Growing season is here. Huzzah! How quickly, too, harvesting starts. I’m still planting, yet, I’m also beginning to get the last of the winter crops and some of the early spring crops. Life on an urban farm is never dull. In fact, sometimes it requires creativity so the efforts of waste-not, want-not are a doable thing.
I had in my hands the last of the winter greens: kale, mustard greens, some winter spinach. As well as some rabe from their last hurrahs. Rabe is that little flowers when the greens bolt. Totally edible and very tasty. In addition to that the herb garden was exploding with rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, and chives. I got a fresh chicken pieces from the farmer down in the lower valley and went to town.
I use my crock pot a lot. Because I’m writing or working on the farm or in the art studio more time than I’m in the kitchen, this little “cabin wench” does my bidding so I can grow food, write stories, and create art all while caring for my family. So it was natural for me to take all the fresh meat, herbs and greens and create a dish from it.
*Enough chopped, mixed fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, and chives — you choose whatever you have from your own urban farm) to cover the bottom of your crock pot. I used my large six-quart slow cooker for this recipe.
*1 large overflowing tablespoon of dijon mustard
*2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (does anyone even sell non-extra-virgin any more?)
*3 to 4 pounds of chicken (if you have a whole one, quarter it; I would also remove the skin; I used skinless, boneless thighs)
*Salt and pepper
*2 slices worth of bacon, diced
*one large onion (I would have preferred red; but, the red wasn’t ready yet — had to use last year’s frozen)
*two bunches (more than a handful is a bunch) kale, collard or mustard greens, stemmed and torn
2 tablespoons of corn starch, with enough water to make a paste
Rice (for serving over later)
Spray your crock pot’s bottom and side with cooking spray.
Mix the herbs, dijon mustard, and olive oil in the bottom.
Spread evenly over the bottom.
Add the chicken.
Season with salt and pepper.
Then put the greens over.
Cover with the chicken stock. Put crock lid on.
Cook on high for one hour. Stir. Cook on low for 6 more hours. If you have to “fix it and forget it” don’t worry about the cooking on high for one hour. I did that because I had frozen my chicken.
Thirty minutes before serving, make a cornstarch paste with a little bit water to make a thickening paste. (A good cheat for this is you could throw in a can of cream of chicken soup…but I was trying to keep it to things found on the farm….) Put in the paste and stir until smooth. Start your rice cooker.
Serve the Urban Farm Herbed Chicken and Greens over the rice. Very yummy. This should feed about 4 very hungry urban farmers.
Let me know if you try this, and how it works out for you.