What to Do with Busted Birds? Soul Food Farm's Turning Them Into Chicken Leg Confit
Vacaville pastured chicken farmer Soul Food Farm hasn't known what to do with birds damaged in processing. That means chickens who emerged from plucking machines - tumbling, dryer-like gizmos lined with rubber fingers that take the feathers off - with a severed leg or broken wing, or pierced skin. Up until now, Soul Food co-owner Alexis Koefoed had little choice but to give away the damaged birds to friends, or turn them into stock. But now, Koefoed is turning the legs (with thighs attached) from these less-than-perfect chickens into confit. Starting Nov. 11 (the drop-off day for Mission/Bernal/Potrero), they'll be available to Soul Food Farm's CSA subscribers, and to customers at Prather Ranch and Avedano's Meats.
Clucker plucker: The MD Master D plucking machine has what it calls "Velvet Touch" fingers.
Grimaud Farms in Stockton is taking care of the confit-making (it's also where the birds are processed). Grimaud packages its own line of duck confit. Soul Food Farms' chicken confit is seasoned with salt and pepper, and cooked slowly in rendered duck fat. Though they should be available through November, there may be times when they're not around (Koefoed has to collect hundreds of pounds of legs before ordering up a batch of confit). What about the non-leg portion of the chickens? Koefoed is selling breast and carcass pieces to CSA subscribers, too. Learn about becoming a CSA subscriber here.