In February of 2009, my husband and I bought our first home located on a few acres in Johnson, Vermont. We live here with our dog, Ollie, two cats: Elvis and Atticus, six Nigerian Dwarf goats: May, Chutney, Poppy, Juniper, Willow, and Jokers Wild, and about fifteen laying hens. And to top it all off we welcomed our daughter, Isabel, into the world on January 11th, 2011.

We're slowly updating our 1850's farmhouse while steadily working towards a healthy, meaningful, self-sufficient life together.

This blog details our endeavors along with our successes and failures- all in good fun. Thanks for stopping by, hope to see you again soon!


May and I enjoying some sunshine
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Our Last Store-bought Chicken

Lovingly Posted by Melissa Thursday, October 15, 2009

Last night I got home and immediately set in to making dinner, it was just one of those days where I needed to keep busy.  I had bought a little broiler at the grocery store earlier this week to roast and make chicken soup from.  It is to be, hopefully, the last chicken we will ever buy from a store as we are set to butcher our fifteen broilers this weekend.

As a recently converted ex-vegetarian this was the first time in a LONG time since I had handled a whole dead chicken, so I had a little trouble remembering how this all worked.  I seasoned it all over with salt and pepper and rubbed it down with a little bit of butter mixed with six cloves of chopped garlic and some rosemary.  I set it in the pot on top of a few chopped carrots and onions and threw it all in the oven for the next 50 minutes.  I set myself to starting the massive amount of dishes that were sitting on the counter when Kyle got home from work.  The wonderful man had not only brought home a bottle of wine but he had in hand a little bouquet of yellow lilies for me.  I do love him so much.  I'd been upset all week about our poor cat, Elvis, who has been suffering from an acute urinary tract infection.  So this little thoughtfulness was very much appreciated.

My darling husband took over doing the dishes while I went upstairs to feed the cats and give Elvis his pills which is getting increasingly more difficult as he is really getting sick of it.  But, we managed and both cats set in to happily eating their new vet-approved cat food.  I headed back downstairs and cleaned up the dining room table which unfortunately ends up being the catch-all for whatever we happen to have in our hands when we walk in the front door.  By the time I had finished I had just enough time to make some garlic mashed potatos to go with our dinner.

I took the chicken out of the oven and it looked beautiful.  Only one thing was wrong; I had put it in the pot upside down.  So instead of the skin covering the breasts being nice and golden and crispy, it was regretably the skin on the back of the chicken that looked so appealing.  Sure enough, I turned it over to carve it and the skin on the breast was cooked, yes, but soft and kind of gross looking.  We never buy chicken with the skin on, so we haven't eaten chicken skin in a long time...so whatever, but it was still a little disappointing.

The chicken turned out beautifully otherwise, it was moist and smelled delicious.  As soon as we had finished carving it up I plopped the chicken carcass into a big pot with salt and water and a few chopped potatos and began my chicken soup (I hate to waste anything).  So now we've got three containers of chicken stock and a big thing of chicken soup in the freezer.  And by the end of the weekend we'll have fifteen fresh, new chickens in our chest freezer...I'll let you know how THAT goes.


  2. Hi Melissa!

    Great story. But you didn't make a mistake at all. Roasting your chicken breast down keeps the juices in the breast instead of running down to the back uselessly. When we roast a turkey or chicken or whatever, we always roast it breast down until about the last 15 minutes, then we turn it breast up to brown in.

    Mmmmmm. You've made me hungry. Good luck with the beheading and the defeathering and the disembowling. Now I'm not hungry anymore.

  3. Melissa Says:
  4. Hey Beth! Nice to see you again. Ahh ha! Good tip!! I'll be roasting the "first to go" on Sunday to serve to all our willing volunteers so I'll give it a shot!

    Yeah...I'm not sure how hungry people will be for chicken that day...haha!