Nothing against eating chicken year-round, but locally raised birds like the ones sold fresh at the Flying Pigs Farm Greenmarket stand from Labor Day through November are a special treat. Flying Pigs’ Jennifer Small and Michael Yezzi raise the chickens over the summer and early fall, allowing them to feed on grass, bugs, worms, and the occasional garter snake. Flavorwise, regular off-season chickens (which are either frozen, raised indoors, or shipped from who knows where) can’t compete. Below, Shorty’s.32 chef-owner Josh Eden tells you how to break one down and pan-roast it in no time.
Josh Eden’s Pan-Roasted Chicken
1 chicken, approximately 4 lbs., available at Flying Pigs Farm at Union Square and Grand Army Plaza Greenmarkets, Saturdays
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic
2 sprigs fresh thyme
For the chicken: Preheat oven to 375. Using a utility or boning knife, remove the wings and reserve. (1) Remove each leg and thigh together. (2) Separate the leg from the thigh. Bone-out the thigh (optional). Remove the breast, and reserve the carcass and trimmings for jus (optional; see below). Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place two sauté pans over medium-high heat. (3) Add grapeseed oil to each pan, and place 1 breast, thigh, and leg skin-side down in each of the pans. Cook until skin is golden brown. Flip all the chicken parts in each pan, and place the pan in the oven. After about 3 to 4 minutes, add 1 tablespoon butter, 1 sprig of thyme, and a clove of garlic to each pan. Baste chicken with melted mixture, and continue to cook for another 4 minutes or so. Serve with mashed potatoes. Serves 4.
Roasted-Chicken Jus (optional)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Reserved chicken wings and chicken bones, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup mirepoix (1 carrot, 1 stalk of celery, and 1 medium Spanish onion)
1 sprig thyme
1 quart water
Juice of half a lemon
Place olive oil in medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat. When pan is smoking, add the wings, bones, and trimmings and brown well on all sides. Remove from heat, and drain off excess oil. Add mirepoix, and gently caramelize. Deglaze with 1 cup of water, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add remaining water and thyme, and simmer for 45 minutes. Pass through a fine strainer, pressing the bones to release their flavor, and continue to reduce until you can draw a clean line through the reduced juices with a wooden spoon. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, and serve under chicken and over potatoes.