Thursday, 15 May 2008

Farfalle with Chicken & Asparagus in Saffron-Chive Broth

So I cooked one of my chickens from Stone Meadow Farms. This was one of my little black giant Jerseys. I was not quite sure what I was going to do, so I poached it and figured I'd come up with something later. I also figured it was good for 2 meals, so I'll be using the rest of it later this week. This recipe thus assumes that you have poached your chicken, and created a good batch of chicken stock. I just rinsed the chicken off and plonked it in a pot with a litre and a half of water, some salt and peppercorns, and couple of bay leaves. I figured 20 minutes per pound would be good, and indeed it was, although if you want falling-off-the-bones cooked, you should probably double that time. I turned it over once in the middle. It was on the lowest temperature my stove will do throughout that time, with the exception of the first five minutes or so when it was on high in order to get that water bubbling.

I deboned the chicken and cut it into bite-sized pieces. I then returned the skin and bones to the pot with the broth, added another litre of water, and simmered it for a few more hours. I strained it, and chilled it overnight. The next day I defatted it and proceeded with this recipe.

I have to say it's been a while since I've had any free-range chicken. Gosh, what a difference. When you are dealing with one you realize that regular commercial chicken isn't so much tender as flabby. Not surprising; I doubt they walk 50 metres in their entire lives, and I can't imagine they ever actually get airbourne. Let me hasten to add that my bird was not tough, but it did chew more like actual meat. The difference in the sturdiness of the bones and connective tissues was amazing. And the flavour - wow! Tasted like chicken, as they say. Frankly, most commercially raised chicken might as well be tofu for all the flavour it has.

And since this is a pasta dish, the call goes out to Presto Pasta Nights at Once Upon a Feast!

2 to 4 servings
20 minutes - not counting cooking the chicken

Pasta with Chicken and Asparagus in Saffron-Chive Broth
200 to 250 grams (1/2 pound) farfalle or other stubby pasta

2 litres (2 quarts) chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
sea salt & pepper
the cooked chicken from 1/2 of a 1.5 kilo (3 pound) chicken
300 grams (2/3 pound) asparagus
1/3 cup minced chives

Put a pot of salted water on to boil for the farfalle. Boil it until half done, about 6 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the crumbled saffron, and salt and pepper to taste to the chicken stock. Bring it to a boil, and add the drained, half-cooked farfalle. When the stock returns to the boil, add the chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces. After a minute or two, add the asparagus. When there is just a minute or less to go before the farfalle is cooked, add the chives. You may wish to save a few for garnishing. This was so simple, but so flavourful - fresh, quality ingredients make things great!


Cynthia said...

Keep the chicken and the pasta, just give me the broth and the asparagus.

ninabd said...

Thanks for your call yesterday. I'd call you back but I don't have an email or phone number. Please call again when you can. Here is the debut of the 100 Mile Sandwich I've been working on with Vincenzo's in Kitchener:

100 Mile Sandwiches are here – just hold the mayo and mustard

Waterloo, May 12, 2008 – Finally, an all-local sandwich is available in KW. Vincenzo’s will debut the 100 Mile Sandwich starting May 16. With the help of local food broker, Bailey’s Local Foods, Vincenzo’s will be carrying a wider variety of local foods – including what you need for a darn good sandwich. There’s only one problem: nobody makes mayo or mustard locally.

Nina Bailey-Dick of Bailey’s Local Foods explains the problem, saying “I’ve found the local canola. I’ve got the mustard seeds. We even have salt from Goderich. We just need someone to start up a business making all-local condiments.” It’s only a problem if you are a 100 Miler purist, Bailey insists. She notes a positive: “For the first time you can buy deli meat knowing how far it travelled to get to you.”

Vincenzo’s also has tomatoes and lettuce to go with your sandwich – both grown in greenhouses near Elmira. Add local bread from Golden Hearth and cheese from Oak Grove Cheese in New Hamburg and you’ve got a sandwich from within 100 Miles of uptown Waterloo. At Vincenzo’s the choices for a 100 Mile sandwich are Black Forest Ham, All Natural Roast Beef, and Smoked Turkey Breast. Cheese choices range from Brick to a variety of sheep cheeses.

Why is Vincenzo’s starting a 100 mile local food program at their Italian deli? Carmine Caccioppoli doesn’t think it’s strange that an Italian deli emphasizes local food. “Italian food is so well-loved because it celebrates the unique foods and culinary culture of each province of Italy. We want to celebrate the foods of Waterloo Region the same way.” Local food also strengthens the local economy, reduces the pollution from transportation, and is fresher coming straight from the farm. Some people are discovering another bonus of local food: when they know what farm their food comes from, it just seems to taste better.

With fuel prices rising and food shortages threatening, local food can help to save the day. The more farmers who grow people-food in Waterloo Region, the more secure our food supply becomes. Buying a few 100 mile sandwiches (or ingredients to make your own) and eating local foods supports local farmers and invests money back into the local economy. Now we just need someone to start making all-local mayonnaise.

For more info call:

Nina Bailey-Dick, 519-578-2416
Bailey’s Local Foods

Carmine Caccioppoli, 519-741-1437

Ruth Daniels said...

What a lovely idea...saffron in the broth. Perfect and with the farfalle and I hear Springtime? Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.