Beer Can Chicken

It’s almost the day of the big game, you know the game where you’d rather see the commercials than the actual  football being played?  Yep it’s almost Super Bowl Sunday and why not take a break from the normal chicken wings, cock tail wieners, or chips with dip and make something that will taste great and is a great source of protein.  Today I’m sharing a recipe that many of our customers use to cook our broiler chickens, the Beer Can Chicken!  Wait, you’ve never heard of beer can chicken?  Well let me tell you what, it’s some good eating, great flavor, and you get to do something fun during the cooking, drink beer.

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There are many different variations of this recipe on the internet, so you can either use this one, try a different search for a recipe, or even use a different cooking method like a grill, smoker, or whatever suites your fancy.  Today I’m sharing a recipe that is for a baked chicken.

Here is what’s needed:

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Mix the garlic powder, seasoned salt, onion powder, dried oregano, salt, and ground black pepper in a small bowl; set aside. Pour 1/3 of one can of beer into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish. Place the open beer can in the center of the baking dish.
  3. Rinse chicken under cold running water. Discard giblets and neck from chicken; drain and pat dry. Fit whole chicken over the open beer can with the legs on the bottom. With the breast of the chicken facing you, use a paring knife to cut a small slit on each side and press the tip of each wing into the slit to encourage even cooking.
  4. Rub the prepared seasoning mixture to taste over the entire chicken. Pat the sliced green onions around the whole chicken evenly. Some will fall into the beer, that’s fine. Press the halved green onions into the top cavity of the chicken. Open the remaining beer and pour 1/2 of it into the pan under then chicken. Reserve the remaining beer.
  5. Bake the chicken in the preheated oven. After 45 minutes, pour remaining beer into the pan under the chicken. Continue baking until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 30 additional minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, near the bone should read 180 degrees F (82 degrees C). Remove the chicken from the oven and discard the beer can. Cover the chicken with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil, and allow to rest in a warm area for 10 minutes before slicing. 

Note: This recipe was a variation of one from stacycd on http://www.allrecipes.com

Please feel free to add or subtract any spices that you may or may not like, it’s totally up to your taste buds.
I hope that you’ll think of trying out this recipe either this weekend or maybe later this year when we have some chickens to sell to you.  I was at the elevator this afternoon and they were telling me to get ready to order my chicks starting in March, I love hearing those words as that means spring is on it’s way!
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The Great Debate

So I’ve been thinking, it’s near the end of January and it’s Presidential election year, and I have NO idea who to give my vote.  I see posts on social media, watch some of the nightly news, and all I see is thoughts and views from either far out Republicans or very liberal Democrats.  Where does one start to do research and find out the facts on the candidates?  I don’t want this to turn into people from the right or left bashing each other or pushing any certain side.  I guess what I’m looking for is something or be it some one in the middle of the ring.  This is a great country, but I believe we have lots of work to do to make it even better and I think we should have a new president who can do that for us.  Is that too much to ask?

Give me your thoughts, ideas, and facts that will help me choose.  What types of things do you do to pick the right person for the job?  You can comment at the bottom of this page or post on my social media pages either on Facebook or Twitter, my Twitter handle is @Randolph725  Thanks in advance for your sincere ideas and concerns!

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Buyer Beware!

 

How many of you gone in the grocery store lately and seen a label on a package of meat that says “Farm Raised”?  Did you think twice when you saw this label?  There are so many marketing ploys out there now with food labels and you really have to think twice on what you’re buying.

My favorite label is the one for free range chickens; did you know that for an animal to be considered free range it just has to have the availability to range?  You could also have a trough full of yummy corn in the barn that the livestock really enjoy!  Shocking right?  The consumer buying said animal may see the a difference in price at the cash register from $.25-.50 per pound.  That adds up fast if you’re feeding a family.

Other commonly used marketing slogans when trying to sell products in the meat case:

  • Natural – According to the USDA a product labeled “Natural” can have no artificial ingredients, coloring agents, not chemically processed, or minimally processed.  Many meats like chicken, turkey, beef, etc can be labeled with this
  • Grass Fed – unless Certified by the USDA, any animal fed grass could have the label Grass Fed on it if it was fed grass during it’s life cycle.
  • Farm Raised – All livestock sold in the grocery store are probably farm raised.  I mean seriously, how many pigs do you know raised in a town home?
  • No Hormones Added – If you didn’t know, all poultry and pork are raised with out any hormones so all poultry and pork could be labeled as “no hormones added”
  • Made in the USA – Just about all meat sold in the USA is in fact made in the USA

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Farm raised label

If you are paying more at the meat counter for any of the above claims please beware that it’s probably not necessary.  The good and bad of having great marketing campaigns out there is that we can sometime be mislead by the slogan or phrases that they give us.  If you’re ever in doubt head on over to the USDA Meat and Poultry Labeling Glossary  This will give you a good idea of what you’re seeing on your label and if it’s what you’re wanting to buy.  Another good reference is the USDA Food Labeling Fact Sheets website, it gives great insight into all things to do with food labels from allergies to safety.

The moral of my story today, beware of what you buy, but when it comes down to it, eat meat, it does the body good!

Christmas in the Country- A Lil Fun!

Greetings internet world from our little farm here in Randolph, MN!  As I get better at this whole “blogging” thing I have learned that there is a huge network of great bloggers on everything agricultural related in Minnesota and through out the United States.  As a part of this network, I decided to take part in Christmas in the Country Gift Exchange 2015.

As a part of that gift exchange, each person in that exchange buys a gift for a blogger that we are selected.  I was given Jenny Schweigert who runs a site called The Magic Farm House I found out that she enjoys cooking and decided that who wouldn’t want a cookbook full of great recipes from Minnesota?  So I decided to get her the Minnesota Hotdish cookbook.  I hope she enjoys the recipes in it and has fun cooking them for her family.

The best part about being in this gift exchange was receiving a package from a Rebekah Gustafson in Wisconsin.  It was a rather large package and I was pretty excited to open it up and see what was inside!  This is what I found!

20151215_162143Merry Christmas to me!  What a great box full of goodies; from the nice tape measure, fun new games (Farkle and For Get It) which got played a lot during family Christmas get together, the toy John Deere tractor, large beer mug, and last but definitely not least, the thermal socks.  Now for those of you that know me well can get a good chuckle out of the socks.  Although my prosthetic feet and legs may get cold, I really can’t feel it, so it really made me laugh when I saw them in the box.  Rebekah, I hope you don’t mind me re-gifting these socks to my dad who may get a little more use out of them?!

Thank you Rebekah for the great and thoughtful gifts; I look forward to keeping up with your blog Cooped Up Creativity and finding out more about your family, and farm.  What a great way this exchange has been to find new “friends” via the internet and share the Christmas spirit with others across the U.S.A.

A great big thank you to the Lara Duban from My Other Exciting Self who does a great job coordinating Christmas in the Country.  #CITC2015

I look forward to doing this again next year and encourage others to try it for themselves.

Have a great day,

Brian – Lil Ass Farm

 

 

Open Season on Poultry

Happy December everyone!  Here in Minnesota we have just gotten done battling our first winter storm of the year, OK battle might be a bit strong, but we got some snow.  Now when you think winter the idea of showing poultry doesn’t usually come to mind, but today the state of Minnesota decided that poultry will be able to be exhibited again at our local county fairs and state fair.  This is a great gain in the poultry industry as last year there were no poultry exhibits at the fairs because of the break of Avian Influenza.

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Now I’m very excited to hear that there will be chickens, ducks, and turkey’s shown at the county fairs again, but I think the poultry industry has some things to remember and learn from last year and years past.  When I was working in Extension for Sibley County and attended a livestock seminar at the University of Minnesota I heard many horror stories from the outbreak.  The biggest thing I learned was that if you see a problem, report it!  The first sign of Avian Flu brought about insecure employees not knowing exactly what to do.  Their first step should have been to contact their flock veterinarian and if the signs pointed to more than just a few sick birds, get help ASAP.  There needs to be blood tests performed immediately and in some cases there needs to be effective testing done on the carcass of the birds.  I know that this is not what farmers want to do, unnecessary death of birds, but to figure out the true culprit of what is making their flock sick, it may come to that.

I saw so many pictures and figures of birds that were killed by the Avian Influenza infection and only one word sums it up completely, sad.  The number of birds lost to this disease brought about changes in ecosystems where there were mass burials and also brought about large amounts of labor needed to dispose of the bodies.  The labor force that was brought in to dispose and clean the barns also had a tough time staying “clean” or keeping good bio security.  When you bring in different people, staying at various hotels, all in a small town, it makes it very tough to keep vehicles “clean” and to not bring about disease transmission.

All of this cleanliness and bio security has to be in place at the fairs as well.  When birds are brought for exhibition they need to be disease free and there should be no exceptions.

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I’m a huge supporter of the poultry industry and exhibiting livestock, but it there needs to be guidelines in place for the industry so that we don’t have the same disaster we had in the spring/summer of 2015.

Kudos to the industry so far for keeping the barns and flocks clean!  Let’s keep up that hard work and determination to provide healthy meat for our consumers, because in the end that’s what we’re here for, to provide and feed the world.

In Need During a Season of Giving

Hello friends, family, and internet world!  As we near the beginning of the holiday season I have a wish to be granted.  Many of you know I’ve gone through a lot since 2008 when I came down with GBS.  Since then I’ve been through many ups and downs with my wife and family.  In 2013 I was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease, which means that my kidney’s were no longer working properly.  I’ve been on dialysis ever since, going three times per week for on average four hours per day.  It has prevented me from having a full-time job and some days I get really tired, worn out, and get head aches.  This past week I started work up for a kidney transplant at U of MN Medical Center – Fairview in Minneapolis/St. Paul.  I was surprised to hear from my team of doctors and workers up there that I should start looking for a living donor!  That will be my best chance at getting a kidney transplant as waiting for a deceased donor can be a long wait and with my difficult case a living donor is a much better option.

If you are interested in learning more about being a donor please go take a look at U of MN Medical Center’s website U of MN Donor page  This will be a great place to find information on transplants and organ donation.  If you feel so inclined and want to start the process of possibly giving up a kidney (you only need one anyways 😏) you can start the process by going to Living Donor Page  I would forever be in debt to you and would love having the chance to be able to live more of a “normal” life again!

I know that giving a kidney isn’t possible or not for everyone, but if you could PLEASE share my blog post and story on social media I’d really appreciate it.

I thank you for your time and consideration and THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU in advance!

Sincerely,

Brian

Bountiful Harvest

As I try to weed through all of the blog posts, social media rants, and issues with Subway restaurants newest take on antibiotics and not using meat from animals treated with antibiotics I have come to some realizations.

First as a nation we are very lucky to have the choice of when, where, and who we want to buy our food from.  If I want to buy all organic foods I have that choice, gluten-free – yes, locally raised vegetables – you bet.  There are countless different grocery stores, markets, CSA’s, farms, etc that we can choose to buy our food from.  Now some of these options cost more than others and that price simply takes certain customers out of the equation.  Either way there are many different markets for us to get our groceries and meals.

This year through out Minnesota we have been very lucky with our growing season and harvest.  The fall harvest of corn and soybeans has been great with perfect weather conditions leading to great yields and there for providing us with an over abundance of materials for the consumer.  The biggest draw back with this large harvest and increased yields leads to a supply and demand issue.  Too much supply leads to a low demand and gives us lower prices (thanks to my Macro and Micro Economics professors at South Dakota State University that engraved this in my head).  Hopefully the abundance will lead to new opportunities to export our grains to other countries.

Now back to the main issue for me; if Subway wants to not buy meat from farmers that raise their livestock using antibiotics I take offense and it’s also a bit misleading.  Farmers and ranchers use antibiotics to treat and prevent disease in livestock and lets them eat and utilize feed better.  Also ALL meat sold in the U.S. is technically antibiotic free as there are withdrawals on livestock antibiotics before they can be sold to harvest.  What I believe Subway is trying to say is that they don’t plan on buying meat from farmers who have used any antibiotics on their animals.  Although some farmers choose that way of tending to their livestock the majority of commercial farmers do use them and for good reasons

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I just find it hard to support a company that doesn’t support your average farm; it doesn’t matter if it’s Chipotle, Panera Bread, Subway, or what ever the given chain might be.  I

With that said, we all have a need for sustenance, no matter what you want to eat we are blessed to live in a nation where we do have choice.  Count your blessings and be thankful for the bountiful harvest that we’ve had in 2015 and think of those in other places who are not so lucky.  When it all comes down to it we are very lucky to have what we need.

Please consider following this blog and leaving a comment, I’m interested in hearing from other people on what they feel on this subject and everything else to do with agriculture.

Thanks,

Brian