Juicy Chicken Workshop, May 27
Every month we give people goodies to bring home from our free food workshops -- whether it's tea blends or spices, pickled vegetables or Irish soda bread.
For our two-year anniversary this May, things got a whole lot meatier! We gave out 23 "goodie bags" of fresh chicken breasts, legs and thighs, bones for stock, and (for a lucky few) wings for wing night. Our neighbourhood supermarket, Buy-Low Foods made the whole thing possible, by donating thirteen whole chickens for our Juicy Chicken Workshop.
Andrew Hunter, resident chef at Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House, met us with knives sharpened, and two chickens already roasted. With a down-to-earth attitude, Andrew taught us about food safety for handling raw meat, including what to do in case of an accidental cross-contamination blunder. The main takeaways? Wash your hands and tools and prep areas with soap and water, don't mix raw chicken with cooked food, and leave chicken at room temperature for no more than four hours.
One hour, and eleven chickens later, we had learned to truss poultry for roasting (the proper way and the easy way), how to break down raw chickens into eight pieces, how to debone the pieces, and how to carve roasted chickens. Andrew gave hands-on direction to everyone who wanted to practice, as well as this juicy tip for making chicken stock: Boil bones and scraps with citrus, tomatoes, or another acidic ingredient, to help draw calcium from the bones for a fortified broth. (Want more tips? Jump to our Chicken Recipe!)
Our intergenerational group sat down to a meal of the juiciest-ever roast chicken, thanks to Andrew, along with Chinese steamed chicken seasoned with five-spice and soy sauce, plus casseroles and summer salads, and a super-tasty blue corn bread made by Food Connection newcomer Jim. As we often do, we shared family recipes, and our own tricks for making the perfect chicken dish. Some of us have been coming to The Food Connection from the very beginning, and some of us were first-timers, but all of us were friends by the evening's end.
To see more photos from our Juicy Chicken workshop, click here.
It's now that time of year when barbecue and picnicking plans are in the works. We hope you'll join us on Wednesday, June 24 for our veggie burger workshop. And, if you want to invite Food Connection friends to a backyard barbecue or a picnic in the park, please share your event details with us on Facebook!