The Coop sells these old roosters for stew. They are scrawny old men, but they make the most flavorful broth.
I start by sweating a half onion and some roughly-chopped carrots in a hot pot with a little oil (you could also use leeks, shallots, celery, etc.). Then I brown the rooster on either side just a bit and add water, a bay leaf or two, thyme, rosemary, potatoes, and enough water to cover it all. In fact, I make a big batch with far more broth than is needed for the ingredients so I can save some of the broth for stock and still have a great stew.
I leave the pot on simmering for a couple of hours. Once the stew is golden I remove the bird, peel off the skin, and tear off whatever meat I can find. Don't expect much from this scrawny animal. The meat will not be the most tender you've ever had, but the long stewing does improve it. The point of this soup is the flavor of the broth.
So, the next time you see roosters at your local farmer's market, buy one for some heart-warming stew.
By the way -- perhaps you noticed the star in the top photo? I found a star-shaped silicone ice cube tray. I like to make chicken stock cubes ahead of time. I drop one or two into Jasper's service of soup, rice, or casserole to cool it down a little without diluting the flavor.
Monday, January 28, 2008
Posted by Adriana Velez at 7:18 PM