When Life Gives You Defrosted Chickens, Roast Them!

Just when I think things are going smoothly here at Two Branches Homestead, something always takes a turn….

This morning’s temperatures here in upstate NY were well below zero, in the negative 10’s range, and I have never been so thankful (I will explain later). I really dislike winter. I enjoy having 4 seasons, but winter here can feel very long and go well into spring. I will admit that I spend most of my weekend winter days curled up with a good book or cooking up a storm in the kitchen. And today was no exception, my plan was to cook a hearty meal since the brains of the Homestead and our son are up north ice fishing today to add meat to our freezers. I know that they will be cold and hungry for a hearty meal when they return home.

I scoured the internet looking at recipes and settled on chicken and biscuits. Here on the homestead we raise a batch of our own meat chickens yearly. In fact, one of our 4 freezers is generally for storing mostly chickens. Off to the chicken freezer I went to grab the main ingredient and found what could have been a devastating disaster. I unsuspectingly opened the freezer and noticed that something did not smell quite right. I did not think too much of it until I grabbed a chicken that was partially defrosted. Imagine my surprise! So now what? Remember, the brains is not here, as is usual when these things happen.

If you follow our blog regularly, you know that I have had my own adventures in homesteading such as a chicken in the garden or an escapee pig or two, and those are definitely stressful situations, but this is different because it’s an emergency. This is the moment where panic sets in, but desperately trying to stay calm at the same time in order to come up with a quick solution.

First, I identified the problem. Somehow the freezer got unplugged, it fired right back up when I plugged it in, but of course I still needed to save and relocate what I could until the freezer was cold enough again. We have three other freezers; however, we are both blessed and cursed at this very moment that they are all full, right to the top. This is when I am thankful for sub-zero temperatures today. I quickly located 2 plastic bins with lids, chucked them out in the snow, and put the mostly still frozen chickens in, and packed both the inside and outside of the bins with snow. Thank you, Mother Nature for the temporary freezer!

Unfortunately, we did not get out of this incident unscathed. There were multiple packages of ground venison on the door that did not make it, hence the smell. In addition, 4 of the 22 chickens were thawed, still very cold, but thawed. So what does one do on a cold northeast winter Saturday? Well, oven roast 4 chickens! Two are seasoned with a bbq rub, one with pepper, garlic, parsley and oregano and one with curry powder, garlic and black pepper.  We have been thinking that all need to go on a diet, so maybe this was a sign. I hope the guys like roast chicken!

Oh, and I still made the chicken and biscuits for dinner, and invested in freezer alarms, which are about $20. Well worth the investment I think, don’t you? Thanks again, Mother Nature!

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