My friend, Nikki Miller-Ka of Nik Snacks blog, has a $20 challenge cooking show that airs on the City of Winston-Salem’s cable channel. Nikki shops the Dixie Classic farmer’s market and finds the best produce, meat along with other items to make a complete meal for $20 (she can use “staples” from her pantry, like vinegar, flour, seasonings, etc). She challenged ME to do the same at any market I choose. Challenge accepted! So last weekend, I hit my Kernersville Farmer’s Market (located in downtown KVegas) with the hopes of finding some wonderful items to make a glorious meal that my hubby and kidlets would gobble up and never forget.
Our local market is steadily growing. It has PLENTY of jam and bread but the produce is making its way in and though it’s still not as colorful as some markets who have been going for a while, it’s definitely a great place to get some seasonal items for your table. This weekend it was full of squash, squash, zucchini, squash, beets, greens and squash. Oh and green beans, and jam and bread and eggs and meat from…Rebel Ridge Farm.
Love me some Rebel Ridge. The eggs are fabulous and farmer, Bob, has all natural chicken and lamb as well. Now, I hardly ever buy a whole roast chicken. I just don’t enjoy making it. Plus I want an “all-natural, unfooled around with” chicken and they are usually SO expensive and it’s hard to spend the money on ONE chicken. But Rebel Ridge’s chicken was $12 and I’m okay with that. Plus they told me at the market that his chicken was fantastic so I thought I’d give it a try.
Across the way, I bought some green beans from this nice man. And I didn’t write the farm down, but his green beans were perfect.
At the Crews table, I bought a .50 Texas Sweet Onion.
Next table over, I purchased 2 lbs. of baby red potatoes from James Lawson.
I also purchased some just cut, romaine lettuce and tasted some delicious roasted beets. I’d purchase beets if I weren’t the only one to eat them. I really like them on a salad with spicy pimento cheese. Try it. :)
And from my friend, Laura Devonmille, of Simplicity Homestead, I bought some radishes. She’s got way more than that. And zucchinis as big as clubs. And jam and bread!
There, that’s $20! I decided to make a roast chicken with green beans and caramelized onions and roasted potatoes. Kind of boring and pretty much a cinch. But ask my mr. foodie how often I make a roast chicken and you’ll find out that in my house, this is “special.” And it really was. The chicken was succulent and, unlike mass produced chicken, the Rebel Ridge Farm chicken’s skin was light, thin and crispy and the meat was tender and juicy (though I could’ve cut back the time…lesson learned).
I ended up saving the romaine for another meal and used the leftover green beans, onions AND the potatoes for a future salad along with the rest of the chicken that I pulled off the bone. Kind of like nicoise..yum!
So now I challenge YOU to make a meal with the major components being purchased from your local farmer’s market for $20. Are you up to it? What are your “foodie finds” at farmer’s markets?
$20 Farmer’s Market Roast Chicken with Potatoes & Green Beans w/caramelized onions
1 whole chicken
Herbs (I used lavender, rosemary, thyme)
Olive oil or butter
Rinse chicken and pat dry, generously salt and pepper the inside and out, under skin, etc., drizzle with olive oil and top with herbs.
Halve or quarter to make even in size and drizzle with olive oil and seasonings. Place in the pan with the chicken.
Roast at 375 for 1 hour, then raise the temperature to 400 and cook an additional 15 minutes until done. If you’re chicken is smaller, adjust time accordingly.
Green beans with caramelized onions
Trim green beans if needed, slice onions into thin strips. Add butter or oil to pan and saute onions slowly until caramelized. Meanwhile in a pot of boiling water, blanch your green beans for a few minutes, then remove, drain and add to the onions. Saute until they are tender crisp.
If you have leftovers, simply place your beans, remaining chicken and potatoes in a single container. When ready warm (or don’t) and top onto salad greens of your choice with a light vinaigrette, preferably one with a little lemon. And add some bacon while you’re at it–Lunch!