Thursday, July 17, 2014

Buttermilk-brined Chicken, Pan-Fried

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

It was a stormy day.

High winds wooft out the gas grill while it was preheating.

Not a great start.

Put the chicken thighs on the grill, and just my luck  - I set the cover down on an old, well-seasoned potholder – you may know the like – the one that was in your Christmas stocking year ago, and you kept out of emotional attachment though it’s threadbare.

It lit up like a match.

I snagged it with the tongs and shook it  – which made the flames worse.

Panicked, I dropped it and stomped it.

The fire kept re-igniting.

I looked left and right, saw a bucket of rain-covered ashes from the charcoal grill, and sank it in to snuff it out.

I took a moment there to make sure it was dead.

“Oh, damn, the chicken!”

And there may have been some “girly” screaming the whole time, but I won’t admit to it.

Thank goodness, thighs are forgiving.

In spite of momentary neglect, they came out buttermilk tangy, moist and juicy, with an upfront toasty, roasted flavor and cracker-crisp skin.  Enjoy!

Bone-side of Chicken Thighs, not As Pretty
 Buttermilk-brined Chicken

Serves 6-8


2 TB Kosher Salt
2 TB Honey
1 tsp. Black Pepper
2 TB Garlic Powder
1 TB Onion Powder
(I used ½ Cup Ramp Pesto for the garlic and onion)

Stir together with a whisk until smooth, and add:

5 lbs. of Chicken Thighs (bone-in, skin-on)
2 Cups Buttermilk

Turn to coat the chicken and cover.

Refrigerate 48 hours, turning every 12 hours.

Dry Mix:

1 cup Flour (I used Cup4Cup Gluten-Free)
1 cup Instant “Potato Buds”
2 TB Black Flake Pepper

Roll each piece of chicken in dry mix to coat.
Prior to Grilling
Place on a plate, covered, for 1 hour at room temperature.

Preheat one side of a gas grill on low setting with a skillet or griddle inside.

Add enough peanut oil to coat the surface and place chicken on, skin side up.

Bake with the cover down for 10-12 minutes, until the underside of the thigh is crispy.

Use a spatula and tongs to rotate pieces from hot spots to avoid burning.

Flip chicken over- bake another 10-12 minutes - until skin side browns.

Move pan to the “off” side of the grill.

Continue to cook (cover down) until juices run clear (170f internal). About 20 -30 more minutes.

Always use a meat thermometer!
Cover with foil and rest for 15 minutes on the counter before serving.

Tip: I used a grill, but chicken can be browned on the stove, and baked in a 300f oven for 20-40 minutes (depending on how cold and how large the pieces are to start with).


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wood-Fired Pizza Oven: So far...

Wood-fired Oven
 Almost finished, just one more application of tile to the base.

Right Side
The original artwork is by local artist Matt Gang of Grey Owl Design.  What I really like is that it is made of things that remind me of growing up around Lake Champlain: seashells and lake glass (recycled and up-cycled).
Left Side
Matt's busy right now, so Dan and I will be working together to finish the base with iridescent blue recycled glass tiles.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sunrise this morning!

Boucher Farm
Made cheese today, and starting to cut hay again.  May see Dan later...or not.

It's buttermilk-brined chicken tonight, regardless.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

One Sweet Hot Sauce - and Beef Kabobs!

Beef Kabobs with Buttermilk Sauce
This is the sweetest little hot sauce that can be used as a grilling marinade– and/or be transformed into a baste. 

Its main component is buttermilk. 

I bet you didn’t see that one coming!  

Buttermilk and chicken are the more familiar culinary combination– but any meat can benefit from an overnight soak in the refrigerator.

The marinade is “raw”, so the onions and garlic are very aromatic as they caramelize on the grill.
Marinated Kabobs Ready To Go
During this cook, the beef kabobs became imbued with the flavor and sweetness of battered, deep-fried onion rings – with a pop of heat and honey at the finish.

The vegetables picked up more sweet, and less overall heat.

Buttermilk-basted Vegetable Kabobs
Some tips:

Grill kabobs over medium heat – honey burns easily.

If you find the level of heat a bit much, simply add a dollop of sour cream along with the honey and butter to the baste.
Buttermilk Hot Sauce for Basting

 One Sweet Hot Sauce
Makes about 1 ½ cups

1 Cup Buttermilk
1 Medium Onion, quartered
8 Cloves Garlic
4 TB Honey
3 TB Sunflower Oil
1-2 TB Union Brand Chili Paste (or a de-seeded jalapeno)
2 TBS Vinegar
1 tsp. Kosher Salt

Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth. Let mellow for a few hours on the counter.  Refrigerate overnight.
Buttermilk Marinade
(At this point, half the recipe is used as a marinade and the remainder reserved for the basting sauce.)

To finish:

Gently heat ¾ cup to a simmer.  Turn off the heat.

Stir in:

1 1/2 TBS Honey
3 TB Butter
1 tsp. Vinegar

Taste, and adjust for salt.

Paint kabobs as they cook.

Buttermilk Hot Sauce Beef Kabobs

Friday, June 6, 2014

Clearing out the Dashboard, June 2014

Gluten-free Lasagna
Simple and filling.

Smoked Chicken Thighs
 Always a thumbs-up cook.

Stewing Berries for Tamales
Wow, these became the best gluten-free dessert, ever!

Roasted Onions
 Because you can never have too many roasted vegetables.

Wild Ramps and Roasted Pepper Pesto
 Hoo-wee!  That was garlicky!

Dumplings at Burlington Farmer's Market
Okay.   If these dumplings came from your stand: they are gorgeous!

However, I've been making dumplings for over 25 years, and my husband is spoiled for them.  So - since this is a wheat wrapper, I can't make the final judgment call - but his response was "Meh, I won't be having these again."

Occasionally, he knows the right things to say :)

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Gluten-free: Soft Shell Crabs!

Soft-shell Crabs
Ordered soft shells from Guild Fine Meats (we vend across the storefront on Saturdays at farmer's market).   They are sooo nice!  And even offered to "talk me through it" to clean them.*

*I already have this down to less than 40 seconds per critter.

 So large and meaty for the price!

(I used a GF tempura mix to coat them.)

Thank you so much!  It reminded me of my trip to South Carolina (way too many years ago), and they were all females, btw.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Scene in Highgate: Game Camera

Whitetail Deer
Moving the position of the camera has resulted in the spotting of 2 pregnant does and one button buck, as well as two yearlings.

Not to mention the backsides of: one huge squirrel, at least one fat raccoon, and one foxy-loxy!

Friday, May 16, 2014

NEW Labels: Milk, Butter, Buttermilk

REDBARN Dairy Products
I loved the first labels, but they didn't hold up under refrigeration - so here's the new ones!

Redbarn is the logo we use for pasteurized products.  All our raw-milk cheeses are still under Green Mountain Blue Cheese.

We will have the full complement of our farm's products at Burlington Farmers' Market tomorrow.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Gluten-free Focaccia (Tyler's Burgers)

Gluten-free Focaccia Burger
On opening day of Burlington’s Farmers’ Market the biggest question was: “What do want to I eat first?”

The answer for many of was a fresh hamburger made to order from Stony Pond Farm, located on St. Paul Street.

Served on locally made focaccia, with or without a farm-fresh egg, topped by a slathering of Folk Foods Master Sauce or maybe even Green Mountain Mustard.


Just because I can’t eat wheat, doesn’t mean I have to sit still for the wholesale quashing of my hamburger-for-breakfast dreams.

Gluten-free breads are tricky mixtures.  They require a matrix of starches to make up for the absence of wheat gluten in order to create loft, texture and crumb.  They benefit from time to develop flavor, and fats for moisture.
Gluten-free Rolls
If you cook the batter right away from the recipe I’m sharing in a muffin pan, the bread holds it’s shape, and makes a dense roll.
Gluten-free Focaccia
Let it relax and rise on a sheet pan, and you will be rewarded by a fine bubbly crumb, perfect for focaccia (faux-caccia).
GF Focaccia
Sure, there are shelf stable and frozen rolls available in the supermarket “allergen aisles” but warm, freshly made bread is superior whether the ingredients are gluten-free or not.

Plus, there won’t be that laundry list of preservatives and chemicals included.

A GF burger done up “Tyler’s way” - is worth making time for.
"Tyler Burger" with Carmelized Onion
Gluten-free Focaccia
Serves 6


2 Cups Warm Water
1 Cup GF All-Purpose Flour Blend (Arrowhead, King Arthur)
2 tsp. Yeast
2 tsp. Sugar
Sponge for GF Focaccia 
Combine, set in a warm place until very foamy (1-2 hours) or refrigerate overnight.


½ tsp. Kosher Salt
1 tsp. Xanthan Gum
2 tsp. Tapioca Starch
1/2 Cup Fine Rice Flour
1 Cup GF All-Purpose Flour Blend
2 Eggs
1 TB Crème Fraiche (or Cream Cheese)
Gluten Free Dough

Fresh Greens (Chives, Oregano, Dandelion)
1 Beaten Egg
2 TB Sunflower Oil

Optional: Coarse Salt

Combine dough ingredients with the sponge.

Beat 2 minutes on High, or until a smooth batter forms.

Transfer to a lightly greased sheet pan (bacon fat).

Top with greens. Let rise in a warm place for about an hour. Batter will spread out on it’s own.

Paint with beaten egg/oil, being careful not to deflate dough.  Sprinkle with additional salt, if desired.

Preheat oven to 375f

Bake for 25-30 min., until browned.
Interior of Gluten-free Focaccia
Leftovers make great croutons for soups and salads.