As you know, our family is subject to a small flock of hens in our backyard. And while I sit here eating my sliced bananas with creamy Brown Cow yogurt covered in my own crunchy maple granola… (This makes me think of “The Truman show” where Truman’s wife was always plugging products while she was talking to him.)… I will share a chicken quirk. See if you can spot it…
No? You need another look? Well here then…
No, the chicken on the right is not wagging her tail. Hens do not wag their tails. Not even when they are happy, like now when they are eating. They make little cooing noises when they are happy, scratching around in the straw or grass looking for juicy bugs.
One of the younger chicks that my son was raising before he abandoned us yet again, has a lefty tail. We noticed it when she was a chicklett, but thought she would outgrow it. But now she is almost old enough, if not old enough, to be laying eggs and her tail sticks so far left that I am surprised she doesn’t spin in circles when she tries to fly across the yard! Which, by the way, she does every morning at breakfast time.
She is a brown Leghorn. Which is funny because, as any of you would know that remember Mr. Foghorn, Leghorn are white. Oh, and they have nervous dispositions. Which is why we called our white, straight tailed hen Nervous Nellie. (see her below?)
Nellie, nervous as she is, is our best layer, giving us nice large white eggs almost every day of the year. But Gretel, which is, if I remember correctly, the name of our Brown Leghorn, has such a crooked tail I wonder if she will be able to lay. Will they come out sideways? Or odd-shaped?
I figure she will be able to lay some how. After all, she umm…(poops) just fine. And that’s the same place the egg comes out of. Sorry to gross you out. Luckily I am done with my yogurty bowl of happiness.
The two new girls, Gretel and ‘Lana, should just be about egg laying age. But it is also the time when hens slow down in their egg laying production. So I am not sure if we might not get one or two eggs from these teenagers before they stop altogether. I have a couple of hens that have hardly laid eggs at all this year. I think its time for them to, as Chicken Run would put it, “Go on holiday”.
But you have been patient with me so far and I want to reward you. I am going to give you a recipe for some of the best chicken ever to come out of an oven. I am sorry my recipes do not have a print option. I don’t know how to get that. You would have to either just remember to come to this site or copy and paste it into a document to store in your recipe file on your hard drive. What do you mean you don’t have a recipe file?! I just…I can’t…process…
HONEY BAKED CHICKEN
1 chicken* cup up into serving pieces.
1/2 cup flour mixed with 1 tsp salt and some pepper
1/2 cup melted butter**, divided (means you use some, then use some more)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tsp. soy sauce
Put your salty flour in a bag, add chicken pieces and shake, like those old shake and bake commercials. Take a 9 x 13 baking pan and, if you are wise, line it with aluminum foil. Take your ghostly white floury chicken pieces and lay them neatly in your pan. Now pour half the butter over them. You might want to turn the pieces a bit to get more butter all around, but they do not have to be drenched in it.
Pop uncovered into a 350 preheated oven (this is why you should read a recipe through before starting it, you wouldn’t have known to preheat the oven.) Bake for about 30 minutes.
Now mix the remaining ingredients, which means re-melting the remaining 1/4 cup of butter, then whisking it in all together. Pour over the chicken. I usually pour about 1/2 over, bake about 20 minutes, pour over the rest and bake another 10-15 minutes, or until it is done. If you are lucky, you can lift the foil right out of the pan and the pan will be clean-O! Unless the foil had a hole mysteriously poked into it.
This dish is deliciously decadent and sweet for a main dish. Which is why I want to make it every week but only make it once or twice a year. Even left overs, if you have them, are amazing.
*Look for air-chilled chickens when you can get them. Such a difference in flavor. They actually have some. Of course there is a difference in price too. So I buy less chicken, but make sure it is air-chilled. For information on what the heck an air-chilled chicken is, the first place I heard about it was at…
I have had Marys Chicken and Smart Chicken, both air-chilled. Also Rosies chicken company has some air-chilled chicken, but it has to be marked or it is regular watery chicken.
** Remember that a half cup of butter is one cube. So 1/4 cup of butter, which is 4 Tbsp, is half a cube and, by the way, 2 oz. Got it?
So there, a chicken tale, a recipe and a field trip to a chicken farm. What more could you ask for from a post? (No, don’t answer that.)