Our beloved, local meat and eggs ranch, Marin Sun Farms, has only been selling chickens for a couple of years. I think I might have bought one of the very first ones that came to market, and I remember it being a very tender bird. Too tender, almost.
It wasn't until I was enjoying a much undeserved feast of Anita and Cameron's fried chicken this past Sunday that I learned Marin Sun Farms uses water processing on its chickens, resulting in... possibly... soggy... flesh.
Oh! The fried chicken was so, SO not soggy. It was a version of Michael Procopio's double-battered fried chicky, all seasoned up with salt and pepper and onion and buttermilk. Crispy, tasty, substantial. And I say undeserved, because Cranky and I invited our pals to join us for a picnic, and then we "let" them bring the food. Hah! (Their cake was really good, too.) I mean, jeez, talk about "Stone Soup."
Now, honestly, Cranky and I did provide a few snacks, and a pretty good time was had by all, up there in the pastorally cow-manure-and-Canada-goose-poop-scented grounds of Marin French Cheese Company (where they've been plying their trade since 1865!).
But I'm glad to have learned this about Marin Sun Farm's chicken. Because a couple of days ago, we roasted one, stuffed with a pierced lemon off our tree, as well as a tangled handful of backyard herbs, onion tops, and more herbs.
For years I have stuffed a lemon inside chickens for roasting. Well! Just the other day I read some wise blogger's observation that a juicy ol' lemon is likely to disrupt the moisture balance inside your bird, especially if it tends toward juicy already.
Jeez. And I thought I knew what I was doing in the kitchen.
Which is why this chicken is flipping me the bird.
But I got revenge.
After we dined on the soft meat, we simmered up a pot of fabulous chicken stock, seasoned with all those delicious herbs that were stuffed inside the bird.
We took the lemon out first.