Tuesday, October 9, 2012

How to Cook Heritage Poultry

Slow and Low is key!!!

The way we raise our birds (free-ranging naturally slow-grow growing heritage birds) means they are leaner, with more muscle. The meat will also be darker than that found in a superstore chicken. 

"Studies have shown that Heritage Poultry contains less fat and more protein than the traditional supermarket birds. Let us be clear, we are not against animal fat!  We are not offering a "low fat" bird, per say. The difference is the fat content in our chickens has the correct OMEGA 3 to 6 and lipid ratios, compared to the supermarket alternative whose OMEGA 6 values far exceed the OMEGA 3 content. You can see evidence of this difference in the deep yellow color of the Heritage chicken fat that is representative of mineral and vitamin content"
  (http://www.goodshepherdpoultryranch.com/Recipes.html )
Our birds are much more flavourful, and you'll find that as long as you follow our cooking recommendations (slower for longer) that the bird will be moist and incredibly tender and flavourful. The way it should be!
This is our personal favorite way of preparing a duck, chicken or turkey.

Use a heavy cast iron dutch oven (with the lid on- no vents). In a pinch you can use a roaster, if you don't have a lid, with aluminum foil placed over top and then tightly pinched all around.  This ensures a moist and tender bird.

Rub the chicken/duck all over with a bit of oil, S+P and any seasoning you desire (garlic, paprika, sage, thyme, rosemary...) and then place it in the dutch oven, breast side up

We often put brown rice in the bottom with the normal ratio of fluid (stock is best), and you can throw in chopped root veggies, whole onions and garlic too. 

There is no exact science to the kinds of herbs and seasonings you should use on your bird. We believe in using what you enjoy and not being afraid to experiment with different combinations. 

Place in pre-heated oven and cook SLOW AND LOW at about 300 F for 1 ½ + hours depending on size (after 1 1/2 hours check every 15-20 minutes with a thermometer- when the internal temperature reads 160 F, it's ready).

If desired, remove the lid and broil it for a few minutes to brown the skin on top. Everything comes out moist, tender and smelling wonderfully of herbs! Delicious!

What do with left overs: 

Day 2:

 Use remainder of the meat and flavourful broth/gravy to make enchiladas,shepherd’s pie, soup. 

Meanwhile, cover the carcass and other bone scraps with water, some onions and seas salt in a large stock pot.(Can also throw in scrap vegetables- celery etc) Simmer for two to three hours and you have a beautiful, nutritious broth. Just strain it in a colander to de-bone.

Day 3: Either freeze the broth, or use right away to make soup, cook rice, etc

Three delicious meals from one bird!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

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