Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What makes a chicken wing?

So by now you've probably heard that we are having a Wing Night at the Old Station Inn in Greenwich, NY. We are pretty excited about this partnership, the venue give you all the right feels in all the right ways. It's funky and local, charming, with history and run by Danielle who is enigmatic and kind. It's going to be a blast, and you should join us on June 3rd (next Wednesday) between 6-9. Let me cook for you, it would be my absolute pleasure. I'm making everything from scratch, Kim and I will be at your service. Please come, eat and see what we're about.

But this post is about what makes a chicken wing. No, not a recipe, no not a cooking secret. It's about what we do, here, and why. We grow chickens. A lot of them, and better than many other folks. I'm not trying to be arrogant, we didn't start off as fantastic poultry producers. We made mistakes, we had losses, we screwed up. It sucked.

That all still happens. But what we grow here IS unique. The chicks are from hens that are non-gmo fed, and we use a non-gmo, locally milled grain for the entirety of their lives. We chose this grain because it doesn't come compressed, it's just milled into smaller pieces to make it easier for the birds to eat. It's non-gmo, which we feel is better environmentally for the grain farmers, and everyone. We have an insulated, temperature controlled brooder, which we clean out every two weeks, and disinfect to keep pathogens low. We have several 'transition' pens, which allow us to help the birds acclomate to life without heat lamps, slowly to cause no stress.We have huge pasture space, and birds spend their fully feathered days running freely about, never having a care in the world. We try to be gentle, and kind, and attentive to the birds lives. We think they are funny, and they sometimes out smart us.

We handle the processing, we don't feel comfortable with anyone else handling the harvest transition for our poultry. My hands are the ones that unpack the mail boxes of chicks. My hands are the ones that shepherd the life of a chicken into the harvest of a meal.

Our chicken is made of time, and sacrifice and obsession. It takes weeks of careful care, long days, rain gear, sweat, scratches, to get what we grow. I never thought that chicken would be our primary enterprise here, but it is. And I'm proud of that. A chicken wing isn't a throw away bar food for us. But we love a wing night where we can eat and be merry among many! We want you to come, share a pint and see where we live. This vibrant community, with it's cast of characters. We want to cook you a treat, our years of trail and error grow chicken that will make you realize that chicken HAS a flavor. Also, not for nothing- but my italian grandma passed along a mighty skill for the kitchen and I'm eager to share it. And, if you hate it, there will still be a drink to have. (you won't hate it).

I don't think there is anything more primal then sharing a meal with someone. And sharing a meal with the farm that grew it is it's own special experience.

Farm to Fork? How about we do the whole damn thing!

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