Since Wednesday, when I brought home my first Fresh Fork Market bag, I have had a lovely frozen pasture-fed young chicken staring at me from my fridge. While I am not intimidated by a whole chicken, I usually use them for soup. But the long hard Cleveland winter of 2014 included one too many batches of chicken noodle soup for me. I needed to come up with another chicken plan. Fresh Fork Market recipe to the rescue! On their website (www.freshforkmarket.com) I found a plan for using a whole chicken in several meals for a week.
The chicken-for-a-week plan begins with roasting the chicken. I followed the recipe instructions exactly – well, almost. Instead of softening the butter, for unknown reasons I melted it in the microwave. So much for spreading an herb butter under the chicken skin. I put my melted butter in the fridge, hoping it would harden up quickly while I chopped the veggies. A few minutes later, not much progress on that butter. I needed to keep things moving, so I opted to use some minced garlic, dried basil and dried Italian seasoning (not in the recipe) to make a very soft paste with my now semi-melted butter. Using the back of a large spoon, I was able to spread this under the chicken skin. In about 20 minutes’ time, I had this “spring chicken” ready for roasting.
While the chicken was in the oven, I did a little gardening, a load of laundry and even took a 15 minute power nap – no time wasted there! A little over 3 hours later, with the house smelling wonderful, I pulled this juicy, tender chicken from the oven. Removing the legs and wings and slicing the chicken breast was a breeze and are now ready for a quick dinner and some chicken salad for a lunch. The bones and carcass will be used to make chicken stock tomorrow, which will go in my freezer for later use. (This is all explained on the FFM instruction/recipe sheet.) Not bad for about 30 minutes of actual work!
On a side note: Last evening, using the fresh strawberries from my FFM bag, I made my daughter’s favorite summer bedtime snack – Strawberry Watermelon Slush. I’ve been making this refreshing easy recipe for so long I don’t even know where it came from. Here’s the simple details if you want to give it a try:
- 2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced in half
- 2 cups watermelon, cubed
- 1/3 cup sugar or other natural sweetener
- 1/3 cup lemon juice (I prefer fresh squeezed)
- 2 cups ice, crushed if possible
Process the first four ingredients in a blender until very smooth.
Add the ice and blend until ice chunks are gone. Serve immediately in beverage glasses.
Garnish with a sliced strawberry if desired. Now that makes it feel like a Cleveland summer!