The nasty chicken feet were worth it after all. A few nights ago, I roasted my now-footless chicken with some organic oregano under the skin and a lemon shoved up its bottom (poor chicken, the indignities it went through to feed us!). It was perfect -- flavorful, moist, and plenty of meat. In addition to still having its taloned feet and long nasty neck intact, the chicken differed from a regular grocery store bird in the color of the flesh. When it was raw, it was spotted in places rather than that smooth, allover, muscle-y pink. The paranoia in me starting squawking, "It's gone bad! Don't cook it!" so I asked Mr. Food Musings for his expert opinion. He asked me what it smelled like.
I leaned over to sniff it.
"It smells like raw chicken," I called out from the kitchen. To me, that's not a great smell, but it also doesn't mean anything's wrong. He walked into the kitchen and leaned over to sniff it himself.
"It's fine," he said. I eyeballed him. Hard. "It's FINE!" he said, rolling his eyes. He's used to my freakishness and he was, in fact, correct. It was lovely, and as long as David at Marin Sun Farms keeps his promise not to keep the feet on next time, I'm all up for ordering me another $18 bird.
Yesterday's farmer's market sightings: Amy, Fatemeh, Sam (whom I planned to meet up with, so I'm not sure if that counts as a sighting or not), Stephanie, Heidi, Pim and David, and Daniel Patterson. Then my friend R. and her friend S. showed up and a bunch of us sat down with some bubbly and some snacks. Great day at the market! (Oh, what did I buy? Cherries, tomatoes, broccoli rabe, more cheese and pasta and my favorite granola bars in a new flavor -- figs & cherries.)
Farmer's market tips of the day: The best strawberries will turn red all the way up to the tippy-tops, something a greenhouse can't do (thanks to David for this one). And you can freeze bacon! Just make sure you freeze individual slices or they'll all end up frozen together (thanks to Amy & Sam).
Roasted Chicken with Favas, tomatoes and garlic croutons
100% local (except for the mustard and red wine vinegar in the vinaigrette)
I am going to guess you all know how to roast a chicken, but the way I did mine was to loosen the skin and tuck some chopped fresh oregano underneath, stick a half a lemon up its bottom, and slather the skin in olive oil, salt and pepper. My failproof cooking method is 400º for 15 minutes per pound, plus 10 minutes at the end. Save the wrapping paper with the weight on the label and get out your calculators -- precision will help you avoid overcooked breast meat.
1 TBSP olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, roughly smashed but not chopped
2 cups day-old bread cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 head of red leaf (or other) lettuce
1/2 breast of leftover roasted chicken, shredded (remove the skin too)
2 ripe summer tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup prepared fava beans (I didn't weight them raw but I probably shelled about 20-30 pods)
1/4 red onion, sliced (optional)
1/4 cup feta cheese (optional)
homemade or store bought vinaigrette of choice
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 325º. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a non-stick pan until hot, then add the garlic and fry just until it releases a fragrance. Add the bread cubes and toss to coat. Cook a few minutes until they absorb the oil. Toss the cubes onto a baking sheet and discard the garlic. Bake until crisp, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the salad by tearing the lettuce and throwing it in a big bowl with the chicken, tomatoes, fava beans and optional onions and feta. When the croutons are ready, throw them in, add the dressing and salt and pepper to taste, and toss.