Our farmer friends, Ethel and Tom are taking things up a notch! Instead of selling out of their home, they are now at Farmer’s Markets on Fridays and Saturdays. The Friday one is at the Milan, NY Town Hall, complete with other vendors selling wines, cheeses and meats, all local, organic and free range. There’s even entertainment with a guitar player! The Friday night one stays open until 7 pm so if we can get out of the city by 5 pm and assuming there are no delays on the Taconic, we can get there in time.
The meat vendor, called Second Chance Farm (ha!), had fresh killed chickens. He said they were “harvested” Thursday night at 10 pm. (Isn’t that a lovely way to put it?) So we just had to buy one, along with 2 lbs. of ground lamb (one for dinner tonight), breakfast sausage, hot Italian sausage and 2 pork chops. We had the pork chops last night marinated in olive oil, garlic and anchovies and grilled. They were delicious!! So very clean tasting and flavorful.
But let me tell you about the chickens! They were all large and I chose the smallest one they had at 5.2 lbs. I cut the backbone out and broke the breast to “butterfly” it of sorts and therefore have it cook quicker. It cooked so quick – I don’t know if it was because it was so darn fresh or what – but it only took about 35 minutes on the grill at 425 degrees, direct heat. And, the dark meat even cooked quicker than the white meat, perhaps because the breasts were so big. So he just cut the leg and thigh pieces off and kept the whole breast on. Easy to do when it’s butterflied. I stuffed fresh sage and garlic slices under the skin, and topped it with salt and pepper. The basting sauce I made is really a remake of my lemon garlic sauce recipe for the Santorini chicken, changing it up and adding ginger. Here’s what I did:
GRILLED CHICKEN WITH SAGE AND GARLIC AND LEMON GINGER BASTING SAUCE – serves 6
One 5.2 lb chicken, washed, thoroughly dried with backbone cut out and breast flattened with your hand
4 full stems of fresh sage
4 larges cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
Fine sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
Stuff one stem of sage and one clove of garlic, sliced, under the skin in each of the breasts and thigh sections. Salt and pepper your birds all over on both sides. Spray your grill with oil. Grill at 425 degrees basting with the Lemon Ginger sauce, turning twice, until your instant read thermometer registers at 155 degrees. Let it rest for 10 – 15 minutes before carving.
LEMON/GINGER BASTING SAUCE
1.5 tbs. unsalted butter
1 tbs olive oil
1 bay leaf
5 tbs. finely minced onion
4 tbs. minced ginger
6 tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tbs. Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
1 tsp. light brown sugar
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
10 grinds of black pepper
¾ tsp. Sriracha sauce
3 tbs. water
In a small saucepan, melt the butter in olive oil over low heat. Add bay leaf, ginger and onion, cover and sweat for 10 – 15 minutes. Check often, stir and do not let it brown, but you want it to be meltingly soft. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the water, stirring well. Raise heat to medium-high and whisk in water. Stir until mixture boils and then remove from heat. This can be made a couple of hours before you’re going to use it. Keep it at room temperature.
It was so flavorful and toothy – not tough – but not melting tender either. After all, these chickens walk and run. I have to say it was so fresh and clean tasting. This is the way we all should be eating and when you make it with LOVE, there’s no better way!