As a child, March was a time of birth and sometimes tragedy. If the snow came when lambing was happening we would get a lot of orphans. We would “unfreeze” the lambs in our oven, my father warning us not to touch them so that our smell would not confuse the ewes. Sometimes the mother’s would accept them back sometimes not. Spring is a glorious time on the farm but to get to spring you have to brave through the feet of snow the Nor Easter’s bring. The saying about March is of coarse: “In like a lion out like a lamb.” Could not be more true.
My mother and I were always the cooking team on the farm. I was the oldest of four girls and her “sous chef”. Now we call each other and compare recipes and give tips. Recently she called and said: “I made the best rooster!” When I was up on the farm she made it for me, and goodness it was good. Rooster you ask? Well you get roosters when you have free range chickens, and we eat them one by one throughout the winter. They are gamy but extremely tasty. This dish is great because the root vegetables become seasoned with the rooster. My mother loves to use a clay pot because it adds a roasted quality to the dishes. It is the best of both world’s it makes things tender and then also lets them get a bit browned.
Rooster with Root Vegetables in Clay Pot
- 1 rooster
- 1 small turnip, cubed
- 5 medium potatoes, cubed
- 4 carrots, roughly chopped up
- kosher salt and cracked pepper
- tabs of butter
- Soak the clay pot in water for ten minutes, season vegetables and rooster.
- Place vegetables at the bottom of the clay pot with a bit of butter place the rooster on top face down and bake for 85 minutes.
- You can turn the rooster over 15 minutes before it is done so that the skin gets browned.
Correction: My mother wanted me to warn my readers that you must add the clay pot to a cold oven and then heat it up that way. Otherwise you will have a cracked clay pot!