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!
Pork Breed Histories and Heritage Pork Taste Chart
Berkshire pork is elegant, luscious and smooth. The meat boasts a round and buttery flavor that melts on the tongue.
Red Wattle meat is charmingly inconsistent and can be earthy, vegetal and herbaceous with a hint of cinnamon. Its expressive porky flavor is concentrated and bold.
Duroc meat is clean and crisp. Its taste and texture are polished and easy on the palate. Duroc pork is a standard, not to fatty, not too strong pig.
Old Spot has the creamiest taste of any of the pig breeds. The Old Spot tastes like a tour of the fruit orchard where they famously grazed in old England!
Tamworth is the leanest of the pork breeds that we sell, but still has incredible tenderness and flavor. It is rootsy like the woods it ranges on and has a clean finish.
We had a great time taste testing these breeds and hope we have come up with some words that truly describe the characteristics of the pork. We would love to hear your thoughts!!! Please send us your taste comments to info@HeritageFoodsUSA.com so that we can add your words to the list!
Cooking is easy. Mother Nature + the skill of a responsible farmer = the only recipe you should ever fuss over.
Rather than filling your shelves with epic recipe books, how about breed charts that describe the gastronomic wonders of every livestock variety? “One 32-ounce flank steak” as the prime mover in a recipe is not enough information for the enlightened carnivore. Where does that beef come from— farm and breed, please! And was it from a happy cow that led a decent cow life, grazing and doing happy cow things? Or was it a prisoner of American industry?
Cattle are a lot more nuanced than you might think. Dig this: Piedmontese and Belgian Blues are the only two breeds of cow that have the “double-muscle” gene, which makes them extraordinarily tender. And these cows are loaded with myostatin, a protein that inhibits muscle differentiation and growth. As a result, you get a supremely tender and delicious cut of beef. Contrast that with the Angus—which has more tooth and is especially good for dry-aging. The Simmental, a Swiss cow originally bred to stand up to thin air in the Alps, requires a serious knife and some sharp incisors when it comes time to eating. But its grain packs a lot of distinct flavor. The Akaushi is tangy with hints of blue cheese and olive oil. It has a rich aged flavor with a long aftertaste.
Being intimate with the supply chain is where it’s at, which is why Heritage Foods USA is an ingredient-based philosophy. Be a friend and fan of the beast. Food is very personal, and knowledge is power. And when it comes right down to it, it’s the meat, not the motion.
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.
We are proud to once again be partnering with Leaping Waters Farm in Alleghany Spring, Virginia to bring you Holiday Geese.
ABOUT THE FARM
Leaping Waters Farm
When Alec and Sarah Bradford met, they committed to working to feed their family from their 110 acres of farmland in Alleghany Spring, Virginia. Often describing their farming methods as “beyond organic,” the Bradfords ensure their animals are healthy and happy, with access to plenty of pasture and fresh forage. In addition to supplying us with the highest quality beef, this year Leaping Waters Farm will raise Embden and Toulouse geese.
Alec prefers raising geese to turkeys because turkeys need at least 20% of their forage diet supplemented by grain, but geese do not necessarily. In fact, he does not feed his breeding geese any additional grain, and only feeds whole corn in the last 6 weeks to fatten them up for Christmas. Geese happily eat grass in addition to legumes, which is beneficial at Leaping Waters Farm, as their fields are mostly alfalfa. Geese are the pinnacle of sustainability in fowl.
ABOUT THE BREED
Dating back at least 200 years, Embden Geese originated in—and take their name from—the Embden region of northwestern Germany. In 1821, this breed made its way to Boston and quickly became one of the most popular domesticated geese breeds.
Embden geese may be best known for their above-average size, most reaching about 3.3 feet in height and 20-30lbs in weight. This large size, as well as their docile temperament, point to a possible relation with the Toulouse breed. The Embden boasts brilliant white plumage, bright orange bills, and, perhaps most striking of all, vivid blue eyes.
Similar to the Toulouse, Embdens are rich and fatty birds, ideal for a festive holiday meal. Because these birds are active and athletic, known to enjoy a diet supplemented by kale and other leafy greens, the meat has a much subtler, more nuanced flavor with a less greasy texture than that of a commercial goose.
Information gathered from the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy website (http://albc-usa.org/) and Domestic Waterfowl Club of the United Kingdom (http://www.domestic-waterfowl.co.uk/embden.htm).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: ERIN FAIRBANKS, (718) 389-0985
No Goat Left Behind: Goatober Is Here!
Brooklyn, NY (September 20, 2013) – No Goat Left Behind is an annual project launched in 2011 by Heritage Foods USA designed to introduce goat meat to American diners and develop a sustainable end market to support farmers in the Northeast. We are proud to partner with 14 New York State and Vermont family farms to sell hundreds of goats to restaurants and home consumers throughout this October. Thanks to our partner restaurants, you will be able to find goat on the finest dinner tables across New York City.
Just like most foods, goats have their season. Naturally mating goats give birth in the early Spring and are ready for harvest in the Fall. They are best enjoyed in October – or as we say, Goatober! The flavor of goat is delicate and grassy. As the world’s most widely consumed protein, there is a recipe for every menu.
Over 50 restaurants will participate in the No Goat Left Behind project by serving our goat on their menu for the full month of October. Visit the restaurants listed here to enjoy goat served in a variety of ways. For an updated list, please check our website. Goat is also available for purchase by home consumers at www.HeritageFoodsUSA.com.
No Goat Left Behind is partnering with Cider Week NY, a project of Glynwood that seeks to enhance the viability of regional orchards by celebrating hard cider. Regional cider will be highlighted from October 18-27 in restaurants, bars, and retail shops throughout NYC and the Hudson Valley. For more info please visit: CiderWeekNY.com.
Both No Goat Left Behind and Cider Week NY were developed to raise awareness and demand for distinctive agricultural products best enjoyed in October. Matthew Rudofker, Chef de Cuisine of Momofuku ssäm bar, will demonstrate his favorite goat dishes paired with an array of local ciders at Astor Center on October 10th. Tickets now available through http://www.astorcenternyc.com. For information, visit our website.
All our goats are raised to Heritage Foods USA’s specifications, guaranteeing pasture-raised animals with no growth hormones or antibiotics. The five breeds represented include: Oberhasli, a dairy breed developed in the mountainous regions of Switzerland; Nubian of mixed Asian, African, and European origin, known for high butterfat milk production; Saanen, which surpass all the other breeds in production of milk and butterfat; Boer, which were selected for meat production and originally hail from South Africa; and Kiko which are recognized for greater parasite resistance and good meat yield.
For more information about Heritage Foods USA and No Goat Left Behind, or to have goat shipped directly to your home, visit www.HeritageFoodsUSA.com.
Heritage Foods is saddened to hear of farmer Mark Newman’s passing yesterday morning, August 21st. Mark helped Heritage Foods navigate the world of heritage pork by connecting us with numerous farmers. We thank him for his help in our early days.
We extend our condolences to his wife Rita, his sons Chris and David, and the whole Newman Family.
Our friends at Heritage Radio Network know a thing or two about parties and pigs. They are currently gearing up for their Hawaiian BBQ Hog Roast which will take place on August 11 in the garden at Roberta’s.
Find out more and get your tickets here http://hrnhawaiianbbq.eventbrite.com/
More from HRN
Hang out in the ultimate urban garden at Roberta’s Pizza and enjoy a family-style feast that will take you from the mean streets of NYC to the breezy beaches of the Big Island. We’ll start the night with Hors d’oeuvers from Roberta’s Catering and then we’ll say, “Aloha” to Daniel Delaney of Delaney BBQ. Daniel will be the honorary Pitmaster, slow cooking a delicious Heritage Foods USA hog.
Joining Delaney is an all-star line up of chefs. Chris Bradley of Untitled, Kyle Knall of Maysville, and the Court St. Grocers crew will be making some killer sides to compliment the unctuous pork. La New Yorkina will cap the night with their signature frozen treats. The Anfora restaurant team will be on hand to mix up cocktails, and Empire Brewing Company will be our exclusive beer sponsor.
Don’t forget to check out the Food + Art Silent Auction during the event. Enjoy a cocktail while bidding on unique food art created by artists Margarita Korol, Erin Jang, Brooke David, Mike Geno and more.
Let Tom Douglas Plan your Seattle Foodie Fantasy! Chef, restaurateur and cookbook author Tom Douglas boasts over a dozen restaurants within 10 blocks in downtown Seattle. His menus range from seafood to Northern Italian to a Tibetan dumpling food truck. And he wants you to spend the weekend in his town, his way! This is a man who knows food so you can trust him to treat you right in his adopted city. This fabulous weekend will be raffled away so get a head start and buy your raffle tickets early for your chance to win. $10 per raffle ticket.
America is celebrated for its diversity: from music to food, almost every aspect of our culture has been influenced by people of varying ethnicities. For this reason, it’s difficult to find an authentic taste of America. For those who wish to take a walk in the shoes of our native bretheren, however, there is good news. Bison meat is truly North America’s native meat.
Sixty million bison once roamed the great plains and amply fed the hearty appetites of the Native Americans who occupied this country. When the Transcontinental Railroad was built in the 1800s, bison herds were split between the North and South. The Southern herd included animals from Texas, eastern New Mexico, eastern Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and southern Nebraska. By the dawn of the 20th century, the total bison population had dwindled to less than 1,000.
Thanks to conservation efforts, bison are slowly recovering. The Southern Plains herd that exists today was started in the 1880s by Charles Goodnight, a wealthy American cattlemen. His wife urged him to save five calves at a time when hunters were killing bison by the hundreds of thousands.
Shape Ranch, producer of Thunder Heart Bison, is owned and run by Hugh and Sarah Fitzsimons near San Antonio, Texas. In 1806, the King of Spain granted this land to Juan Fransisco Lombrano, a loyal subject of the crown who stocked the ranch with cattle and sheep. Many generations later, in 1933, Shape Ranch was purchased by Hugh’s grandfather, H. A. Fitzsimons, and has remained in the family ever since.
The ranch was originally stocked with registered Hereford cattle and steers until Hugh made the decision to begin a herd of bison. The family now raises 350 head of bison. More recently, Shape Ranch decided to shift focus toward the genetic integrity of their bison. Their goal is to increase the number of Southern Plains bison that were once indigenous to Dimmit County and all of Texas. In 2008, Hugh purchased four bison from the only remaining, pure-bred, Southern Plains herd. These bulls came from the famous Mary Annand Charles Goodnight herd that is now the Texas State herd at Caprock Canyons State Park. By choosing animals from such legendary sources, the Fitzsimons family insures both strong and diversified genetics.
In April 2009 Thunder Heart Bison was certified by the Animal Welfare Institute as Animal Welfare Approved (AWA), making it the first bison ranch in the United States to meet the stringent and exacting standards of the AWA. Thunder Heart Bison Ranch is dedicated to allowing bison to live in accordance with their natural instincts: they eat only grass and are killed on the prairies where they live, under low stress conditions. Thunder Heart is one of very few ranches in America whose buffalo are both grass-fed and field-harvested. By grazing on native grasses, such as Sea Coast Bluestem, Old World Bluestem, Curly Mesquite, and Hooded Windmill, these bison produce a flavor that is mild and delicate.
Grass-fed Bison is naturally leaner than other meats but the fat it does have is mono-unsaturated, making it much healthier while refusing to sacrifice flavor. The leanness of the meat requires low and slow cooking.
We are particularly excited to share this incredibly unique product with our customers. This year’s Thunder Heart Bison is only available in small quantities, and Heritage Foods USA is proud to take part in the opportunity to share this one-of-a-kind, grass-fed bison with all of you. Each cut of our stock originates from one of 350 bison raised on the Fitzsimons family ranch from a herd that is slowly, but surely, being brought back from the ranks of endangerment. With its pure, lean, unmatchable taste, this offer is truly one-of-a-kind.