Not your Grandma’s Chicken, but Close

Listening to folks reminisce on food memories, often brings up stories of wringing chicken necks, chopping blocks, and feather plucking before a Sunday dinner of fried chicken or chicken and dumplin’s. Some folks will never forget the horrors and smells of home processing nor will they forget the taste of their Grandma’s recipes derived from that morning’s harvest. Many of those folks discuss their displeasure in trying to recreate those delicious recipes with today’s store bought chickens.

Pastured poultry offers the flavors that transport you back to that Sunday dinner table by allowing chickens to graze and forage naturally. Starting like all day-old chicks in a brooder, chicks are quickly transitioned outdoors to chicken tractors, or moveable pens, that are moved daily to a fresh source of forage. With grain supplements, the chickens are ready to harvest in six to eight weeks.

The Farm at Hindman Settlement School just finished our first rotation of pastured poultry and processed 127 whole chickens. These chickens were fed a non-GMO feed and in 7 weeks, produced an average 4.5-pound carcass. These whole chickens have been sold locally and used in various events on campus. Recently, these chickens were featured at Dumplin’s & Dancin’ in Crystal Wilkinson’s grandmother’s recipe. During Crystal’s dumplin’s class, she talked of those stories of the chicken killing and dumplin’ making with her grandmother Christine, as her picture set on the counter and her dress hanging in the corner. We truly were transported back in time reminiscing of those great made-from-scratch meals of yesteryear.

For more information on our Foodways program or to purchase some of our “Not Your Grandma’s Chickens, But Close”, call Jason Brashear at 606-785-5475 or email at