Yup, I’m the self-proclaimed chicken queen, as I’m the reigning chicken champ. My dad is also quick to point out that it totally makes sense for me to call myself the chicken lady, as 1)I was born in the year of the rooster and 2)I live in Kentucky, land of fried chicken.
That being said, I am so excited about this week’s episode on chicken. I had the great pleasure of meeting Will Meurer of Wholesome Living Farm at the Azur Farmer’s Bazaar a few Saturdays ago and was struck by his warmth, dedication to good food and farming, and his incredibly reasonable prices ($3.50/lb for whole chickens and $5/lb for grass-fed ground beef!!!)
We invited him on set and I got to learn even more about how he raises his chickens. He’s even invited me (and anyone else out there who is interested) to come visit his farm in Clark County any time we like so we can get a firsthand look at just how naturally he is raising his birds.
When coming up with these recipes, I really wanted to present something approachable, but also new, hence a roast chicken that’s been butterflied. Butterflying a chicken not only speeds up the roasting, but it makes it super easy for grilling and most importantly, it helps retain as much juiciness as possible because it gives the white meat and the dark meat a fighting chance to cook to their optimal temperatures (about 150 and 170, respectively). This is because the breast is somewhat shielded from the heat at the center of the pan while the legs/thighs reside on the outer edges of the pan, where things get a little bit hotter.
This is far and away the tastiest chicken I’ve eaten in awhile. There is so much texture and flavor in a free-range chicken like this and I’m already dreaming up recipes so that I can have more excuses to get more of Will’s chickens.
Butterflied Roast Chicken with Soy Ginger Jus
- 1 whole KY Proud chicken, 3-4 lbs, butterflied by your butcher or as directed below
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 inch piece ginger, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 green onion, cut into big pieces
- 1 tbsp butter
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using sharp shears or a kitchen knife, remove the spine from the chicken and set aside. Flatten the chicken by applying pressure to the breast bone and if desired, pop out the keel bone. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet.
Roast for 35-45 minutes or until the internal temperature of the breast reaches 150 degrees and thighs register 170 degrees.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a small pot over high heat and cut the chicken spine into 1 inch pieces. Brown these pieces well, then add soy sauce, ginger, garlic, green onion, and 1 cup water. Simmer this mixture until it is reduced by half. Strain the mixture or lift out the bones, garlic, scallion, and ginger with a slotted spoon. Season with salt and pepper and swirl in the butter while still warm. Serve the au jus with the roasted chicken and a side dish of your choice, such as rice or roasted carrots and potatoes.
*This should serve 4 and you can either cut it into quarters or carve the breast, as I did below (I feed the crew/random Fox employees wandering about, so I needed to butcher it for sharing). Simply cut off the drumsticks and thighs, then separate the breasts from the bone and slice away.
Smoked Chicken and Cabbage Salad
Reminiscent of Vietnamese goi ga, this is my Kentucky twist on the refreshing and satisfying chicken and cabbage salad, using smoked chicken instead of poached. Will sends his chickens over to Marksbury Farm for smoking and the result is the most flavorful, juicy chicken that makes for a super quick and tasty meal solution. The boys at the station called it “ham chicken.”
- ½ small head red or green cabbage, shredded
- 2 carrots, shredded or julienne
- 1 yellow bell pepper, julienne
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 2 cups smoked chicken, pulled (about 1/2 a chicken)
- 3 tbsp Bourbon Barrel Foods soy sauce
- 3 tbsp vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp Stuarto’s almond or sesame oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
- ½ cup sliced almonds, toasted
- Sliced green onions, for garnish
Combine the cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, and green onions in a large bowl and toss to combine. Add in the chicken, then dress the entire salad with soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and oil, adjusting the amounts to suit your taste. Season with salt and pepper. Toss in the sesame seeds and garnish with almonds and additional sliced green onions.
*Bon Appetit and thanks for popping by!! Stay tuned because next week’s episode is all about KY Proud Fish and we’ll be making Pecan-Crusted Trout and two super easy dishes with locally smoked salmon. YUM.