Monday, February 18, 2008

Dark Days: Roasting Chicken and More

A roasting chicken arrived in our weekly CSA box which happily answers the question, What are we making for our Dark Days Local Challenge meal this week?

Concidentally, our friend Marty from California, who we haven't seen in a lifetime, came to visit. Isn't it nice to have a friend who exclaims over a simple roasted chicken, turnips and potatoes?

Since we share our CSA box with friends Helen and Jeff, we had half a chicken to split three ways. I used diced carrots and onions and some thyme leaves as a bed for the chicken on a baking sheet and surrounded it with baby turnips, also from the CSA box, and purple potatoes from our garden, tossed with extra-virgin olive oil and salt. Yes, we still have potatoes. Some are still in the ground. These have been languishing in our pantry.

Prior to baking the chicken, I had harvested some chard from the garden. The weather has been fluky: heat waves followed by extreme cold. When it's very cold, the chard falls to the ground. When the air warms, the chard springs back to life. I harvested enough--stems and leaves, roughly chopped--to fill my cast-iron skillet, along with some sauteed red onion. Season with salt and orange juice, then braise on the stove top, covered, until the chard stems are tender.

This made a nice plate with a diversity of flavors--a little bite from the turnips, fruitiness from the chard, the smooth mouthfeel of the potatoes and the aromatic carrots and onions. The pastured chicken is a bit chewier than what you get from a store-bought bird, but that just adds to the excitement.


keri marion said...

in new england here. Marty is my momma. We found a ladybug in our window this morning. I think Spring and the polar days of winter are on their way out.

I'm especially glad to see another lover of cast iron. we're also part of the slow food movement and can't even express how wonderfully our lives have changed from it.

really looking forward to spring.

give a holla!

Ed Bruske said...

Oh, yes, we love our cast iron. Even our enameled cast iron.