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Canaan Diary: Dorkings for Dinner

When we found out that Spencer and Sabrina Powers were breeding free-range chickens in addition to selling fresh eggs at Bear Knoll Farm in Canaan, we hustled right over to have a chat and purchase some of their broilers. They raise fast-growing Cornish Crosses in mobile enclosures that they displace every two days, so that their chickens have a fresh stretch of grass — and its associated bugs — to feed upon. Allowing the hens and roosters to live outside and move around results in the best tasting chicken that we have had in a while.

That was last year. This year we went one better and asked the Powers to raise Dorkings for us — a heritage breed of chicken that routinely wins chicken taste competitions. (Take my word on this. I could give you multiple links, but, really, you have better things to do.) Dorkings are like Cornish Crosses that have had a real education: they produce meat with a deep, more complex flavor and a finer texture than any chickens that we have ever had.

Dorkings.JPG

From now on, we’ll have the Powers raise about twenty Dorkings for us each summer. Spencer and Sabrina will slaughter them humanely in the fall, freeze them rapidly, and we’ll enjoy them for the rest of the year.

Addendum: Rather than paying a farmer, a distributor and a supermarket for our chicken, we go straight to the source. The Powers family makes a better living, and we eat better chickens. We do the same once a year with beef and maple syrup, and in Europe we buy olive oil and wine directly from producers.

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