This recipe is an all time favorite in our house and doubles as a sloppy joe recipe! I do not usually measure when I cook this and it make to the desired taste and texture, so all measurements are approximate.
1 Spaghetti Squash cut in half and roasted at 350 degrees cut side down until soft (30- 40 mins) or pasta of choice cooked Al Dente
Over medium heat, fry bacon pieces until crisp on edges, add Old Time ground beef (or turkey) dash of salt and dash of pepper. Brown and crumble ground beef.
Add celery, onion, garlic and mushrooms - cook until translucent and tender.
Add can of tomatoes, tomato paste and water - mix in well.
Start with 2 tablespoons each of worchestershire sauce and brown sugar. The worchestershire adds some "tang" to the sauce while the brown sugar softens the bite. The sauce will start to darken from the worchestershire and look more like a BBQ sauce than a red sauce. Slowly add more worchestershire sauce to your taste. I usually will let it simmer for a few minutes before tasting and adding more. In the end, I added 3 tablespoons of worchestershire.
Spoon over spaghetti squash or pasta and top with grated cheese
You can exchange the diced tomatoes for more tomato paste if you want a smoother sauce.
Cooking tip: Granny always made her barbecue sauce from scratch from ketchup, worchestershire and brown sugar - all to taste. No more searching to find the "right" BBQ sauce in the aisle! Start with ketchup in a bowl, add some brown sugar and add some worchestershire & mix. Add worchestershire for spice, sugar for the sweet and ketchup as a base for both. If you get it too sweet or too tangy, just add more ketchup.
Old Time Heritage Chicken is very different than the chickens found in the grocery. You will be hard pressed to find a chicken that is harvested at an age older than 6 to 8 weeks in the grocery stores (or over 8 to 10 weeks on most local farms) while Old Time chickens are harvested at a minimum of 14 weeks of age (just like chicken used to be)! The flavor and texture of the meat changes with the maturity of the animal is harvested - with the most flavorful meats being found with those harvested at an older age. Old Time Chickens TASTE LIKE CHICKEN and do not need much seasoning to make them flavorful and delicious!
Julia Childs created a show on the "classic" definitions of culinary poultry and how harvesting age relates to cooking methods and culinary uses. The definitions have changed in recent years to accommodate the fast growing commercial chickens and can create problems when using commercial chicken in Grandma's recipe or using yesteryear's chicken in today's recipe - the flavor and texture are not the same at all! Today's federal poultry classifications are almost half the age of the bird when harvested vs standards from as recent as 2003. Julia's explanation of how the tip of the breastbone is more solid as the bird gets older is a sure way to determine if a chicken over a couple pounds is truly Heritage or not (sadly, some are misusing the term "Heritage" to market commercial type poultry without understanding the definition or culinary ramifications!). The cartilage on the tip of a Heritage roasting chicken breastbone should not be more than an inch long!
I generally just put a little sea salt on our Old Time chickens and may put some butter on the skin. Most of the time, I use a covered roaster (like Grandma used!) in a 325 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes per pound & use a remote digital thermometer in the thigh to let me know when it reaches 165 degrees. An easy alternative is to put the bird in a crockpot on low for 8-10 hours or so. I generally put a little water on the bottom of the roaster or crockpot and often use a bed of carrots, celery and/or onions to elevate the bird a little out of the water.
We use the roasted chicken as a meal for day one (reserving as many bones as we can for stock). We pick the meat off the carcass and use the leftover chicken for a second meal in a baked casserole, potpies, fried rice, chicken sandwiches, or other recipe using cooked chicken. Our third meal (or more) from the very same chicken is from the broth made with the bones. After the original meal with the roasted chicken and the meat is picked off the bones, the extra skin, bones, neck and fat all are all placed in a crock pot with water to cover and cooked on low for 24-48 hours to make bone broth or stock. You can use it in any recipe calling for broth/stock.
Julia Child’s Roasting Chicken video link: https://youtu.be/T7dLXEc9tZM
PS … We have "good" sanitation laws to protect consumers in our state today and Old Time Farm is careful to do our best to adhere to them! Our application to harvest our poultry on farm has been submitted to the state and we are waiting. In the mean time, we drive 2 1/2 hours to a USDA processor for frozen chicken or take pre-orders for live birds to be harvested for you at our local processor.
Old Time Farm reproduces all of our poultry and livestock on farm - just like an "Old Time Farm" used to do. We are a true Artisan venture, on a small scale, with attention to quality vs quantity and with an eye towards preserving biodiversity for future generations. Biodiversity in poultry is critical as the commercial genetics are in the hands of a few companies worldwide and are proprietary (cannot be reproduced on farm). Biodiversity allows for strong immune systems, regional adaptation, vigor and hardiness, aesthetic beauty, natural reproduction and regional sustainability.
Before A&P supermarket's 1948 "Chicken of Tomorrow" contest, most poultry was regionally reproduced, grown on small regional farms and people experienced the enhanced flavor, texture and nutrition that pasture raised, truly slow growing poultry offered. Biodiversity was maintained by regional pockets of small farms and homesteads and very seldom were chicks shipped in from commercial hatcheries. The Chicken of Tomorrow contest was the beginning of the commercial chicken of today. If you watch the historical archive video, you will see the more proportional table chicken of yesteryear and the wax model that looks like the commercial chicken you now see in the supermarkets.
The work of the Vantress brothers (mentioned toward the end of the Chicken of Tomorrow Video) is now a subsidiary of Tyson and the commercial poultry genetics are now consolidated into very few companies who keep the parent stock as a proprietary secret so they cannot be reproduced on farms (including the "Freedom Ranger" chicken some mistakenly claim to be a "heritage" chicken but is actually a fast growing commercial type from Hubbard genetics). People often ask if commercial chickens are bloated and abnormally proportioned because of steroids or hormones, but the reality is that we, as consumers, ASKED for that type of chicken and the commercial chicken breeders selected parent birds over time to give us what we asked for - we have the power to reverse this tide before it is too late and bring regionally sustainable poultry production back to our food shed!
Old Time Farm thanks P. Allen Smith for presenting this dilemma to a wider audience in his TED talk titled End of Choice: Diversity Matters if Food Choice is Important to You. It highlights the importance of biodiversity of poultry and livestock genetics and some of the economic benefits they offer the local food shed. I think the point where local people and the general public can become engaged is missed a little bit in the video but we do need to work on getting product to you while remaining financially viable and re-build our local infrastructure. You all buying our products is the key to keeping the highest quality individuals for future generations! We Thank You for your support! PS ... We purchased an American Milking Devon cow from the Swiss Village P. Allen mentions ... Pansy's genetics have been preserved for future generations!
Chicken of Tomorrow Archive video: https://archive.org/details/Chickeno1948
P Allen Smith TED talk: https://youtu.be/yCsGFNHHIQw
Changes In Chicken Weight For Age From Selective Breeding Over Time
A chicken at 56 days of age was less than 2 pounds live weight in 1957, almost 4 pounds in 1978 and over 9 pounds in 2005. Our Chantecler chicks are close to the 2 pound range at 56 days. (approximately 454 grams in a pound.)
2 quarts (8 cups) of stock or broth made with Old Time Heritage Chicken. I made mine from the leftover bones of a whole chicken I cooked in the crockpot 6-8 hours for a meal the evening before. I put the bones back into the crock pot after dinner, added enough water to cover (approx 8-10 cups), cooked on low overnight and strained the bones out in the morning. You can cook the bones for 24-48 hours in the crockpot on low and add a little apple cider vinegar, if you want. This can also be simmered on the stove on low as well.
2 medium Zucchini cut up (I used yellow & green for color)
1 quart beans snapped in 1-2" pieces (green, yellow and purple)
5 leaves of Kale chopped coarsely (Lacinato Kale for color)
5 leaves of Swiss Chard chopped coarsely
1 onion chopped coarsely
4 medium carrots
4 ears of corn - (fresh or left over) kernels chopped off
1 good handful (1 cup) chopped parsley
1 pint of Okra roughly sliced
6 tomatoes coarsely chopped
1 small head of cabbage coarsely sliced
1 bay leaf (I added it to the bones while they cooked)
Salt to taste (a teaspoon or so would be by guess but I add it after the veggies cook into the soup and add their flavor!).
I cooked mine for 8 hours on low in the crock pot but you can bring to a boil and simmer on the stove until the veggies are tender.
Cooking Tips:Tip 1: My goal is to combine the various colors, textures & flavors so use what is available at your local farmer's market or your freezer.
Tip 2: Add veggies until the broth/stock is full of veggies - they will cook down. There is no hard and fast rule on how much to add. Be creative and enjoy cooking!
Tip 3: I did not add potatoes or noodles of any sort as I will freeze the leftovers for a quick meal at a later date! Potatoes and pasta do not freeze well for me in soup!
Tip 4: You can use Beef, Pork, Turkey or Chicken broth/stock for the base. You will find that the Old Fashioned Heritage Chicken from Old Time Farm has much more flavor that the commercial type store bought chicken!
This is comfort food at its finest, most delicious best! Cream of Chicken Soup made with our very own Old Time Heritage Chantecler Chicken and kniffles (German egg dumplings) made with our Old Time Chantecler Eggs.
Recipe for Cream of Chicken Soup (use Old Time Chicken Broth/Stock as "broth" in recipe)
Recipe for Kniffles (full disclosure: not the recipe I used - that one came from my Great Grandma and is done by texture and does not use water or milk. The water or milk will allow you to make the finer spaetzle. The recipe I use is more similar to the egg noodle recipe above but has more egg to make a softer, more gooey dough).
Here is my favorite Recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup from Southern Living Cookbook ! And here is a Recipe for Homemade Egg Noodles like my Great Grandma Ruth taught me to make (add a pinch of kosher or sea salt)! The homemade noodles from our farm fresh eggs takes the recipe over the top but in a pinch I would suggest using a Kluski type noodle instead of the fine noodle in the Chicken Soup recipe! Any cut of our Old Time Chicken or Turkey will work for this soup.
The noodle soup recipe also makes an excellent stock/broth base. You can add the spices in there and cook in the crockpot like our Old Time Chicken Stock (Bone Broth) recipe.
Stay tuned for updates on this post!
This is some YUMMY Broccoli Cheese Soup I made with stock/broth from our very own Old Time Chicken along with onions, garlic & broccoli purchased from the local Farmer's Markets and cream-line milk in a glass bottle from pastured cows.
Here is the Recipe for the Cream of Broccoli Soup and the broth/stock instructions are found on the Old Time Broth/Stock blog page. This recipe is super easy and I often use stock/broth that I have frozen. to make a quick meal.
Old Time Farm