Thanksgiving Already?

We know what we’re thankful for this year. Do you?

Wow. It was strange to type the word ‘Thanksgiving’ up there. We can’t believe that this year is already coming into holiday season. Once the kids go back to school (well, for some..) it seems like a matter of minutes until you’re opening presents under the tree.

We’ve definitely had a strange year, as so many of us have. We went from the depths of winter thinking about the spring planting season to worrying about our friends and family to worrying about our farm. But the community pulled together and we were able to be a part of that. This year we’re thankful for our strong local community.

$20 today gets you a farm fresh turkey on Thanksgiving.

Having such a strong focus on local throughout the region allowed us to continue our operation and get food on plates. That’s what it’s about for us. We want to grow good food that people enjoy. We love what we do and we love seeing how the community responds. We’re thankful for our customers and they’re thankful that we can continue to grow food!

Local doesn’t stop for us when summer ends. We’ll have plenty of storage crops and are able to provide lots of veggies far into the winter. We also have eggs, chicken, and duck during the winter too. Keep your eye out for info on the duck! It’s limited!

Right now our focus is turkey. As odd as it feels to be planning for Thanksgiving already, it’s time. Our poults are in the barn and we’ve officially opened up our reserving turkey on our farm store. $20 today gets you a farm fresh turkey on Thanksgiving. We have organic turkey too. Either way, all our turkeys are fresh and local!

Click here to reserve your turkey!

Crop Report – End of July 2020

Fisher Hill Farm Sweet Corn

This summer is flying by already! It’s been a busy one, but that’s a good thing. We’ve tried to get our chores done and then spend some time outdoors. Although we wish a little more rain has fallen for the crops, it’s been nice to be able to spend lots of time outdoors in the summer sun. After everything that’s happened with COVID-19, we all need a little time in the sun.

We’ve been able to keep the deer at bay after an early bout with them. They were after just about everything but they certainly seemed to like the summer squash this year! The lack of rain has been problematic but we have solutions for that too with a water truck and irrigation systems. We’ve been able to keep the crops from getting too thirsty and everything looks healthy and green.

Fisher Hill Farm beets with greens

A few major highlights from last week will be back in sweet corn and cantaloupe. Everyone was so happy to see those out last week! This week on our tables at the Rochester Public Market, the Brighton Farmers Market and elsewhere you will find the following crops:

Beets with greens
Cantaloupes
Cucumbers
Garlic
Garlic Scapes
Green beans
Kale
Lettuce
Scallions
Shallots
Spring Onions
Sweet Spanish Onions
Sweet Corn
Summer Squash
Swiss Chard
Zucchini

Chicken and Eggs

Storage Crops:
Potatoes
Onions

We’re looking forward to seeing all our regular customers, CSA pickups, and friends this week. Always glad to meet some new ones too. Be safe, be happy!

How to Make New York State Fair Style Chicken at Home

With the fate of the New York State Fair still waiting to be determined we got thinking about the great food that will be missed out on. You can keep deep fried Oreos, what we’re thinking about is the chicken!

There’s something that just tastes better in that chicken. You can go purchase the State Fair Sauce marinade but it just never comes out the same. So we tried a few things and came up with this recipe. The marinade is important, but what’s even more important is the smoke and heat. But don’t worry, we used a simple Weber grill with some store bought charcoal and a piece of maple wood.

First you’ll need a marinade. We made our own Italian Dressing but after trying this out a few times we realized that the marinade isn’t as  important as we thought. So if you want to skip this part and purchase an oil and vinegar based Italian Dressing that will work fine. We chose to make ours because it’s pretty easy and won’t contain any preservatives.

Basic Italian Dressing for Marinade:

1/2 Cup Olive Oil

1/3 Cup Red Wine Vinegar

1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tablespoon Honey

1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt

1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard

1 Teaspoon White Sugar

1/2 teaspoon of the following: Dried Oregano, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder

(Optional is fresh thyme and mint, rough chopped)

If you put all of this in a jar or tupperware you can give it a good mix. Let it sit at room temperature for an hour. We made double this recipe to use what we didn’t pour over the chicken for a pasta salad as a side.

How to Make New York State Fair Style Chicken

The Chicken Part

Cut a whole chicken in half. Don’t trim any skin or fat it’s not necessary. Just split it in two and put it into a one gallon ziplock bag.

Pour in enough Italian Dressing marinade to almost cover the chicken. Then arrange the two halves so the bag can lay flat. This will effectively submerge half of the chicken at a time. Put it in the fridge (*pro tip: put the plastic bag into a tupperware or on a sheet tray just in case someone accidentally pokes a hole in the bag. You and your fridge will thank us later!)

24 hours in the marinade is what the goal is. Flip the bag over to submerge the other side of the chicken every 8 hours.

The Grill Part

Get your charcoal started by a chimney and let them get hot. Once they’re red hot, place them on half of your weber grill. We got a large piece of maple from a neighbor and used that. We butted it up against the coals to provide extra smokey flavor. But if you don’t have a large piece of maple, you can purchase smaller ones. Make sure you follow the directions on the package.

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Once the coals and wood is in place, rotate the grill so the part that was over the coals is now not over the coals. Once you take the chicken out of the marinade, let it drip dry while you get the fire going. Once the grill is ready, place the chicken on the grill skin side down, but NOT over the coals. Make sure the damper is wide open and close the lid.

Keep close. With the oil and fat with the chicken there’s always the chance that it’s dripping on the coals and you need to put it out. You can always put a tin of water underneath the chicken to make sure it doesn’t catch. But if you don’t line it up right it can catch anyway.

At the 30 minute mark, flip the chicken. Put the lid back on and close the damper half way. Let it go for 45 minutes.

Open up the lid. The wood should be burnt out and the coals should be hot but not red not anymore. Put the chicken directly over the coals skin side down and put the lid back on for 10 minutes. Then flip the chicken and open the dampers. Let it smoke another 30 minutes.

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The best way to know if your chicken is done is to use a thermometer and get an internal temperature of 165 degrees. But once the meat starts pulling away from the bone it’s usually close.

Let it rest for at least 10 minutes if not longer before eating. We served our with pasta salad. It’s really good that day. But somehow ten times better the next day, cold out of the fridge.

 

The Quick Pickle

pickled onions - Fisher Hill Farm

Pickling has a couple of purposes.

The first is to alter the flavor of the veggie to create something new, a compliment to a dish or sandwich. But the second part is to allow the same veggie to last a bit longer in your fridge or if you practicing canning and preserving, your pantry or cupboard.

This recipe is a quick pickle recipe that does not include canning. Canning is a separate art and takes some time and extra equipment that not everyone has. But you can use this quick pickling recipe and it only takes a few minutes to prepare.

As you’ll see in the video, we used three different types of vinegar. Honestly that’s not necessary at all. Any vinegar will work just fine but if you have different types of vinegar, combination of them produce slightly different flavors. Balsamic vinegar produces a fruity flavor, especially when sugar is added that enhances the red onion and makes it very sweet.

What You’ll Need:

Two medium size or one large Fisher Hill Farm Red Onion

3/4 cup vinegar

3/4 cup water

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 heaping Tablespoons of Kosher Salt

What You’ll Do:

Put all that stuff in a pot and put it on low to medium heat. You don’t want it to boil, but rather get hot enough to dissolve the sugar and salt and help quicken the pickling process. Slice your onions as thin as you can and place them in a non reactive container. Once the vinegar solution has dissolved all the sugar and salt, pour it over top of the onions, lightly put the top on, let it get to room temperature and then put it in the fridge.

12 hours is best before you eat it, more is fine too. But if you don’t wait long enough the onions will not have time to macerate and the flavors will have yet to combine. We’ve used this basic recipe on:

Onions

Jalapenos

Cauliflower (chopped thin)

Carrots (chopped thin)

Green beans

Scapes

Asparagus

Parsnips

Fennel

Try it out! See what you think. Maybe you want it to be spicy and you could add some crushed red pepper. Or maybe you could use rhubarb and add allspice and clove to it. The options are endless and delicious.

Stewing Hen Tacos with Yogurt and Pickled Red Onions

Stewing Hen Tacos - Fisher Hill Farm

We love our stewing hens for two reasons: taste and recycling. 

That might sound odd, but it’s the truth. Our stewing hens are the egg layers that no longer produce. They aren’t great for grilling like our other chickens but it would terrible to let that chicken go to waste. We wish we could let them live out their lives naturally, but it wouldn’t be cost effective or would we have enough space. To our vegetarian friends it might seem cruel, but it’s the best way for them to serve two purposes.

The problem is, it’s not something that is normally sold in grocery stores. It’s just not that common. So we get a lot of questions on different ways to prepare these hens. The easiest way is soup, but no one wants to eat the a slightly different variation of soup every week. So we’ve come up with a few different ways to use them. Including this ragu which several people have tried and told us the whole family loved!

So here’s a different way! Tacos! Who doesn’t like tacos! And these are sure to please.

Here’s a video that explains the process. Below you’ll find the general ingredients that you’ll need.

What You’ll Need: 

1 Fisher Hill Farm Stewing Hen

1 Fisher Hill Farm Carrot

1 Fisher Hill Farm Red or White Onion

2 Ribs Celery

2 Cups chicken stock (homemade is best but store bought works)

Corn tortillas

Plain Yogurt

Cabbage (or kale or lettuce or whatever you can find/prefer)

Chili Powder, Cumin, salt and pepper – the rest is optional

What You’ll Do: 

Watch the video for the process. But a couple of footnotes:

-We’re working on a pickled red onion video and we’ll post that soon

-We use yogurt instead of sour cream because it’s easier to find locally and it’s better!

-Substitute flour tortillas if you prefer (We should do a flour tortilla recipe video!)

– We had leftover bacon from breakfast and so we chopped it up and included it

 

If you have questions or ideas or would like to see some recipes in video form let us know! We want to help! Thank you everyone for your support!