This recipe is one of our regular customer’s FAVORITES!
Keller’s Roast Chicken Recipe
The chicken must be at room temperature before it goes in the oven, or the chicken will not cook evenly. What Keller recommends (and what we do) is leave the chicken in the refrigerator, uncovered (on a plate and not touching anything else in the fridge), for 1-2 days after buying it, so that the skin gets a bit dried out. It will roast up crispier this way. Then 1 1/2 to 2 hours before it goes in the oven, we put it on a plate on the kitchen counter to come to room temp (about 70 degrees). Remove the neck and giblets from the cavity of the chicken before you set it out to come to room temp. (Save for stock.)

Ingredients
One 4 to 4 1/2 pound chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled (smash with the side of a chef’s knife, makes it easier to peel)
5 thyme sprigs
About 1/3 cup olive oil or grapeseed oil (Keller uses canola oil, we prefer olive or grapeseed oil)
4 Tbsp butter, room temperature (spreadable)
A large (11-inch if you have it) cast-iron frying pan
Kitchen string

Method
1 Preheat oven to 475°F.

2 Use a paring knife to cut away the wishbone from the neck/breast area of the chicken. You will probably have to use your fingers to feel around for it. This is a little bit tricky, but if you can remove the wishbone first, it will make the chicken easier to carve after it is cooked. (This ease of future carving is the only reason to take the bone out, so you can leave it in if you want.)

3 Generously season the cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper. Add three garlic cloves and 5 sprigs of the thyme to the cavity, using your hands to rub the thyme and garlic all around the cavity.

4 Truss the chicken with kitchen string. To do so, start by cutting a 3-foot section of cotton kitchen string. Place the chicken so that it is breast up, and the legs pointing toward you. Tuck the wing tips under the chicken. Wrap the string under the neck end of the bird, pulling the string ends up over the breast, toward you, plumping up the breast. Then cross the string under the breast (above the cavity and between the legs). Wrap each end around the closest leg end, and tie tightly so that the legs come together.

5 Slather the chicken with oil and season well with salt and pepper.

6 Place the chicken in the pan. Slather the top of the chicken breasts with butter.

7 Place the pan in the oven and roast the chicken for 25 minutes at 475°F. Then reduce the heat to 400°F and roast for an additional 45 minutes, or until the thickest part of the thigh registers 160°F on a meat thermometer and the juices run clear.

8 Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving to serve.

9 Cut the chicken into serving pieces.

Serves 4.

We are hosting school groups again this year and hope that you will consider Hickory Nut Gap for your students agricultural experience. A typical farmer guided fieldtrip includes an apple tasting, touching and feeding the animals, pollination activity, time for the maze, the trike track and hay pile. Cost for tour is $5/student and chaperone. Teachers are free. Call to schedule your classes tour today!

As always we are raising pastured turkeys again this year. See Walkers video from their first day on the farm. Turkeys are some of the most curious animals we raise on the farm, while some doubt their intelligence, we admire their curiosity and vocal socializations. Soon they will be moving out to pasture to graze on insects and clover. Put your order in today for a frozen pasture raised turkey. $4.50/lb, approximately 12-25 lbs frozen.

If you are one of our many customers who frequent the farm and are activities during the fall we invite you to purchase a season pass for you and your family. The farm is open to the public 7 days a week in September and October from 9-6pm and is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon with your children or entertain your out of town leaf watchers. We have a picnic area by the creek and other family friendly areas that will allow you to supervise your childrens play while engaging in actual adult conversation with your friends and family. Adult Pass $20, Child Pass $14, Age 2 and under FREE.

We are gearing up for our 6th season of inviting families to our farm for fall activities and are excited to have expanded our offerings for 2012. Come check out the renovated barn which will include the famous hay pile, new trike track, expanded animal area and performance space. We have food trucks lined up to serve lunch and snacks and have diversified our products with in the farm store to include more beverages, local artists and crafters, pickled good and much more. The organic apples and raspberries continue to ripen and the bale maze is under construction. There are alot of new things in store for you this year, stop by and see us. Current hours are Wednesday- Friday 1-5 and Saturday 10-5. Starting September 1st we are open 7 days a week from 9 am – 6pm.