Archive for November, 2011

Last year we rented a Red Devon bull with hopes that his offspring would improve our herd. Unfortunately, he had some difficulty with his job. We expected our cows to be pregnant within a month. But ultimately, it took five months. What’s more, some of this year’s babies look like Daddy, but some of them—not so much. It appears that the big guy was unable to dominate the young bull calves and keep them in their place. We chalk that up to survival of the fittest. We just wish we hadn’t rented the second-fittest.

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Chicken Stew

Stew season is upon us again! Yesterday, I had some chicken and half a cabbage I wanted to put in a stew, so I called up Chef Craig Fournier for advice. I gave him a list of what I had in the cupboard and he came up with this recipe. It was delicious!

Chef Craig Chicken Stew

1 whole chicken, cut up
3 lg potatoes, peeled and cut in eighths
3 parsnips, peeled and cut in 2 inch long sections
1 lg onion, chopped
½ cup flour
salt & pepper
2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp butter
½ cup white wine
4 cups chicken stock
½ cabbage, chopped in 1 inch pieces

Preheat the oven to 350°. Put ½ cup flour, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper in a large Ziploc bag. Put half the chicken pieces in the bag at a time and shake the bag to coat. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large skillet until it just starts to smoke. Brown the chicken on all sides over medium high heat. Transfer the chicken to a Dutch oven. Sauté the onions, parsnips, and potatoes in the skillet until the onions turn clear (5-8 min). Transfer the vegetables to the Dutch oven. Add 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp flour to the skillet and cook 3-5 minutes over medium heat. Add ½ cup white wine to the skillet and deglaze. Add 2 cups of chicken stock to the skillet and bring it to a boil. Transfer the liquid to the Dutch oven. Pour in more chicken stock if necessary to just cover all the meat and vegetables. Throw in the cabbage on top. Cover and bake @ 350° 30-40 minutes. Take it out, stir it, taste it, salt & pepper to taste. If the sauce is too thin, strain out the meat & vegetables and reduce the sauce. Optional: remove the chicken meat from the bones and skin before mixing the meat & vegetables back into the sauce.

Serve with fresh bread.

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Freak Storm

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We got hit pretty hard by the snowstorm that knocked out power and cancelled Halloween up and down the northeast last weekend. Our generator was running throughout the storm, but falling trees crushed our fences all over the farm. A fox (we think) helped himself to a few of our laying hens when the snow knocked down the electrified poultry net.

With the help of chainsaw madman Frank DeGennaro and his son, Frank Jr., we are cleaning up the mess. Progress was stalled today because, of all things, chain oil is sold out throughout our region. Hopefully, by this time next week the snow will have melted, and we will have another month of grazing before winter arrives for real.

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