Finally, the fruits of my labors

So, I cooked up my first home-grown chicken tonight! Invited the parents over for dinner and spent all afternoon in the kitchen. It was great!

I had the chicken soaking in lightly salted water since early afternoon yesterday. I parted it myself (another first)- again, Polyface videos on YouTube were quite helpful. I was a bit messy with the cuts, but I got more than enough meat off the carcass.

I popped the neck, back, and spare bits into a stewpot with some onions and leeks to simmer most of the afternoon for some super fresh stock. Unfortunately, I knew the stock I got off this one bird wouldn’t be enough for dinner, so I had to add in a bit of store-bought (the last can, hopefully ever!), but it was organic and low sodium, so I didn’t feel too bad.

I browned the meat (left the skin on the legs/thighs and wings) in butter and olive oil. I have the world’s most useless stove (it takes forever to get hot and then gets WAY hotter than it should), so the browning could have been much better. After the meat browned, I set it aside to rest and threw a cup of finely chopped leaks into the olive oil/butter infusion. Once those cooked down, I added 3 cups of the broth, one onion (quartered), and about a dozen new potatoes (halved). Also added salt, pepper, dried garlic and basil for extra flavor.

Once that began to simmer, I nestled the meat down under the broth and potatoes. Turned it down for a low simmer for 1.5 hours. Again, the stove did its own thing and got really hot for a little while, so I had to add more broth.

All in all, it could have been a bit more tender (I blame the stove and not the bird). And there was some flavor profile missing from the whole thing (probably carrots, but I didn’t have any, or maybe cinnamon). But the bird was juicy and very flavorful. And the meal was quite good. The leaks basically melted and the onions were great. It easily fed the 3 of us with plenty of broth, veggies and one whole breast left over (and the wings, but I don’t think they are worth eating). That will be great for lunch tomorrow.

In the end, I was very impressed with my first home-grown chicken meal! Can’t wait until I can say that about all the ingredients!

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