Our Top 5 Posts of 2019

Here’s a quick look at our top 5 posts from 2019.

We took a look at how many views they got, how many times they were shared, and comments received. We always appreciate it when we hear how you’re keeping up with us on our website. We all lead such busy lives but it’s important to feel connected to your community and your food!

Plus we couldn’t resist a good end of the year countdown list!

5. The Uncertainty of Farm Life

Things don’t always go as planned, but you always have to keep a level head and do your best.

4. Crop Report (late) July

This one came at the end of July. We love the excitement at the market this time of year. So busy!

3. Crop Report (early) July

The first crop report in July  and starting to head into peak season, we posted what was out, what was new, and put this video clip of Sandi explaining why farming is so important.

2. How to Freeze 10 Ears of Corn

What really amazed us about this post wasn’t the response it got, but rather how many pounds of corn kernels came from just 10 ears

1.When Bad Things Happen to Great People

Re-read this post from Phillip and take perspective on the things that truly matter in life.

 

Happy holidays to everyone out there. We appreciate your friendship, kindness, business, and connection every day and we hope we never take any of that for granted. Everyone that visits with us is an integral part of this farm and raising our children. We are grateful and so excited to ring in the near year with all of you.

A decade is over and a new one is going to begin. We hope for the best for everyone and look forward to another great growing season.

 

 

The Best Chicken Stew You’ll Ever Eat

Best Chicken Stew - Fisher Hill Farm

We’re all in on this chicken stew recipe as you can see by the title. But one taste of this dish and you’ll agree with us. It’s easy to make and best of all you can get (almost) everything from us at the markets we attend. This recipe will easily serve 4 with leftovers.

What You’ll Need:

One Stewing Hen

3 Onions

4 Medium Rutabaga

6 Cloves of garlic

4 Medium Carrots

10 Ribs of Celery

2 tablespoons of AP flour

A few cheese rinds

A few sprigs of fresh thyme

What You’ll Do:

Take the stewing hen out of the package. Not sure what a stewing hen is? Check out our last post HERE. Give it a rinse and then put it in an 8 quart stock pot. Cut the three onions in half and put 3 halves in the pot along with 5 ribs of celery, 2 carrots, 3 cloves of garlic, the cheese rinds and the thyme. You can get these cheese rinds at the market from some of the vendors, or get them from Wegmans. The rinds will add awesome flavor and help add a little fat to the stock.

Local Rutabaga - Fisher Hill Farm
Local Rutabaga – Fisher Hill Farm

Cover the lid and place on medium heat. Forget about this for 3 hours. Occasionally come back to stir because the rinds can rest on the bottom and stick sometimes. After 3 hours, pull the chicken out to cool then strain the remaining liquid and put in another pot. Put this back on the stove with no top on it. Keep it at a simmer continue to reduce. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Stew Hen Stew - Fisher Hill Farm
Stew Hen Stew – Fisher Hill Farm

Peel and chop the rest of your veggies and put them in a soup pot like a dutch oven or an 8 quart stock pot. Saute them with 4 tablespoons of butter and salt and pepper until they start to sweat. Add the flour and stir to thicken. Add the reserved stock that’s already hot. Reduce the heat down so it’s just barely boiling.

Strip the meat off the chicken. Discard any skin. Rough chop the meat and add it to the soup. Salt and pepper to taste one last time. Keep it warm and serve when you’re ready.

 

 

 

Stewing Hens: Best Kept Culinary Secret

This weekend starts stewing hen season. But what exactly is a stewing hen?

Not all chickens are the same. On our farm we have two different types, one kind is raised for meat and the other is specific to laying eggs. Once a year we have a group of egg laying hens that have to be retired because they no longer lay any eggs. As much as we’d like to send them to Florida to play shuffleboard  and eat dinner at four o’clock, on the farm we make it a habit to use absolutely everything.

This week marks our stewing hen season. They will be fresh for this one market weekend only and then we will bring them to the markets with us the rest of the winter frozen. These hens aren’t meant to be thrown on the grill or sauteed with garlic and tomato. They need to be cooked low and slow.

One of our favorite stewing hen recipes is chicken pot pie. It’s a multi step process, but boy oh boy it will be an absolute favorite for everyone in the house.

Chicken Pot Pie Recipe

Take the hen out of the bag, give it a rinse and set it in an 8 quart stock pot. Cut an onion into quarters, a carrot in half (don’t bother peeling it), a few cloves of garlic, and rough chop three celery ribs and put them in the pot. If you have a bay leaf throw that in there too. Add cold water to the pot until it covers the chicken and then about three fingers above that. Add a tablespoon of salt. Put that on medium heat with the lid on and forget about it for at least an hour and a half.

Now you can make the topping and put in the fridge for later. Instead of a traditional pot pie topping, use a biscuit recipe. Just roll it thin before placing it over the top. Make sure you cut a small ‘X’ in the center before you bake it or it could rise up and pop! Here’s a good recipe that just uses Bisquick as it’s base and probably a lot of other stuff you already have.

https://www.bunsinmyoven.com/biscuit-making-101/

When the stewing hen is starting to pull apart with a fork you can take it out of the pot and let it cool. Strain and reserved the liquid. That’s the chicken stock you’re going to make the pot pie with. Once the chicken is cool enough, remove the skin and pull the meat off. Chop it up a little and get it into bite sized pieces. Now you’re ready for the pot pie filling!

Dice onion, potato,carrot, celery and garlic and put it in a pan with some butter. Once the onions are translucent you can add the chicken stock you made. In a little sauce pan or a frying pan, make roux. You want a light roux. Here’s a step by step how to:

https://www.foodnetwork.com/how-to/articles/how-to-make-a-roux-a-step-by-step-guide

Once the stock is boiling and reduced a bit in your pan, add your roux to thicken, then add the chicken meat, and finally peas. Once this step is complete, make sure to taste it in case you have to add some seasoning. Fresh rosemary and thyme gives it a winter feel and don’t forget to salt and pepper to taste!

dutch oven

Place your pot pie filling directly in a pan that can go into the oven. Our friends grandmother used to put it in a hotel pan, top it with the biscuit dough and put it in the oven. We prefer a dutch oven. Roll out the biscuit topping and press it onto the sides of the dutch oven. Put it in the oven at 375. Since the pot pie filling is already hot all you have to do is watch for that biscuit to cook and you’re ready to eat.

We’ll have lots of other ideas for stewing hen use that we can’t wait to share.

 

 

Recipe: Brussel Sprouts

Maple Dijon Brussel Sprouts Recipe

Brussel Sprouts are a super versatile little cabbage. They can be cooked so many ways it can be hard to choose which amazing recipe to choose.

The United States grows a lot of Brussel Sprouts, around 30 tons per year. Which sounds like an awful lot until you learn that The Netherlands grown over 80 metric tons per year! With all these sprouts kicking around the globe you bet there are some pretty interesting recipes to choose from.

Maple Dijon Brussel Sprouts Recipe
Halved Brussel Sprouts

But we have one today that’s pretty darn easy and take very little prep time. It will take just over an hour in the oven, but the result will be well worth it. This recipe also tastes awesome the next day, cold, right out of the refrigerator.

Our recipes are never exact. We couldn’t tell you how many Brussel Sprouts to use by weight, but we just use one stalk. For the purposes of this blog and our website we try to get amounts down. So for this one we did what we could.

Maple Dijon Roasted Brussel Sprouts

What you’ll need: 

One stalk Brussel Sprouts (halved)

1/4 cup local maple syrup

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1 one gallon bag

Salt and pepper

Maple Dijon Brussel Sprouts Recipe
1 Gallon Bag of Goodness

What you’ll do: 

Take the sprouts off the stalk and cut them in half. Then put them in the plastic bag. Pour in the maple syrup, the dijon, and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well in the bag and then let sit for an hour. Heat your oven to 375 degrees. Spread the seasoned sprouts out on a baking sheet. Line with foil or parchment paper. Use a little pan spray for easy clean up. Bake on the top shelf in the oven for about an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes or until the sprouts start to caramelize and crisp.

 

 

Recipe: Corn Salsa

Roma Tomatoes and Jalapenos - Fisher Hill Farm

There is nothing like fresh vegetables right out of the field to kick up any meal. They can also BE the meal. But this little dish is easy enough to make and can be side dish, a nacho topper, a salsa, or a salad. 

It’s super easy to make and doesn’t take very long to prep. If it can sit in the refrigerator for a few hours before you serve it cold that would be best. But you could also heat it up to help meld the flavors and use it as a side dish with chicken or pork. It would be great on tacos too!

Roma Tomatoes and Jalapenos - Fisher Hill Farm
Roma Tomatoes and Jalapenos – Fisher Hill Farm

Whenever we make this dish we use the rule of three: For every ear of corn you will want to use 1 tomato, 1 jalapeno, and 1 clove of garlic. This will render this dish quite spicy and if that’s not your thing you can easily replace the jalapeno with a less spicy pepper like a banana pepper or a bell pepper.

Start by cutting the kernels off the ear and place them in a bowl. We just rough chop the rest of the ingredients and put them in the same bowl and then toss with salt and pepper to taste. That’s it. But when these ingredients are fresh you don’t need to do much with it to make it taste great.