a two zone grill, starting on the very hot side, flipping to the less very hot side. Cook to desired doneness,
Serve by placing all of the components in individual serving dishes in the center of the table. Make a wrap, using a lettuce leaf, a piece of bulgogi, kimchi and chili paste. Messy and delicious!
Pair with Lauel Glen !Za Zin 2010 from Lodi, California, USA
Protein: 2 pounds Ground Beef seasoned with salt and pepper
Potato slider buns
Yellow American Cheese
Iceberg or bib lettuce
Fresh tomato slab
1. Form meat into equally-sized balls, then flatten into patties. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper
2. On a two zone grill, grill over hot, then flip and finish to desired doneness.
3. Serve with fixins
See what else the Astor Center is offering at http://www.astorcenternyc.com
For more from Chef Emily check out www.thegourmandandthepeasant.com and Facebook.com/chefemilyp
And hear Heritage Radio’s Audio Gift Bag here http://www.
Laura’s Summer Picnic Fried Chicken is one of our favorite recipes. We find it particularly well suited to our Columdian Wyandotte Chickens.
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.
1 selected Good Shepherd Ranch Heritage Chicken™
¾ cup flour
½ cup butter
1 tsp salt
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/
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:
1 3 to 4 lb Whole Heritage Chicken
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
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
½ cup Melted Butter
½ cup Balsamic Vinegar
½ cup Honey
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.
By Dick Bessey
1 Columbian Wyandotte Chicken
2 tsp salt
Olive oil for coating grill
Serve with your favorite grilling sides and beverages (everything from beer and potato chips to champagne and grilled asparagus) and enjoy!