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A Bad Moment in an Otherwise Good Day

How many people can say they had only one bad day in their whole life? Just one bad day. Certainly not I.

A neighbour of ours…

I know. I refer to everyone in Cawston as a neighbour but Cawston you see is very small. Hard not be a neighbour here. One could say the community is insignificant were in not for the diverse makeup of residents who choose to call Cawston home.  Plus the fact that Cawston wears the mantle of the Organic Farming Capital of Canada. Not Saltspring Island. Cawston. Saltspring is Randy Bachman and everything rammed earth and yurt. Cawston is the Organic farming Capital of Canada. That is what the sign on the Highway says.

Highway Sign
Highway Sign

Even the Wikipedia entry on Cawston in insignificant. We are unincorporated. We do not have a community website. The URL mentioned in the photo is cleverly disguised as “404-Page not found”. We do have a Community Hall.  But again no website. Saltspring Island has a website. Perhaps as it should be. I digress.

… a neighbour of ours is Blackbird Organics. They are certified organic by S.O.O.P.A. for assorted ground crops, tree fruit, chickens, and eggs.

farmersdotter loves the free range eggs and chicken from Blackbird Organics. The eggs are fabulous. Rich and creamy with a brilliant orange yolk. The chickens are simply sublime. Every day is a day of free range fulfillment under a full sky for Blackbird’s….birds. Right up until the last day. Even then the last day really isn’t that bad. It is merely a bad moment in an otherwise good day. The moment when it was decided thou shalt end up on my plate. Perhaps as it should be. I have had more than one bad day.

Regardless, there is no duplicating the wonderful taste and texture of a free range organic bird.

To successfully roast a good organic bird requires no wizardry. farmersdotter favours a brined bird. Succulent saltiness is what we’re after and there is no other way to achieve this. Deep fry?  Deep frying a whole bird is so wrong on so many levels. There isn’t enough alcohol on Sunday football to get me to deep fry a whole bird. Yes, I have sampled whole deep fried Chicken. Not lovin’ it.

Simply brine your chicken or turkey in a container that will accept the whole bird.  We use a 20 litre food safe container. The process is forgiving but time consuming. Most important is the brine solution which consists of 1 cup kosher salt dissolved into every 4 litres of water. It is crucial the whole bird be submerged in the brine solution and appropriately chilled for the entire time.

Brine a roasting chicken for at least 4 hours while a turkey can be brined from 12 to 18 hours. After you remove the bird from the brine and have allowed it to drain, pat dry as best you can then return the bird to the refrigerator and set for a few more hours. This will nicely dry out the skin enabling it to crisp up better in the oven.

Organic Roast Chicken
Organic Roast Chicken

Preheated oven to 400 degrees and first place bird breast side down on a roasting rack and set in oven. This is to allow juices to seep down into the breast.  Remove the bird from the oven after 1/2 hour and flip so the breast side is up and continue to roast for 1/2 hour. Check temperature. The bird should be close to done. Remember there will be residual cooking and  again, a brined bird it is virtually impossible to dry out.