FFWD: Hurry-Up-and-Wait Roast Chicken – A Catch Up

This week’s recipe is Chestnut and Pear Soup, but that’s not what I have for you today. Instead, I’m going to tell you about a recipe the gang did earlier this month, a roast chicken with an unusual twist. I’ll also tell you a bit about what I was getting up to instead of sourcing chestnuts and making soup.

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Hurry-Up-and-Wait Roast Chicken is cooked for about an hour on high heat, starting on one side and then flipped to the other mid-roast. I used carrots, potatoes, and a few cloves of garlic to prop up my bird and stuffed it with half an apple and half an onion. Along with a cup of white wine (courtesy of the Doristas who attended IFBC), there was about two cups of jus, even it was boiled and thickened a bit, while the bird was resting (on an angle) under a foil tent. This method makes for a tender, juicy bird and no leftovers. The vegetables were cooked perfectly, too. It was a perfect one pot meal.

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Now for the reason I’m not going to be tackling this week’s recipe until Sunday. Post-harvest season has traditionally been a little lacklustre for some of the agricultural vendors of the Fraser Valley. So, the farmers have gotten creative. This Wednesday, my mother and I headed over to Krause Berry Farms for their customer appreciation night. It included bakery samples and wine tastings and a first look at this year’s Christmas food and craft offerings. Each year it seems the Krause family expands their retail complex, allowing the farm to offer their produce in new ways. Now, you can enjoy meals, cooking classes, wine tastings, and more throughout the summer, fall, and holiday seasons. It’s a survival strategy in a market with a narrow margin, but it’s also enriching the cultural landscape out in the Valley.

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The next day, we visited Campbell’s Gold Honey Farm to pick out (and taste) some honey wines for upcoming holiday meals. They’re taking part in the Abbotsford Circle Farm Tour‘s Passport to Christmas, which offers substantial prize draws to visitors of six or more of the farms on the list. It’s a great way to promote off-season visits to farm retail outlets and allows for some great early Christmas shopping, too. I’ll be back to visit some more of the participants before Christmas, for sure.

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I admire the way that farmers are finding ways to survive in this economic climate, while making the Valley a much more interesting place than I remember it being when I was growing up there. I also like the opportunity to see where all the local food I’m touting comes from. It’s grounding in the most literal of senses.

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You can find many other blogged descriptions of this FFWD recipe here: Hurry-Up-and-Wait Roast Chicken

FFWD – Cheez-it-ish Crackers

Cheez-it-ish Crackers

I’ll admit from the outset that I’ve never seen a Cheez-it, but if they’re anything like this week’s cracker recipe, I’m in. These Cheez-it-ish crackers have the texture of a very dry sablé, without its sweetness. Instead, they’ve got the richness of Gruyère, with the bite of pepper and cayenne.

The Entrance at Campbell's Gold

This cracker is just begging to be served with a nice wine, so much so that I wish I’d had some on hand yesterday when I visited Campbell’s Gold Honey Farm and Meadery. We arrived just in time for a wine tasting, starting with some dry mead and working our way through apple, currant, and cherry honey wines. I’m tempted to go back for a bottle of the apple honey wine to go with the rest of my crackers.

Honey wines and meads

Campbell’s Gold is on the Circle Farm Tour and it’s almost as nice to visit these farms at Christmastime as it is in the height of summer. It’s easy to forget, living in Vancouver, how much the rest of our region has to offer.

Honey, Flavoured Honey, and More

But let’s get back to the offerings of my kitchen. I opted to shape the cracker dough into logs and slice the crackers, rather than roll and cut them out. I only baked a few crackers and am saving the other logs to bake for some of the holiday gatherings we’ve got coming up. It’s not quite as elegant as the rolled-out cracker, but it’s awfully convenient. I’ve been favouring slice and bake cookies, too, this holiday season. I guess I’m embracing my last-minute nature…

Speaking of last-minute, I’d better get this post up while it’s still Friday. Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it and a very happy New Year to all. I’m looking forward to cooking and baking with the rest of the Doristas through 2013.

Crackers in a tiny crock

You can find many other blogged descriptions of this week’s FFWD recipe here: Cheez-it-ish Crackers