I read that cooking REAL chickens, the heritage kind, is very different from grocery-store chicken. They have less fat, they’ve been out running around and have developed more muscle. So, while the meat is more flavorful, it must be cooked slowly or it will be tough. So here’s what I did:
On Sunday, I put the chicken in the crock pot, covered it with water, added a bay leaf, a few whole peppercorns, a few carrots and some whole garlic. Cooked on low for six hours. I cooled that and put it in the fridge overnight.
On Monday afternoon, I took the chicken and cooked vegetables out of the broth and tasted…WOW! With no salt or any other additives, it still tasted amazing! There was more flavor there than I’ve ever tasted in chicken stock that I make with store-bought chicken. Adding a bit of sea salt really brought out the flavor even more.
Next, I cut up some zucchini, onions, and carrots from the farmer’s market and threw that in a large pot with the stock. I cooked a few ears of local corn as well, cut off the kernels and put those in. Then I shredded the chicken, which by now was falling off the bone and terribly tender. The meat is much darker than I am used to–but tastes wonderful.
So that all cooked for about 45 minutes and I heated up a loaf of french bread. That was dinner Monday night–terribly locavore, wasn’t it? I’m looking forward to more dinners with my chickens!