THIS week's meal is special. First everything but the protein came from my garden. Second, and more importantly, the local chicken I cooked is the result of many eat local initiatives here on the island. Until the Farm Institute came along, an island chicken was hard to come by. The Farm Institute birds were succulent and delicious and word spread fast. Local restaurants wanted to feature them and LOTS of people made the pilgrimage to Edgartown on Tuesdays hoping to pick up one after "processing." But the Farm Institute could not handle the demand, nor was it sure that processing chickens for increased demand WAS their mission. They are first and foremost an educational institution.
Meanwhile, Island Grown Initiative sponsored a Pastured Poultry Program, and secured a Mobile Poultry Processing Unit. (For those of you into acronyms that would be an (IGIMPPU). And one of the farms to take advantage of it is Flat Point Farm here in town. I love the enthusiasm of these guys and you will get bitten too when you check in to FPP for a look see.
It is all about re-creating infrastructure that will allow young farmers to provide for us locally. Right now, unless you are willing to slaughter them yourself for family use only, all livestock, with the exception of poultry, has to get on a ferry boat before it can go to "freezer camp." (I thank Lisa at Mack Hill Farm for that LOL euphemism).
So enough already ... what about this MEAL? Well I picked up my freshly "processed" chicken at the farm on Saturday and let it "rest" for a few days in the fridge before cooking it Tuesday night. I used a winner Ruth Reichel recipe from Garlic and Sapphires. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put a film of olive oil in the bottom of a roasting pan. Quarter four Yukon Gold potatoes, add an onion that has been cut in eighths, 6-8 whole unpeeled cloves of garlic and toss in the oil. Wash the bird and drain. remove some of the excess fat from around the neck and slide it in between the skin and the breast at the top of the bird. Put a lemon that has been pierced several times with a fork and some fresh rosemary into the cavity of the bird. Sprinkle every thing in the pan with salt and pepper and cook for one hour. OMG !!! Sublime flavor. All the veggies were from my garden. Only the lemon and olive oil are not local.