The 7 Things You Should Know About the Farm Right Now

There’s just so much going on right now, at the farm and in the country, that we wanted to make sure you knew all that we had going on at the farm so you can, at the very least, plan what you might have for dinner over the weekend (if nothing else!)

Below is a list with some helpful links for the 7 things we have going on right now that you might want to know about heading into the holidays.

  1. Thanksgiving Turkey Still Available – We have sold out of organically raised turkey but there are still conventional turkeys left, but they are going fast! If you need a turkey for Thanksgiving you can still order here: THANKSGIVING TURKEY
  2. Farm Pre-Order Pickup Wednesdays – From now until 12/23 you can pre-order your groceries and pick them up at the farm on Wednesday nights from 3pm until 6pm. Submit the order form by Tuesday of each week and we’ll be ready for you. IF you’re interested click here: ORDER FORM
  3. The Brighton Market will Continue OUTSIDE – The Brighton Farmers Market will be outside with regular hours from now until Thanksgiving and then have reduced hours but remain outside until Christmas. For more information click here: BRIGHTON FARMERS MARKET
  4. Stewing Hens are Back! – The hens are back and just in time to make soups, stocks, and hearty dishes with them. If you are not familiar with our stewing hens, check out the following for ideas and recipes: CHICKEN STEW, CHICKEN RAGU, CHICKEN TACOS, CHICKEN POT PIE
  5. Our Partnership with Flour City Bread Continues! – Our online pre-order grocery pick up is still ongoing! And, they are offering to cook you Thanksgiving dinner this year too. Check out all the details here: FLOUR CITY BREAD
  6. Christmas Turkeys will be available – We will have turkey for Christmas dinner this year. Details to follow. We have ducks available too!
  7. Rochester Public Market – Here every Saturday as well as a special pre-Thanksgiving pick up day on Wednesday 11/25. We will also bring produce that day as well.

Well that’s a lot! We hope that helps you plan your holiday! See you at the market!

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.