Posts tagged ‘Spicy!’

March 11, 2011

Ewww

So I guess it’s time to address my flop of a dinner last night.  I don’t want to, but I’m going to because with the bad comes with the good.  So the plan was to use the chicken thighs, legs, and wings that were all nicely package together from Yeehaw farm.  I normally don’t make these parts of a chicken unless I’m cooking a whole bird; this was new to me!  But I like a challenge and I like trying new things.  I’ve also been wanted to try out a dry rub.  Why not try it all at once!

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In my rub:

  • 1 teaspoon red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasonings
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

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I rubbed it all in and thought it was looking good.  Meanwhile I was heating up my new cast iron dutch oven, which I was so excited to use.  I pictured the chicken skin getting nice and crisp and then being able to turn it down and let it finish cooking with a little red wine on the bottom.  I was going to top it off with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  Sounded like perfection…to me at least. 

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To my dismay my chicken was so awful looking that I was afraid to even taste it.  It was purple and not crispy at all.  I didn’t even bother putting my good balsamic on it, because I didn’t want to waste it.  I tried to cut into a piece despite the looks, but I couldn’t even do that!  The skin was rubbery and wouldn’t come off the meat.  And even worse than that the skin still had little peach fuzz attached to it!  This just sent me over the edge of being disgusted.  I know I’m trying to get closer to the source of my food, but baby steps please!  This was just too big of a step for me.  So I’m trying to get over the skin, both mentally and physically, and I just start hacking away at it with a steak knife.  However, the meat was way too grainy and tough.  As soon as I cut in far enough to get a good look I concluded it wasn’t worth the effort.  So I didn’t even get a taste!  And at this point I was OK with that.  It really was the first time I ever felt that I may just throw up on my plate.

And not to continue with the negativity or anything, but it didn’t get much better as the meal went on.  Our pierogies were way over cooked because we were so enthralled by the chicken.  And you would think how could we go wrong with raw carrots and ranch?  We’ll you can’t really, but by the time I got to them, I wasn’t in the mood to eat anything!  So I ate the grapes and the rest of my plate went in the trash.

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So what went wrong with my chicken?  Here are some of my guesses.

From the Cooking

  • Moisture in the closed pot prevented the skin from getting crispy
  • It wasn’t cooked long enough to tenderize it
  • It wasn’t cooked at a high enough temperature
  • The chicken was not marinated in the rub
  • Dark meat tends to have a different texture than white meat (what we are used to)

From the Farm

  • Free range chicken is generally more chewy
  • It was an older bird
  • It was butchered in the winter, not chicken season

Steve and I debated asking our meat CSA to not get these cuts of meat anymore, but we decided against it for now.  We want to give it another chance with different cooking methods and maybe a different time of year.  And if we don’t like it then, we’ll ask that it be left our of our share.  Since we talk to the farmers directly this will be no problem.  We are even hoping they may be able to give us some tips and help us troubleshoot.  One of the awesome perks of knowing who produces your food.

Does anyone have cooking suggestions for when we give this meat another go?  Or have any thoughts on what went wrong?  I’d love your input!

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March 2, 2011

Tonight’s Planting

I finally get to stop garden planning and actually dig in the dirt!  A true sign of spring!

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Parsley, chives, basil, and oregano are being started.

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bananapepper

Along with banana peppers, jalapenos, and a pepper mix

(a box o’ chocolate pepper seed pack; you never know what you’re going to get).

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