I’m not done with Hoosier the pig yet, we are still in the process of utilizing every bit of him. Our freezer still holds his smoked head and feet, chunks of meat and a bit of skin. I will follow-up with blog posts as we prepare it.
In the meantime I’ve decided to tell about the chicken we are proudly serving.
We are always looking for better, more local sources for the food we serve. Feather Brook Farm is one of those great sources that came upon us. Farmer Tad, dropped by some samples one day and we were instantly hooked. The chickens are wonderful, full-breasted, flavor bombs, grown naturally with no growth hormones or antibiotics thirty miles outside of Boston in the town of Raynham, MA. We had been using chicken from Misty Knoll Farms in middle Vermont. A fairly large regional poultry farm that produces a very good product, not as consistent in size and with a greater carbon footprint, being near two hundred miles from Boston not thirty.
Farmer Tad does it all, he is not only the sales representative, he raises and processes the birds. He affably delivers the birds to us wearing his over-all shorts, a straw hat and a big grin.
The only challenge with Tad’s birds is / was finding ways to utilize every bit of the chicken. We use the breasts on our dinner menu, usually sous videing it and serving it with other seasonal ingredients.
The thighs are used many different ways; they are sometimes ground into sausage for our lunch signature chicken sausage sandwich, braised and used with pasta as a filling, in a sauce or stuffed into a potato on our lunch menu.
We also brine and smoke the thighs and drums and use them as a topping on one of our specialty pizzas at our sister restaurant Za.
We often have wings on the menu in a variety of different preparations. On occasion make buttermilk brined fried chicken thigh sandwich. The bones are used for stock, the livers for chicken liver mousse or in country pate.
Having farmers like Tad growing real food makes our job of operating a sustainable restaurant that is truly part of its community feasible.