It’s been scorching hot outside, and Charlotte Fresh has been trying to keep cool. Hopefully, you are too. It’s a good option to use the grill so you don’t heat up the house. One terrific meal to cook up on the grill if you have a rotisserie attachment (and a little bit of time) is a roasted chicken.
There are many local farm sources that offer great quality chicken, some even organic. We recently roasted a three-and-a-quarter pound Poulet Rouge organic chicken from New Town Farms based in Waxhaw, N.C. Not sure if this Poulet Rouge is the same as “Poulet Rouge Fermier” grown on other small farms throughout the Piedmont, but if so, it is a long-necked heritage breed from France that takes longer to raise, giving the chicken an elongated breast, a more distinctive taste and translucent skin. I found that when I was rubbing butter on it and under the skin, that I could see through the thin skin as I was working, but it didn’t break. The chicken was delicious fresh from the rotisserie. This week at Matthews, New Town Farms will be offering frozen whole Redbro chickens for sale. What little I could find researching Redbro, the Redbro Cou Nu (red feathered naked neck) breed from France is being raised here as “Poulet Rouge Fermier.” So they seem like the same breed, or at least similar. I will have to talk to Sammy K. at New Town Farms to understand the distinction, but I’ll bet the chicken tastes great. It’s rare to get a New Town Farms organic chicken since they’re usually spoken for by CSA customers, so treat yourself to one if you can.
Here are some more local chicken sources to try:
I mentioned before that Baucom’s Best started producing chicken in late spring. They have two kinds, both terrific: the Premium Pasture and the House Special. The Premium chickens are raised on pasture and given fresh green grass to forage everyday, supplemented by all-vegetable feed. As soon as they are old enough to leave the brood house, they live outside in the fresh air and sunshine. No animal by-products, antibiotics or growth hormones are added to their feed. Baucom’s Best House Special Chickens are fed an all-vegetable feed that is specially blended to meet their nutritional needs with no animal by-products, antibiotics or growth hormones. Chickens are humanely raised in the safety of a poultry house, where they have plenty of space to roam freely. All of Baucom’s Best poultry is processed at a USDA Federally Inspected facility where they are cooled through the process of air-chilling, preserving the natural flavor of the meat and preventing the absorption of extra water and cross contamination. Baucom’s Best is available in a variety of different cuts such as boneless/skinless breast, thighs, drumsticks, buffalo wings and whole birds. They also have chicken backs and necks available for making stock.
This is a small family farm focused on pasture-raised poultry and eggs. All birds have access to grass, bugs and sunshine. The meat birds are raised in pens that are moved twice a day to fresh ground. Laying flocks are free range in the winter and range fed in the summer. The birds’ diet is supplemented by locally sourced grain. While not certified organic, they do use organic practices. Red Dirt Ranch offers whole birds, bone-in breasts, leg-thigh combo, wings, cornish game hens, broth backs, livers, eggs.
I’ve had Windy Hill Farm’s porkchops before, and they were delicious. All of Windy Hill Farm’s animals are all-natural & pasture-raised. They have been “raised outdoors, on pasture, free to root, scratch, dig and forage for food.” They do not receive growth hormones or antibiotics. I haven’t had the chicken, but plan to try it soon. They’re one of the providers who can get you a fresh chicken if you order ahead of time. Most other farms bring the chicken frozen. Windy Hill also offers pastured beef and pork. Pre-orders for Thanksgiving turkeys are being taken through this Saturday, June 26.
Gilcrest Natural Farm is dedicated to producing high quality heirloom vegetables, pasture-raised chicken and beef, and free range eggs. They do not use any synthetic pesticides, growth stimulants, hormones or antibiotics on their pasture, gardens or for the livestock. Gilcrest Natural Farm offers pasture-raised chicken in the form of whole chickens, split breast, leg quarters, wing packs, necks and backs for stock, and livers.