Just One Chicken
I love when you all text, email, or ask me questions in person. You give me great ideas for writing blogs! There’s one question, though, that has stumped me in person and I’ve been giving it a great deal of thought.
How much should I buy to feed my family?
Y’all – this is such a great question. There are so many answers to it, and not one of them will be the right answer for everyone. I have, however, come up with a minimum suggested order (if you will).
One whole chicken and two dozen eggs per month. That’s it.
First - everyone has different cooking and eating habits. Some of you have several children at home, and some of you don’t. Some of you may even regularly feed someone like Todd, who views any dish I make for the family as a personal challenge. But a whole chicken is a great start to feed various-sized families one meal.
Second, and importantly, making a complete change from grocery store shopping to sourcing food locally is a hard sell. The grocery store has EVERYTHING. It is convenient, familiar, and has things like coupon offers and tasters and wine. I go in person or place an order online weekly! I have a path that I follow when I’m in the store, and a pretty well-established online list that fits most of my favorite meals. As much as I despised schedules and routines in my 20s (OH I AM SO TIED DOWN THE WORLD IS SO BORING AND UNFAIR), they are the only thing keeping me sane in my 30s!
(Speaking of ordering online, don’t forget about our online store here!)
But – you can change one meal a month! Just one meal. You don’t need to switch from a routine that works for you to buying 100% locally pasture-raised food overnight. I will admit – it’s more work! It takes more planning! For the most part, however, I think a person can carve out one day a month where we find ourselves: 1) at home; 2) with our family; 3) slowing down; and 4) hungry for something delicious (it is important for my line of work that you enjoy eating).
For one meal a month, maybe on a Sunday afternoon if that tends to be a slower day for you, you can roast a whole chicken. A 4lb chicken takes about 90 minutes at 350 degrees in the oven – which in the age of InstantPots and home delivery meal kits sounds like FOREVER. But roasting a whole chicken is easy and mostly hands-off, so you can do other things around the house or prepare fancy sides (if you want). The BEST part about roasting a whole chicken is that your home smells like Thanksgiving!
And for this meal, since it’s just once a month, promise me that you’ll make sides that you enjoy. Don’t worry about having the right kind of starch or having enough vegetables. I usually make sides that I know at least one kid will eat – our go-to sides are crescent rolls, frozen broccoli, and frozen sweet potato fries. There’s nothing particularly fancy about the meal, it’s just food that we all enjoy. Mostly I put out sides that will bring my kids to the table with their good moods intact so that we can all enjoy each other and the meal.
Lastly – and perhaps MOST importantly - the environmental benefit of just one chicken per customer per month is phenomenal! That’s one less chicken raised in confinement. That’s one more chicken put out on pasture where it moves freely, eats grass and bugs, fertilizes the soil, and actually helps to rejuvenate the land. If 50 people ordered one chicken per month from us – that’s 600 chickens per year moving over our pastures! Pasture-raised chicken is better for you AND better for the planet. Come to our next farm tour to ask us how it all works.
Tell me your favorite way to cook a whole chicken in the comments below, and come back next time to read why just 2 dozen pasture-raised eggs per month is a great order!