Friday, March 12, 2010

Guest Column: Inspired by Company by Rachel Correll, St. Asaph Farm

From time-to-time, I’ll publish guest columns on this blog. Today, meet Rachel Correll, from whom I’ve been buying chickens for a couple of years. In fact, we just ate our last one from the freezer this week and are looking forward to the spring crop!

We have freezers full of our delicious meat but at 5 pm when I usually start thinking about dinner I wish I had thought about it the night before and had something thawing out in the fridge. I was craving a spicy chicken dish for a few days and needed some motivation to fix it. Our friends, the Bensons of Rolling Fork Farm, were coming for dinner. I still had some of their peas frozen in my freezer and two sweet potatoes remained from their farm as well...I started thinking. I had my own carrots and colorful peppers frozen, canned tomatoes, I had some parts and pieces of our chicken left and homemade broth—this was going to be good. I just needed to buy a few items and we had one rockin' Moroccan Chicken Stew!

Begin with . . .
Olive oil and butter
Pastured Chicken - I had frozen legs and wings and then I cut up a whole chicken and used all the pieces (except the neck and back and wingtips which I throw in a pot of water with my vegetable scraps and call it stock!)

First, remove the chicken skin - just for recipes that are more like a stew since the skin gets mushy and in my opinion does not add to the dish!

Rinse the chicken with cold water and pat dry with paper towels, sprinkle with salt.

Then, in a smoking hot skillet (I use my large Le Creuset since you can just continue to throw ingredients in and put the whole thing in the oven) add some olive oil and butter until it is hot and melted.

Place your chicken in the hot skillet and let it sear the outside well, a few minutes on each side will give a nice, crusty look to the outer parts of meat.

Turn and cook for 2-3 minutes on the other side(s) and remove from pan to continue cooking the remaining chicken.

When all of your chicken is done - you will need the rest of your ingredients -
Chopped onions -2
Red, yellow, green peppers - sliced to desired size
Can of tomatoes
Carrots - cut into 1 inch rounds
Sweet potatoes - cubed
Potatoes - cubed
Chicken stock
Spicy red pepper (Indian is what we have on hand)

Sautee onions, grated ginger and garlic in juice left in pan (add butter or oil if needed).

Add the peppers, cook until soft. Add a can or two of tomatoes. Then add your spices; I do not measure, just a spoon of each of these will do - except the spicy pepper, go easy on it, maybe 1/4 teaspoon. Cook this down for a few minutes.

Add your chicken stock, a few cups, and then toss in the rest of your vegetables. Bring to a boil and add the chicken pieces. Here it is. Cover it up, let it cook on your stove top for about an hour or more (the longer the better) or toss the whole thing into your oven at 325 degrees for a couple of hours. You may wait to add your root vegetables since they can get mushy. Taste test frequently once you know the chicken is cooked through and spice it up to your liking.

Serve this over basmati rice cooked with peas—a seriously rockin' dinner for your family and company, too.

Rachel McKinley Correll and her family own, operate and reside at St. Asaph Farm in Stanford, Kentucky. It all started four summers ago in a little house in town, with a newborn and 200 baby chicks in the laundry room. Our family, farm and home have grown - two kids, thousands of chickens, and plenty of turkeys, pigs and cows! We grow pastured, naturally raised meat and eggs - no hormones or antibiotics - just healthy and delicious food for our family and yours.

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