Monday, June 14, 2010

Labrador tea roasted hutterite hens

I was recently at Stacey's the local butcher shop in Whitehorse rummaging around when I spotted a chicken labeled "specialty chicken". When asked what kind of chicken it was, I was told it was a hutteritte raised free range chicken. He gave me one to try at the lodge, so I began thinking how I was going to cook it. Brine, roast the breasts on the bone, sous vide the legs and crisp them up in chicken fat is what I was thinking. Liver and giblet gravy with wild sage....Hell ya! Now to the brine.

Wild Labrador tea is up everywhere out here and is flowering this time of year. Seeing as I love the flavor so much, I thought I would make a Labrador tea brine for the chicken. Holy Sh#$ is all I have to say! Why didn't I think of this earlier? Anyways, here's what I ended up doing. Recipe as follows...

Labrador Tea Roasted Hutterite Hen

The brine:
  • 4 liters water
  • 225g kosher salt
  • 125g sugar
  • 3 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 8 bay leafs
  • 1 big hand full dried Labrador tea leave
  • 1 garlic head cut in half

Bring all ingredients to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes to infuse, cool down completely. (can be done up to a week in advance)

When the brine is ice cold. You can put the chicken in. Use a weight to keep it submerged if necessary. The chicken will need to be in the brine for approx 12-15 hours (this was a 6 pound bird) When out of the brine pat dry all around and air dry in the fridge preferably overnight to form a pellical and insure good browning in oven. I roasted the breast on the bone in a roasting pan on a rack. Under the rack I poured in white wine and threw in another handful of Labrador leaves to get some vapour action from underneath the breast. I sous vide the legs at 160f for 10 hours then rubbed them with beer mustard, wild sage and buttery bread crumbs and crusted them up in a 400f oven for 15 minutes. Giblet and liver gravy.....Potato gratin, and chicken fried carrots.. The chicken was moist and had a real "chicken" kick to it. Hutterite chicken is definitely worth seeking out!

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