Root Down Recipes

Pasture-raised heritage breeds need a slightly different treatment to the chicken you are used to, thanks to all their running around. The general rule is “slow and low” to bring out the full delicious flavor and tenderize the meat. 

Here are some mouthwatering ways to prepare your Root Down heritage chickens!

Click here for a printable PDF version.

Photo of Baked Chick'n from Amy Zhang

Photo of Baked Chick'n from Amy Zhang

Photo of Chicken Adobo from Gordon Clark

Nona’s Chicken

1 heritage chicken
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 sprig of rosemary, chopped
Juice of 3 lemons

Score the chicken to crisp the skin and render the fat. Scoot the chicken to one side of the pan and brown the sliced garlic, add chopped rosemary. Deglaze the pan with the juice of 3 lemons then add chicken stock made from bones 3/4 of the way up the chicken. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Add quartered boiled potatoes, as the breast cooks quicker, place on top of the legs and thighs above the liquid. Add more chicken stock as the sauce reduces to ensure the legs are cooked. Reduce the sauce by half then add butter to balance the lemon; boil lightly to emulsify the butter. If the chicken cooks through before the sauce is thick, remove the chicken and reintroduce when the sauce is done. For a stronger flavor, redo the garlic & rosemary step and add to the sauce with more lemon juice.

Ben’s Crock Chicken

1 3-4 lb. heritage chicken
1 medium onion, chopped
Juice of 2 lemons or limes
2 tbsp butter
Pinch of cayenne
½ tsp salt

Chop up a medium onion and put it in the chicken cavity. Rub that whole gorgeous chicken with about 2 tbsp butter. Then squeeze two lemons or limes all over it. Season with thyme, paprika, salt and fresh parsley. Also throw on some cayenne if you like some heat. Place in your crock pot or slow cooker for 10 hours on low or 6 hours on high. Grab a friend or two, a few forks, and you are in chicken heaven!

Chicken Adobo

1 3-4 lb. heritage chicken
1/2 cup vinegar (suggest a mix of balsamic fig and apple cider)
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 bay leaves

A good shake of smoked paprika
1 tbsp olive oil

Put the vinegar, onion, garlic, bay leaves and salt in a crock pot. Add the chicken, breast down. Sprinkle the skin with smoked paprika & drizzle with olive oil. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours until the meat is falling off the bone.

Every Day’s Summer Picnic Fried Chicken

Because nothing compares to home fried chicken!

1 heritage chicken
1/4 tsp ground pepper
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp salt
Cooking oil
1/4 cup water

Cut chicken into halves or quarters. Wash carefully & pat dry. Shake in bag with flour, salt and pepper. Place in cast iron skillet with pre-heated cooking oil and brown on all sides. Reduce heat and add butter. Cover pieces and cook for approx. 20 minutes. Turn down heat and add ¼ cup water, recover and cook for 20 minutes more on low heat or until thoroughly cooked and the water has been absorbed. Remove lid to finish. When ready to serve, turn heat back up to medium high and cook uncovered chicken for five minutes to remove excess moisture, turning occasionally. Place on paper bowl to absorb grease. Delicious hot or cold.

Root Down Farm Baked Chick’n

1 3-4 lb. heritage chicken
2 lemons, halved
2 limes, halved

2 tsp New Mexico Chile Powder
Salt and pepper

For the basting sauce
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp orange zest

2 tbsp mustard
1/4 cup tequila
3 crushed cloves
1/4 honey

To serve
Lime wedges
Flour tortillas

Rinse chicken then submerge in cold salt water for one hour, rinse again. Place in roasting pan, breast side up. Stuff the cavity with halved lemons, limes, 2 tsp New Mexico Chile Powder, salt and pepper to taste. Combine ingredients for basting sauce and blitz in a food processor. Apply enough basting sauce to coat the bird. Bake at 325 degrees in covered roasting pan for 2-3 hours, basting every hour. Cut up bird, squeeze with lime juice, serve with hot flour tortillas!

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