Cooking All Natural Healthy Chicken
Cook it slow!
If you have a crock pot that’s perfect for a whole bird.
You can place the chicken in the crock pot whole and even frozen. (cook on low for 6-8 hours until chicken is tender if frozen, 3-4 hours on low if it’s defrosted or fresh)
Place the chicken in the crock pot and chop an onion and mince some garlic spread on top of the chicken. Add sea salt and pepper. Add just enough water to barely cover the bird can add a splash of white cooking wine too.
The chicken will cook and be deliciously tender falling off the bone. You can use the broth for soup immediately just remove the chicken and bones with a large slotted spoon and place aside to cool in a large bowl or pan. Then add any veggies you want… can a carrot or two, some peeled diced potatoes (veggies that take a long time to cook can cook all day in with the chicken if you want to eat your soup that night)… a can of rotelle tomatoes and a can of corn if you want a Mexican flavor… even a few cans of pinto or kidney beans if you want chili… the options are endless for the soup you get from the broth.
The chicken you can remove from the bones and eat right away with a sauce or by itself. You can also use the meat in a casserole.
After you’ve emptied your crock pot of good soup and you’ve eaten up or used all the chicken meat put the bones back into the crock pot cover with water again add more onion (just quarter an onion, you just want flavor and goodness you won’t be using it later) and another few cloves of garlic more sea salt and pepper and cook on low over night (you can add a splash of apple cider vinegar if you want to get all the calcium from the bones) this will cook into a delicious golden broth. It is impossible to do this kind of cooking with a grocery store chicken. You can pour the broth through a strainer (small holes) and discard all the cooked and recooked stuff and then use the broth for anything! You can use it to cook veggies… to cook potatoes and then mash them into potato cheese soup… it is SO good for you. I use it for all my sauces and cream soups as a base. It is SO delicious and so good to eat and drink especially this time of year where flu and colds abound.
(you can roast a chicken like this in the oven in a roasting pan. Defrost first and then place chicken in a pan surround with onion, taters, carrots whatever and then stuff cavity with garlic… rub body with sea salt and pepper and herbs (Italian seasoning or Rosemary…) splash a little cooking wine and slather some butter on the chicken and put a cover on it (cover to the roasting pan if you have it tinfoil if you don’t) cook on 350 for about 45 minutes and remove cover then cook another 30 or so minutes until chicken is done (knife comes out with clear juices and the legs are easy to wiggle around) Yummy
All-Natural free range Chicken Breasts
You have to think about these chicken breasts as something completely different than what you’ve ever cooked before. They are nothing like the factory raised meat that you buy at the store. This is chicken that has had a normal life hunting for bugs out in a green pasture eating plenty of grass and getting plenty of exercise.
I marinate the breasts in a zip lock bag for a day before I want to eat it. You can marinate the morning you are going to use the meat for dinner… but I like to do it the night before (like to get my work out of the way in the evening and it gives the meat more time to tenderize). After you’ve marinated the meat you can either cook it on the stove top in a frying pan or in a baking dish in the oven. Don’t over cook… just cook until done (thirty minutes in the oven on 350 and until meat is no longer pink in the frying pan)
You can buy a nice marinade, use a favorite salad dressing or make your own. Have fun!
I put my chicken into a zip lock with the marinade and mix it around and place it in a baking dish in the fridge. Every time I go to the fridge I turn the chicken around in its bag and recover everything so it’s evenly marinated. YUMMY
¼ c honey
¼ c Dijon mustard
¼ c olive oil
Splash of white cooking wine or sherry
¼ c soy sauce
¼ c oil
2 Tbs brown sugar
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 c basalmic vinegar
¼ c olive oil
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp sea salt
Splash of honey
Sprinkle of cayenne pepper
Tuscan Chicken with White Beans and Wilted Greens
Robin Miller 2006 Food Net Work
· 2 cups sliced red or white onions
· 1 cup sliced fennel bulb optional
· 2 cloves garlic, minced
· 1 (15-ounce) can white (cannellini) beans, rinsed and drained
· 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
· 4 (5-ounce) skinless chicken breast halves (with bone) or whole chicken
· Salt and freshly ground black pepper
· 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
· 1/2 cup sliced roasted red peppers (from water-packed jar) or fresh peppers
· 4 cups chopped Swiss chard leaves or spinach
· 1 can of diced tomatoes or fresh cut up
· 1 crusty loaf of bread
· 2 tablespoons olive oil
· 1 clove garlic
Arrange onions, fennel and garlic in bottom of slow cooker. Place beans on top of vegetables. Pour over chicken broth.
Season chicken all over with salt and pepper and place on top of vegetables and beans in the slow cooker. Sprinkle rosemary over chicken. Place roasted red pepper slices on top of chicken. Arrange Swiss chard all around chicken.
Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours
Slice bread and grill or toast, then drizzle with olive oil. Rub hot bread with garlic clove and serve with meal
Bold are my additions
Tips on Cooking a 100% Pure and Natural Thanksgiving Turkey
Thank you for your business. It’s because of customers like you who choose to support local natural foods, that we can to farm this way. We cooked one of our farm’s turkeys last week and were very pleased with the results. One thing to remember is that what you’re cooking is as far from a factory-produced supermarket turkey as it is from a rabbit. So be creative and have fun with it!
1. Our turkeys are painstakingly hand-processed by us here on the farm. We have to remove every little feather by hand. Please forgive any oversight in this J You might see one or two little feathers as you rinse out your bird and prepare him for the oven. That’s part of the natural fun of it J
2. The turkeys range in the grass and get plenty of exercise. So their fat content is much lower than what you’ve probably seen before. That said: you will want to modify your cooking procedures.
Here’s a recipe we have tested:
Rub the whole body and inside cavity generously with good butter.
Salt and pepper the outside generously. Acquire some fresh herbs and stuff these inside the cavity (rosemary, sage, thyme), fresh chopped garlic and onion. You can also add a halved lemon (this gives a great flavor to the meat and acts as a natural tenderizer as well. We didn’t try this on this turkey but have done it with chicken with very good results.)
Preheat oven to 325 and allow the turkey to brown (maybe up to 30 minutes.) watch and when browned to your liking remove turkey and cover tightly with aluminum foil. While the turkey is out of the oven, you can splash cooking wine in and around the bird (I did this) and a little more butter (you can melt the butter together with the wine and more herbs in a pan and just pour over and into the bird)
After you cover the bird you leave it in the oven for about 3 more hours depending on your turkey’s size. Test for doneness (use a thermometer or wiggle the leg J if it wiggles easily it’s done. If it wiggles too easily it’s overdone). You can find great ideas on the internet (there are some great recipes for turkey brining out there that are really delicious. Have FUN!)
The final temperature of the bird, after “resting” for 15 to 20 minutes, should be at least but not much more than 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature will continue to rise 5 to 10 degrees after the turkey is removed from the oven
Another little secret I’ll share is “mom’s turkey gravy”.
This is a gem. My mother was an amazing cook! But one of those “add some flour” type recipe hander downers J
Home Made Turkey Gravy:
While turkey is resting before carving drain all the juices into a medium sized sauce pan.
Remove about a cup of juice to a smaller bowl and add flour and corn starch (about ¼ C flour and 3 Tbs cornstarch) and stir until completely dissolved (the way to avoid lumpy gravy is to always add more starch separately and dissolve completely into liquid before adding it to your sauce pan) Stir the flour mixture into your gravy with a whisk over medium heat. Add salt and pepper, herbs de province (if desired) until it suits your taste. When the gravy begins to bubble it should thicken. If it is still too runny remove a little of the liquid to your mixing bowl and add a little more flour or cornstarch (a few tbs…) dissolve and then add this mixture to your gravy repeating above steps. J Hope that’s not too “a pinch of this and that” for you.
Posted: 17 Nov 2009 08:37 AM PST
Poultry loves a brine. The major advantage to brining is that it adds moisture to lean low moisture meats – turkey is a prime candidate. In addition to more moisture brined turkey has more tender flesh and a plumper texture.
A brine is a salt solution that denatures protein. This means the salt in the brine unravels the spiral formation of the protein molecules resulting in many more places for water to bond onto the meat. For some lean turkey meat or low-moisture pork (especially ribs), brining can add up to 10% moisture. But not all brines are created equal.
Most brine recipes call for an industrially-refined salt such as kosher or table salt. Such salts lack the beautiful magnesium, potassium, and calcium salts that occur naturally, and make for a flatter, duller salt sensation—to say nothing of the 80 other sundry minerals that are found in unrefined salt. Many salts marketed as “sea salt,” manufactured in huge industrial salt evaporators optimized for yield and global industrial purity standards are stripped of their natural minerals, as well, Brines are straight forward – a solution of salt, water, sugar and spices – and whatever you put in them gets absorbed in the meat, so you should take care with what you use. Please use natural salt in your brine. It makes a huge difference.
I recommend any natural sel gris (aka gray salt, or gros sel) for brining. A 2 pound 6 ounce bag of excellent sel gris costs $12, and it will leave you with plenty left over for sprinkling on candied yams as a finishing salt, not to mention on buttered crusty Thanksgiving dinner rolls. In fact, the bag will easily take you through the holidays and into the new year. Sel gris is just about as old-school beautiful as any salt made. Plus, all sel gris are especially rich in trace minerals, insuring a flavor that is balanced and full. Actually, there’s another plus: minerals in the salt are absorbed into the turkey along with the water, so you get more of all the good things salt has to offer.
Ingredients and recipe for a 16 lb bird.
- 1 1/2 cup sel gris (gray salt) or natural traditional sea salt
- 2 gallons of cold water. Like the salt, the water should be good. (I err on the safe side and avoid tap water, which contains lots of chlorine. Instead, buy a few jugs of spring water of some sort, and your turkey will not smell like a swimming pool.)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 medium-sized branches rosemary
- 6 sprigs thyme
- 6 leaves sage
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and gently crushed
- 6 fat fresh peppercorns
Bring 2 cups of the water to a boil, mixing in all the above ingredients, mixing to dissolve the salt as much as possible. Let the water cool for half an hour, then combine back with remaining water to make your brine. Put turkey in double layer plastic garbage bag breast down, pour cold brine solution over bird, get all excess air of out of bag and tie off. Place bagged brined bird in fridge and let soak for 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Remove bird from fridge, pat dry very thoroughly, and rub with a thin film of olive oil. Stuff with the stuffing of your choice, truss to hold stuffing in place, and roast. Cook until the internal temperature of the bird (at the inner thick part of the thigh) is 165°F, about 2 1/2 hours. I know this doneness temperature might be lower than what you are used to. Many older cookbooks call for roasting turkey to 180°F. This is excessive. Bacteria (including salmonella bacteria) is killed at 145°F and roasting poultry much beyond 165°F dries it out. In the case of a brined bird roasting to too high a temperature can drain out all the moisture you took so much time to get in there. You’ll get much better results be stopping roasting at 165°F.
Allow the roasted turkey to sit for 20 minutes before carving (you can cover it loosely with foil or a clean towel if you want); a rest period will help the bird retain its juices and firm the meat for easier carving . Scoop the stuffing into a serving bowl; carve and serve.
Here are a few of our favorite egg recipes. I would never eat a raw egg yolk unless I knew exactly where that egg had come from and how the chicken who laid it was raised.
Egg Yolk Yogurt smoothie:
1 raw Our Father’s Farm egg yolk J
1 C kefir or yogurt
2 Tb raw honey OR maple syrup
1 banana (can freeze it to make your smoothie colder) OR 1 C of any organic frozen fruit
For a mega energy boost also add:
1 Tb almond butter
1 Tb green powder (barley greens or greens plus powder)
Blend all until smooth and creamy. DELICIOUS! If you drink this for breakfast you won’t be hungry again until well into the afternoon. If I drink this I usually drink a glass or so of milk during the day and just wait to eat again until an early dinner time.
1 C Our Father’s Farm Milk
1 -2 raw egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tb honey or maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp each nutmeg, allspice, cloves
Blend well chill and enjoy!
Cleopatra’s Beauty facial wash
Egg white (brilliant way to use leftover white from smoothie or drink)
1 Tb honey (optional)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar (optional)
Beat with a fork or small whisk until smooth and smear over your face (no make-up) do this at breakfast time before you get ready for the day… leave it on until it dries (stiffens J) rinse completely with warm water. Pat to dry. (can store for 1 or 2 days in fridge if you didn’t use it all up… but if you take it to the shower with you… use it all over arms, neck… skin exposed to sun to nourish and heal and soften heels, elbows, neck, etc)
This is an AMAZING facial! It’s loaded with vitamins, collagen (active ingredient found in many high priced beauty creams) if you add the vinegar it stabilizes the ph balance in your face (as it does for the rest of your body when taken internally) helping with rashes and acne.
Mix all the following:
3 eggs beaten
1 ½ C milk
Salt, pepper, dash nutmeg
Sauté garlic and onion and any veggies you have on hand
Think which veggies go better with which cheeses
Ie: peppers and tomatoes with pepper jack for a Mexican strata (add cumin and cilantro)
Tomatoes and mozzarella and fresh basil for Italian (add italian seasonings)
Spinach and onion with swiss or very sharp cheddar (add herbs de provence)
Mushrooms onions and fresh goat cheese…
You need at least a cup of veggies and as much cheese. Can go more of either or both.
For base layer you can use a pie crust (for quiche)
You layer veggies and cheese then pour over egg/milk mixture over all and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes until knife inserted comes out clean
For strata you use any old bread you have. Grease your pan first layer is torn up bread, layer veggies then cheese then pour egg mix over all. The above amount should be enough for an 8X8 pan double it for a 9X 13 amount.
In the strata it puffs like soufflé and you should serve it immediately as it “falls” but it’s still yummy J
Perfect Scrambled eggs for two:
4 beaten eggs
¼ C milk
1-2 Tb butter
Melt butter in pan add milk to just warm it pour in eggs stir constantly with a wooden spoon over medium heat until “done” (you know how you like your eggs, but these will be lighter and fluffier than American style “Fried scrambled eggs”. Add salt and pepper even a sprinkle of cheese. Delicious! If you do have leftovers save them and mix them in with fried rice or toss them into chicken soup.
Cover 6 eggs with water in a medium sauce pan
Bring to a boil and set a timer for 7 minutes for a firm yolk (if you cook them too long the yolks turn sort of greenish have you ever seen that?)
Drain off water and cool eggs by using cold water.
Be sure the eggs aren’t too fresh when you boil them as they won’t peel away from the shell. If you’re using our eggs wait until the end of the week as ours are only a couple of days old when they get to you at most.
Gently cut the eggs in half long ways and remove yolks to a small bowl. Arrange whites on a plate.
Smoosh yolks with a fork.
Add 3 Tb yogurt
1 Tb Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic minced tiny
1 green onion minced (tiny ones that you grow yourself are best)
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp salt
2 Tb parsley chopped (fresh) or 1 tsp dried
Mix all. If it’s not “wet” enough add a bit more yogurt until the consistency you like.
Carefully fill the hole in the white with this mixture form nice peaks.
Arrange nicely garnish with parsley OR make a big dinner salad and put four halves of egg per salad prettily arranged. Great with left over meat you might have on hand (fancy chef salad)
The cayenne and the garlic are the secret ingredients! Yummy.