Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Easy Meringues

Perfect meringues depend on totally yolk-free whites. The seemingly fussy step of separating each egg into a small bowl before combining them guarantees yolk-free whites for bakeshop-quality meringues every time. These crispy little morsels travel well and make great gifts too. Makes about 80 cookies.


3 large Organic egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup Organic sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 Separate one egg at a time into a small bowl, letting the white fall into the bowl and discarding the yolk. If there’s any trace of yolk in the white, discard the white and start over. If it’s yolk-free, transfer to a clean medium mixing bowl. Repeat with the remaining 2 eggs.

 Add cream of tartar to the whites and beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Slowly add sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, until all the sugar has been added. Continue beating until the whites are stiff and glossy. Add vanilla and beat for 30 seconds more.

Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 200°F. 

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place a small amount of the meringue under each corner of the paper to secure it to the pan. 

Fill a 1-quart sealable plastic bag with the meringue. Seal the bag almost completely, leaving a small opening for air to escape from the top as you squeeze. Snip off one corner of the bag with scissors, making a 3/4-inch-wide opening. Fold the top of the bag over a few times, then gently push the meringue down to the snipped corner. Working with the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet, pipe the meringue into 1 1/2-inch-diameter cookies, spacing them about 1/2 inch apart. 

Bake the cookies until dry and crisp throughout, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer the pans to wire racks and let the cookies cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Simple Slow Cooker Coq Au Vin


Serves 4 to 6
After you cut up your chicken into 8 pieces, boil the neck, back & wing tips to make the chicken broth. Serve with a crusty baguette or couscous.
  • 1 organic chicken, cut into 8 pieces 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 slices bacon, roughly chopped (used Deep Roots Farm pork belly, cured & smoked)    
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 (12-ounce) package white mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth      
  • 1 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 large sprigs fresh thyme
Arrange chicken on a large sheet of waxed paper. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Lightly coat chicken all over with flour and set aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until golden and just crisp, 3 minutes. Drain bacon on paper towels and set aside. Discard drippings and wipe out skillet. Melt 2 tablespoons butter (or heat oil, if using) in same skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned all over, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a large plate as done and set aside.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter or oil in same skillet. Add mushrooms and cook until edges begin to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add carrots, onions, garlic and salt and cook until vegetables just begin to soften. Transfer vegetables and broth to crock pot. Arrange chicken on top. Sprinkle bacon over chicken. Add wine and thyme sprigs. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. Season with salt and pepper, then serve.

**Recipe adapted from Whole Foods Market

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Chicken Liver Pâté

If you want, you can soak the chicken livers in milk for an hour or so before proceeding with the recipe. Soaking the livers in milk will take a bit of the edge off the liver and make them taste more mild. This recipe makes a lot. You can easily halve it.

6 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1/3 cup minced shallot
1 pound chicken livers
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp capers
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup cream

1 Trim any fat or connective tissue from the livers and discard.
2 Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large sauté pan on medium heat and let the butter brown, about 3-5 minutes. Do not let it burn.
3 Add the shallots and sauté for 1 minute. Add the livers. Be sure to space them well in the pan so they can brown more easily. Sprinkle salt over the livers. Flip the livers when one side browns, about 2 minutes. Once the livers have browned, add the capers, thyme, garlic, and anchovy paste if using, and sauté another minute.
4 Take the pan off the heat and add the brandy. (Be careful when you return it to the heat, as it could flame up, especially if you are using a gas range. If it does, cover the pan for a moment.) Turn the heat to high and boil down the brandy to the consistency of syrup, about 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat and allow the mixture to cool.
5 Put the mixture into a food processor or blender and pulse a few times to combine. Add the remaining butter and the cream and purée. The mixture will look a little loose, but it will firm up in the fridge. Pack the pâté into ramekins or a small bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before using.

*The pâté will last a week or so in the fridge. If you want to preserve it for up to a month, pour a little melted lard or clarified putter on top to seal. Each time you dip into the pâté, you will need to reseal the top to preserve it.

**Serve spread on crackers or baguette slices.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Tuesday Fried Chicken

From the Lee Brothers Southern Cookbook.

Serves 4 people.
3 cups of peanut oil
All-purpose fry dredge (1/2 c. flour, 3 TB cornmeal, 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper)
3 pounds of legs and thighs

1. Pre-heat oven to 250.  Pour the oil into a 12-inch skillet and heat at med-high until temperature reaches 325 degrees.  Use a candy thermometer to help maintain that temp through-out frying. 

2.  Mix dredge in medium-size bowl and dip each piece of chicken thoroughly.  Shake off excess dredge.

3.    Using tongs, transfer half of the chicken pieces to skillet, skin side down, and cover.  Fry the chicken, checking temperature and adjusting if necessary, until chicken is golden brown, about 6 minutes.  Uncover the skillet and turn the chicken pieces with the tongs and fry for 6 more minutes until golden brown.  Turn pieces and fry for 3 minutes, turn again and fry for three minutes more. 

4.  With tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and place in the oven to warm.  Repeat with remaining chicken pieces. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Deviled Eggs with Country Ham and Pickled Celery

While picking up your chicken, don't forget Browder's Birds organic eggs can also play a role in your summer barbecue!  We love the addition of country ham for a true southern presentation of deviled eggs. 

 Recipe adapted from Joe Schafer, King + Duke, Atlanta, Ga. Makes 6 servings (12 deviled eggs).




Pickled Celery and Ham Garnish ½ cup sugar
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 small celery stalk, thinly sliced on the bias
2 thin slices country ham
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons thinly sliced chives

Deviled Eggs
6 eggs
¼ pound cooked country ham, finely chopped
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Make the garnish: In a small saucepan set over high heat, combine the sugar with the vinegar and ½ cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer and cook until the sugar dissolves. Place the celery in a small bowl, then pour the liquid over the celery. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.

2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375˚ and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the ham on the baking sheet and bake until crispy, about 10 minutes depending on the thickness of your ham. Remove the ham from the oven, cool completely on the baking sheet, then break into small pieces. Transfer the ham to a small bowl and set aside.

3. Make the eggs: An hour before the pickled celery is ready, place the eggs in a large saucepan and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat, cover and let stand for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare an ice-water bath.

4. Transfer the eggs to the ice-water bath to cool completely, then peel and cut in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and arrange the egg whites, cut side up, on a platter.

5. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the egg yolks with the ham, mayonnaise and mustard and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Using a small spoon, mound the filling into each egg-white half, dividing it evenly among the halves. (You may have some leftover filling.)

6. Drain the pickled celery, reserving 2 tablespoons of the pickling liquid. In a small bowl, combine the pickled celery with the olive oil and reserved pickling liquid. Spoon the pickled celery mixture over the eggs to taste, then sprinkle with the reserved ham bits and chives. Serve immediately.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Low Country Mustard Based BBQ Sauce (Or Newberry County BBQ Sauce) with Grilled Chicken

From Low Country of South Carolina, inland from Charleston, famous for its mustard-based BBQ sauce.  Good for grilling chicken, pork & turkey. This recipe was handed down 30 years ago from Dr. Crooks, advisor at  Furman University.

1 Browder chicken, butterflied (remove spine and neck with sharp scissors, and flatten chicken)
1 cup of butter, melted
Juice of 1 lemon
5 tablespoons yellow picnic mustard, like French's
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcesterhire sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Stir all ingredients in small saucepan over low heat until well blended. Baste chicken while on grill from time to time. Reserve a little to drizzle over chicken when ready to serve.

Yields 1 and 2/3 cups sauce.

Richard H. Crooks, M.D.
Greenville, SC 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Brick Chicken

One of the easiest ways to prepare a whole chicken for the grill is to butterfly.  Simply use poultry shears, or sharp scissors, to cut alongside both sides of the spine and remove it along with the neck.  Then your chicken can be flattened and ready to grill!  And the rest of the ingredients needed for this recipe are likely already on hand.

Serves 2 – 4
1 tbs fresh pressed garlic
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 C plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tbs finely grated lemon zest
3 tbs finely chopped fresh herbs of your choice such as chives, parsley, rosemary, etc., divided
3-1/2 lb or so butterflied chicken, preferably organic and free range
1 tbs or so flour
1 C rich chicken stock or combination of stock and dry white wine
2 tbs lemon juice

Combine the garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper, olive oil and lemon zest, and half the herbs in a small bowl. With your fingers loosen the skin over the breast and thighs and work the garlic mixture as evenly as you can under the skin. Spread any remaining over the bone side of the bird. Place chicken on a rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate for up to 3 hours.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy 12 inch skillet over high heat. Either wrap two bricks with foil or set another heavy skillet aside. Add the chicken to the skillet skin side down and place bricks or the other skillet with a few soup cans in it on top.

Reduce heat to medium and cook until the skin is beautifully golden brown and crisp, 15 – 18 minutes. Remove the top weight, turn chicken over and pour out all but a couple of tablespoons of fat. Replace the weight on top and continue to cook for another 12 – 15 minutes or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 165 degrees.

Remove chicken to a cutting board and allow it to rest for 5 – 10 minutes before carving. Meanwhile pour off all but 2 tablespoon of fat in pan, add flour and stir to make a roux. Whisk in stock and lemon juice and whisk until sauce thickens. Stir in remaining herbs and serve chicken with the pan sauce.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Spring Egg Drop Soup from Bon Appetit

A perfect day for a Spring soup with Browder's Birds Organic eggs.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 6 small spring onions, bulbs only, coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 medium spring garlic bulbs, 1-2 garlic scapes, or 2 regular garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, sliced on a diagonal 1/2-inch thick
  • 1/4 pound sugar snap peas, sliced on a diagonal 1/4-inch thick
  • 2/3 cup shelled fresh peas (from about 2/3 pound pods)
  • 2 large Organic eggs
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (or more) fresh lemon juice


Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add carrots, spring onions, and garlic and season with salt. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, 15-20 minutes.

Add broth and bring to a boil. Add asparagus, sugar snap peas, and peas and cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. 

Meanwhile, beat eggs in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon Parmesan, a pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon water.

Reduce heat to low and stir basil and mint into soup. Drizzle in egg mixture in 4 or 5 spots around pot. Let stand for 1 minute so egg can set, then gently stir in 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice. Season soup with salt and more lemon juice, if desired. Serve soup topped with more Parmesan.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Simple Roast Chicken Cooked at High Heat

A cold day calls for a really hot oven to help keep you toasty and warm. And what sounds better than a Roast Chicken for dinner?

Adapted from Roasting: A Simple Art (William Morrow, 1995)

Serves 2 to 4

5- to 6-pound chicken at room temperature, wing tips removed
1 lemon, halved
4 whole garlic cloves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup chicken stock, water, fruit juice, or wine for optional deglazing

1. Place rack on second level from bottom of oven. Heat oven to 500°F (or for convection, reduce to 450°F).

2. Remove the fat from the tail and crop end of the chicken. Freeze the neck for stock.

3. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the lemon, garlic, and butter, if using. Season the cavity and skin with salt and pepper.

4. Place the chicken in a 12 x 8 x 1 1/2-inch roasting pan breast side up. Put in the oven legs first and roast 50 to 60 minutes, or until the juices run clear. After the first 10 minutes, move the chicken with a wooden spoon or spatula to keep it from sticking.

5. Remove the chicken to a platter by placing a large wooden spoon into the tail end and balancing the chicken with a kitchen spoon pressed against the crop end. As you lift the chicken, carefully tilt it over the roasting pan so that all the juices run out and into the pan.

6. Optional: Pour off or spoon out excess fat from the roasting pan and put the roasting pan on top of the stove. Add the stock or other liquid and bring the contents of the pan to a boil, while scraping the bottom vigorously with a wooden spoon. Let reduce by half. Serve the sauce over the chicken or, for crisp skin, in a sauceboat.

Photo by Nicole Franzen

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Chicken Cacciatore

January is the perfect month to make this hearty, Italian chicken dish. Hopefully you still have some canned heirloom tomatoes left in your pantry and a Browder's Bird in the freezer to really make it special!

Chicken Cacciatore
Serves 4

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 3 to 4 pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1 cup white wine
1 28-ounce can peeled whole tomatoes
1 large bay leaf
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups rich chicken stock

Heat half the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly colored, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, continuing to stir, for about 2 minutes more. Remove onions from pan and reserve. Add remaining oil to pan and over moderately high heat brown the chicken on all sides, about 6 minutes.

Add onions back to pan then add the wine and cook until it evaporates, about 5 minutes. Chop the tomatoes reserving the juice and add to chicken. Stir in reserved juice, bay leaf, rosemary and fennel seed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, partially cover, and simmer, gradually adding chicken stock as tomato juice evaporates, for 45 minutes until chicken is tender. Correct seasoning and stir in parsley and serve with steamed potatoes or white rice.

John Ash © 2012