Caledonia Farm Chicken
Just got back from a run to Caledonia Farm in Barre, MA. I picked up 20 broilers and left behind an order for beef brisket. They also have eggs, but they'd sold out that morning at the farmers market.
The broilers are spectacular - 6-8 lbs, flash-frozen. The farm is pesticide free, sustainable style (eatwild.com is where I found them). I got way too much chicken, frankly. Expected them to be smaller. Now I've got an entire freezer stacked full and *taped shut* to keep the chickens inside and several more on ice outside the freezer until my friends all arrive back home to surprise chickens tomorrow.
Check 'em out at http://www.caledoniafarm.com/ - you can go out to Barre and pick up regularly, or you can place an order and wait til the next Boston delivery date in October...the owner is a nice guy and it's a lovely, if somewhat long, drive out there, with lots of farm stands along the way (got some amazing cherries and strawberries).
OK, first report on the cooked broilers.
1. Cover the breast meat with foil. The cooking differential you see with regular chickens is exacerbated with the grassfed chicken.
2. The meat is significantly chewier. Not tough, but chewy. I thought it was amazing, juicy and full of deep chicken flavor - kind of like the flavor they inject into supermarket chickens, but real.
3. Significant total increases in untrimmed fat. Next time I'll trim the bird better, as that created a ton of spattering and almost-grease-fire situations. We're used to more fat inside the bird and less fat outside the bird.
However, the overall report is: tasted as close to Hammersly as ever achieved at home. Cooked with some fresh-picked thyme, salt, and half a red onion stuffed into the bird, a rub of olive oil and salt on the outside, at 450 for 45 minutes and 350 for 45 minutes. The immediate after-dinner question was "how many more of these do you have?"
Thanks for the info. If you need some freezer space, I would happily buy a couple of birds from you! Do you have details on the Boston delivery and ordering in October? I wouldn't want to waste their time with questions if you have the gyst of the process - prepurchasing birds and beef...where the delivery is etc.
Great site and great farm. I would happily order some of their products, but freezer space is minimal. Is everything flash frozen?
I emailed them yesterday and got this response:
Yes, we are running into the metro-Boston area- our last delivery was 6-28 and our next is expected in October. We do tend to run low on beef because it is always in high demand, despite our many expansions, but we hope to have extra this fall/winter (another expansion). We do have extra capacity for more customers who order chicken; we need reservations by early August to secure availability for our last lot in 2008. A $2/bird refundable deposit secures your reservation and you can take delivery through the club. Current pricing on 5 1/2 to 7 1/2 lb whole frozen broilers is $3.70/lb and club members share a $65 fuel/delivery charge (or less than $10 per member in most cases). We deliver into Newton which is close to many major routes and public transit for no-car families. If your are interested, you may remit your deposit and order to Caledonia Farm, 167 Grogan Rd., Barre, MA 01005.
Thank you for your inquiry and support !