Diamond P Ranch Chicken

Diamond P Ranch Chicken

Jul 21

This post is way overdue, but Laura and I have been very preoccupied buying a house! We are currently in the final stages of the purchase process (which has gone on for some time, due to short sale paperwork and approvals), so we have left our blog alone for the past couple weeks.

Not too long ago, we drove to Diamond P Ranch to pick up our very first freshly-harvested chicken. (That means the chicken was killed within 24 hours!) Although this caused some consternation among our friends, we were very excited to finally find out what fresh, free-range chicken really tastes like. So here is the gourmet review:

First of all, the bird was larger than typical supermarket roasters at five pounds (without innards or neck). All this means is that Laura and I will be eating small amounts of chicken for the next month, because we salvaged a ton of cooked meat.

Secondly, the proportions of this bird were vastly different from a conventional chicken: The breast was very small, while the legs were very large. Clearly, this chicken got some serious exercise.

Despite the small size (the low ratio of white to dark meat will turn off many weight watchers), the breast meat was delectably tender and juicy with a rich earthy flavor unlike any grocery store chicken I’ve tasted. It belonged more in the duck family than that bland group of flavors we all know as chicken. Everything tastes like chicken, we say. Well, THIS is what chicken should taste like.

On the other hand, the dark meat was a bit aggressive. The flavor was gamey, more like venison or quail, but without the sweetness. It was much better to me than eating tasteless meat, but not something I would crave. Also, although the legs were large from all the running our bird had done in life, I found more cartilage than I would have preferred.

All in all, fresh chicken is worth the extra money it costs and effort it takes to get it, IF you like gamier meat. If, however, you’d rather eat meat that simply absorbs the flavors it’s cooked with and becomes a vehicle for seasoning, you’re much better off choosing supermarket chicken. Regardless of the cost, though, Laura and I are more than happy to buy fresh chicken from a local ranch, even at a much higher price, because we know that money is staying nearby, and because we eat very small portions of meat these days.

Even if chicken isn’t your thing, I hear that Diamond P Ranch is now offering Grow Your Own garden plots on their property in St. Cloud, so if you live nearby, consider dropping by for more information. Not only do you get a lot of gardening square footage, you get the expertise of some seasoned farmers. Check it out!

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