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Our Green Circle Chicken

You may have seen Mike Rowe’s TV show Somebody’s Gotta Do It on CNN last night … with our own Ariane and a flock of chickens! Mike was interested in our new Green Circle chickens because of the way they are raised. So he and Ariane went to the farm to see how it’s done.

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This Green Circle chicken was a passion project for Ariane, who was inspired by the common sense, waste-nothing philosophy of days past, when chickens lived on vegetable scraps and roamed freely around farmyards. It’s the way her grandmother raised chickens and they were the tastiest birds around.

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Free-ranging chickens.

In that tradition and in an effort to provide truly tasty chicken, we raise our chickens on a diet of surplus vegetables and trimmings. We’re talking about actual vegetables here – collected from commercial kitchens and farmer’s markets. By saving these vegetables from their fate in a landfill and turning them into nutritious chicken feed, we raise healthier birds and contribute to a better world.

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Mike Rowe with scraps from some of our restaurant clients.

Not only are they fed well, these chickens are certified humane, making them rare birds indeed. They are air-chilled during processing, which means you get nothing but pure chicken flavor, not retained water.

Our holistic approach produces truly wholesome results. And that’s why we call it a Green Circle chicken. No waste = great taste.

Ariane & Mike Eating

Mike and Ariane enjoying a meal of chicken – what else? – in our Mennonite farmer’s home.

The Green Circle chicken is available on our website and in some retail stores. Ask for it in your local store and help us spread the word on this new kind of old-fashioned bird!

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Watch Mike Rowe Tonight!

Ariane will be on Mike Rowe’s excellent new show Somebody’s Gotta Do It tonight on CNN at 9 PM EST. Watch a little preview of what happens down on the chicken farm. And tune in for the full episode tonight!

Ariane & Mike Rowe

To get your own taste of the featured Green Circle Chicken, skip on over to our website.

And, yes, Mike is as nice as he appears to be on screen – he is a genuine guy with a big heart. Ariane had a wonderful day shooting this episode with him.

 

Save 15% Off Holiday Helpers!

While the holiday bird may take center table (ours truly are stars!), the supporting cast of savory side dishes is just as important. We’re offering some of our favorite ingredients for those dishes at 15% off this week.

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Add flavor and texture to your basic stuffing with our mushrooms or chestnuts. And don’t make a holiday feast without black truffle butter – whether under the turkey skin or in mashed potatoes, it lends a rich, earthy flavor that is completely unique.

Enrich your gravy with our duck and veal demi-glace for silky body and great depth of flavor. Green beans are a holiday standard but have you tried them sautéed in duck fat? Sublime.

Take the stress out of Thanksgiving with 15% off these holiday helpers  – but only until Sunday, November 16th at midnight EST.

And if you haven’t pre-ordered your bird, there’s still time. Click through to peruse your options – we’ve got heritage breed, organic or wild turkeys. And for those who plan a small holiday gathering, we offer bone-in turkey breast and free-range capon.

 

Countdown to Thanksgiving

With November we welcome Turkey Season!  No need to panic, we’ve got birds of all sizes and styles: organic, heritage, and wild for your Thanksgiving table.

But pre-order soon, because we will sell out! We have limited numbers of birds because we source from family farms with small flocks.

So head to dartagnan.com and bag yourself a bird. Then turn your attention to all the other details. And we know there are many.

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Foie Gras Duckspotting @ Elizabeth Restaurant

A most unusual Duckspotting comes to us from Chicago…and just in time for Halloween!

Duckspotting is snapping & sending in pics of dishes from your favorite restaurants, made with D’Artagnan ingredients! We supply restaurants all over the country & love to see what creative chefs are doing with our products. Keep sending them in!

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Where: Elizabeth Restaurant

What: Chef Iliana Regan’s Foieowl

How: Elizabeth Restaurant is at  4835 N. Western, Unit D, Chicago, IL 60625  |  for reservations, call 773-681-0651

Dining out & spot some fabulous dishes made with D’Artagnan ingredients? Snap a pic & email with the details to lilyh@dartagnan.com.

Happy Foieloween!

Or Happy Duckoween, depending on your taste. Whether you like it sweet or savory, we wish you a tasty Halloween.

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Perfect Pork Plating with Anita Lo

Chef Anita Lo of Annisa, a long-time friend of D’Artagnan, was featured on Serious Eats explaining her philosophy behind plating pork loin. Yes, it’s our Berkshire pork, but aside from that, we have a lot of respect for Chef Anita and find this a fascinating peek into the mind of a brilliant chef.

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We are not going to spoil this by trying to explain it, so  just head over to Serious Eats for the full post.

And for more Anita Lo – in action – check our video in which she and Ariane demonstrate how easy it is to sear foie gras.

FLASH SALE! Today Only!

Check the selection at dartagnan.com and save up to 40% off in our 12 hour flash sale.

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Ends October 21, 2014 at 9 PM EST. 

 

What is Barding?

Most people agree that everything tastes better with bacon. Wrapping foods in bacon is a fad with serious staying power…and deep historical roots. The technical term for wrapping food in a layer of fat to add flavor and moisture is “barding.” Bacon is commonly used because aside from its signature fat content, the flavor is sweet, salty and smoky at the same time. Perfect for imparting flavor to a lean piece of meat.

Pigeon with bacon and myrtle and wild berries

Classic bacon-wrapped items, such as rumaki (chicken liver or water chestnuts wrapped in bacon and brushed with a sweet soy glaze), angels on horseback (oysters wrapped in bacon), devils on horseback (prunes wrapped in bacon), and bacon-wrapped filet mignon, have been around for years. Veal paupiettes are another classic version of barding.

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Think beyond these old school stand-bys and try baconizing the following:

  • Fruit: dried dates, pineapple wedges, fresh figs
  • Vegetables: bundles of asparagus, green beans or green onions, mushrooms, potato wedges, spicy peppers, cherry tomatoes, avocado wedges, slices of acorn squash
  • Seafood: shrimp, scallops, thick pieces of fish, like seabass or salmon
  • Meat: pork loin, venison tenderloin, meatloaf or meatballs, hamburger sliders
  • Poultry: whole pheasants or guinea hen, bite-sized chicken pieces, bone-in turkey breast, quail
  • Other: hard-cooked eggs, rolls or bread sticks

Once your items are wrapped in bacon, you can choose to bake, broil, grill, or sauté them. If the item you are wrapping in bacon has a short cook time (e.g., a fresh fig), you will need to par-cook the bacon before using to ensure it is fully cooked when the dish is ready to eat. Cook the bacon first in a skillet or the oven until it is half-way cooked, but still pliable. Then proceed to twist, drape or wrap it around the item of your choice, and finish it in the oven, on the grill or in the pan.

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Mix things up by using a wide variety of bacon. Hickory smoked and applewood smoked both have the traditional flavors we all recognize. For something completely different, try duck bacon wrapped around dried apricots or baby bok choy. Ventrèche, or French pancetta, isn’t technically bacon because it is not smoked, but can be used in all the same ways. It is especially good wrapped around figs and blue cheese.

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This squab recipe involves plums wrapped in bacon, which is a variation we highly  recommend. And you can watch Chef Marcus Samuelsson prepare it in our video.

Thank a Farmer on World Food Day

World Food Day started on October 16, 1979, to celebrate the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 1945.

This year the UN General Assembly designated 2014 as the “International Year of Family Farming.”  They are focusing world attention on the role that family farming plays in supporting global agriculture and in eradicating hunger and poverty.

On World Food Day, we join with millions of others to salute family farmers and ranchers for the work they do. They truly are “Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth.”

World Food Day