Where my real food journey began, on a farm! This past week I was thrilled to make a trip out to one of my favorite farms, Thames Farm in Lancaster, SC, to film cooking segments for the CN2 Today Show.

Born and raised on a farm in South Africa, farmers who are striving to raise food, the way food should be raised, have a special place in my heart. To be farmer truly is a labor of love, at mercy of the elements and mass factory farming squeezing the bottom line.

One only has to look at the epidemic of autoimmune conditions in the USA, the connection to the source is obvious, most of our food is factory farm raised with a plethora of antibiotics, hormones and pesticides; the result….  a chemical laden product short changed on nutrients from the get go!

Watch me on camera in this segment, cooking with Farmer Amy’s free rage chicken and eggs. The divine bright orange color of the eggs and sublime taste of the chicken comes from chickens that are pasture raised, feasting daily on a buffet of bugs with plenty of fresh air and sunshine!

Coming up on September 8th, I will be preparing these recipes live at Farm Day, come on out to taste the amazing product, bring your family to see how food should be raised, an support your local farmer!

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Coconut Lemon Chicken Paillard with a hint of Mint

A new spin to dinner with a reverse breaded technique yielding delicate cutlets, with lemon, honey and a hint of mint.

  • Author: Carol Green
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 50
  • Yield: 8

Ingredients

4         boneless skinless Chicken Breasts

½        cup gluten free flour

¼        cup coconut flour

1         tsp Hidden Cove Lemon Seasoning or seasoning of choice

6         eggs, beaten with 2 Tbsp. water

2         tsp Dijon mustard

2         Lemons

½        stick butter

½        cup chicken broth

2         tsp raw honey

1        tsp finely chopped mint

2         tsp finely chopped parsley, more for garnish

2        tsp salt, as needed

¼       cup coconut oil, as needed, for cooking.

Instructions

  • Cut Chicken breasts on the bias 1″ apart, place on a cutting board, cover with a large heavy-duty plastic bag and pound out gently with a mallet.
  • Season and mix together the flour
  • In a separate bowl beat together eggs, water, ½ tsp sea salt, mint, parsley, and 1 tsp of lemon zest.
  • Squeeze the lemons and set aside.
  • Place a large plate or baking sheet in a warmer or low oven.
  • Heat a pan over medium high heat and add approximately 2 tsp coconut oil to coat the pan.
  • Working in batches, quickly dip the chicken breasts first in the flour, then the egg wash, and fry until golden, approximately 1 minute per side.
  • Remove to serving plate to keep warm, heat more oil and continue until all chicken is done.
  • Make the Reduction Sauce:
  • Turn heat up and add the lemon juice to pan, reduce by half.
  • Add the broth, mustard and honey, simmer a few minutes longer.
  • Beat in the butter a knob at a time until emulsified.
  • Spoon sauce over chicken pieces, serve with quinoa, mashed potato or rice and green salad.

 

Keywords: pasture raised chicken; pasture raised eggs; thames farm

The thing I love about living where I do in South Carolina, is the access to local farms and great produce.

Recently I took a trip out to Thames Farm, a delightful farm in Chester county for their monthly ‘farm day’, welcoming visitors to experience the sights, sounds and flavors of real food. A great day out for young and old, all the wonderful fares of Thames Farm are on offer, as well as produce and artisan products from local growers and vendors.

Check them out on Facebook for the next special Farm Day honoring Mother’s Day.

Thames farm art1

Dedicated to raising animals in humane ‘free range’ conditions, the story book green rolling hills of the farm are dotted with a variety of livestock. Happy, well fed Berkshire pigs stroll around the lush green pastures with fluffy lambs prancing by. Jersey cows produce rich, creamy milk fueled by plentiful grass, sunshine and clean air.

All the livestock is raised without antibiotics, steroids and hormones, and on a diet of rich lush grass, producing meat naturally higher in omega 3 and lower in potentially inflammatory omega 6.

Don’t forget about the produce! Farmer Amy also grows a variety of produce without the aid of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides; I know I want to be on her farm box list!

1Blue Wyandotte, Ameracauna, CoCo Marans, and Speckled Sussex

The clucking symphony of chickens greets me from down the hill, shades of brown, grey, black and white, the laying hens are a variety of breeds including Blue Wyandotte, Ameracauna, CoCo Marans, and Speckled Sussex.

Thames Farm pasture coops1

These happy chickens spend their days foraging in the pastures for juicy grubs and insects, with only a little supplemental non-gmo feed.

A genius method of allowing the chickens to enjoy the pasture while being safe from predators is employed, with a unique mobile chicken coop. The coop is simply lifted and moved in the pasture several times a day, allowing the chickens to enjoy fresh pasture and forage for insects and grubs, while fertilizing the soil.

As Farmer Amy says “chickens are not vegetarians”, I couldn’t agree more, and the proof is in the product! The laying chickens get to roam around the yard, all with ‘Junior’, the guard dog standing by.

1Thames Farm Eggs

The reward is truly ‘eggscellent’ eggs boasting deep yellow yolks with a rich flavor, a chef’s dream! I do love meringue, and I had great fun whipping up a Saffron Pavlova with Exotic Fruits and Orange Crème Pâtissière  as contributing  blog post, head over to  Delicious Obsessions for this fabulous recipe and technique run down.

Pavlova

Before you begin whipping up your masterpiece, how do you know if your eggs are fresh?  Newly laid eggs will have a very small air pocket usually at the flattened end of the egg. As the egg ages, moisture and carbon dioxide escape, and air enters, so the air pockets expands.

A really simple test to check the freshness of your eggs, is to place them in a glass of cold water, the fresher the egg, the heavier it will be, as the air space grows, the egg will float more. Check out this handy quick reference chart to help you decide.

Egg Freshness Chart 2

If you’ve been wondering  about the difference between all the different types of eggs available in the supermarket, here’s a quick summary, with a great info graphic (click to expand). More great information on all things eggs can be found  here at the ‘Eggcyclopedia’.

If the regular factory farmed eggs have been your usual choice, treat yourself to some pasture raised eggs, most likely the store bought eggs are already weeks old, and devoid in nutrients.

The factory farmed eggs will ‘pale’ in comparison to the pasture raised eggs, literally!

Egg Label

Graphic courtesy of the Holistic Entrepreneur Association

Enjoy!

In Health and Wellness,

Carol