By Bruce Weinstein & Mark Scarbrough
It’s hard to be a locavore this time of year in Connecticut. We can usually last through the winter on squash and the like. But in early spring, our garden’s still fully underground. Even the two older ladies on the mountain behind us, along with most of the birds (and other better thinkers) are still in Florida.
But there are ways to eat locally even in the late winter and early spring. The Jasmins, a family down the road and around the valley bend from us, raise chickens. No, not certified organic; but the chickens do get free run of a large yard on sunny days—when they have to scurry out of the way to avoid the kids on bikes peeling down the rutted driveway. The Jasmins’ daughter Ashley shares table scraps with the chickens, along with seed and hay. The hens roost in wide nests set along one wall of a heated barn. (It’s lit in there, too, because the layers won’t comply in the New England winters without a little sun-lamp treatment.)
The meat is definitely less fatty, leaner for sure—and more tasty. More like, well, “chicken,” with a slight, sweet, musky tang of game.
We pack up the dog and drive down the road to the Jasmins’ farm. We serve their chicken up in hearty dishes, roasts and sautés.
If you’re interested in purchasing fresh chicken just down the road from your home visit localharvest.org to find local farms. Then hunker down until spring’s in full swing with our roasted chicken drumsticks or this surprisingly light chicken sauté with a simple cream sauce.