So, out of nowhere, Donna says, “Hey.” She was just heading down to the basement for something. She stopped. She said, “What if you took the skin off those thighs, boned them out, chopped up the meat, and added aromats and stuff and rewrapped them in the skin and roasted it all till the skin was really crispy? Wouldn’t that be good?” Then she left. Just. Left. Left me there with this idea hanging like a slow curve over home plate that is sweet to knock out of the park. Damn her! When I buy chicken parts (no, can’t always buy the best pasture-raised birds, alas), I buy thighs, because they’re the tastiest part of the chicken and have a good meat to fat ratio, perfection for what Donna just described. Using the skin as Read On »

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What follows is an example of the best of all possible processed foods. In an effort to be better connected with the food I eat, I visited the Schmidt Family Farms in Medina, Ohio. It’s managed by Susan Schmidt, whose specialty is honey. She gave me some of her good stuff and it’s the best honey I’ve ever tasted. By far. Tastes like the actual wildflowers around her home. Susan’s farm is organic. She gives Bradley Cramer, who works in a music store in Medina, a small part of it to raise chickens on during the summer. (“People don’t realize that chicken is a seasonal food,” he told me.) He keeps them in large hoop cages that he wheels around the pasture every day so they have fresh bugs and stuff to eat. He tried letting Read On »

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There are lots of ways to change the food system, and you and I aren’t likely to do it. It’s going to be our kids who do it. Two weeks ago I threw together a quick chicken curry and both the kids liked it, so I asked, “Is this a keeper?” and they nodded, chewing hungrily. So, last week, when 12-year-old James got home from school, I said, “We’re having chicken curry tonight.” He said, “Yes.” I said, “You’re going to make it.” He didn’t respond. “I’ll do all the prep and you’re going to make it.” He said, “OK.” An hour before I wanted dinner on the table, I diced an onion. I’ve already taught him how to hold a knife and halve, slice, or dice an onion; tonight I wanted him to see Read On »

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Calling for more space for caged chickens on farms, via the Daily Meal.

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The Japanese have built a robot that can butcher and debone 1500 chickens in one hour.  Watch it in action, via Eater.com.

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