Honey Ridge Farms is a small company in Washington state that sells artisanal honey and honey products. They are committed to creating unique specialty foods with honey from local beekeepers, and they donate some of their profits to research that promotes bee colony health (more about Honey Ridge Farms).
So I love what they stand for, and I really enjoyed putting three of their delicious, all-natural items to use in my kitchen.
The Cranberry Chutney Honey Glaze is great when used to make a dressing for greens or other salads. You could mix it with a spicy component to get a sweet sauce with a little kick; it’s also terrific simply brushed onto fish or poultry before cooking, as in the roast chicken recipe below.
Roast Chicken is one of my absolute favorite meals, and cooking the chicken atop a skillet full of vegetables is my favorite method for getting the job done. In this recipe, you gently loosen the skin of the chicken so you can rub the honey glaze over the meat, so it stays remarkably tender and gets infused with extra flavor. Then you liberally brush more glaze all over the top of the skin: the result is bird with perfect color and crisp skin. As a bonus, the fat from the chicken skin and some of the glaze drips down over the vegetables so they are slathered in tasty goodness. You can feel free to use different vegetables, but I wouldn’t skip the potatoes: they are particularly delicious when cooked this way.
Cranberry Chutney Honey Glazed Roast Chicken and Vegetables
* 1 whole chicken (approx. 3 pounds), preferably organic and free-range
* 4 tablespoons Cranberry Chutney Honey Glaze, plus more if necessary
* coarse sea salt
* freshly ground black pepper
* 4 sprigs fresh thyme
* 1 lemon, preferably a Meyer lemon, sliced in half
* 4 small red or white potatoes, cut into quarters (or use a bunch of tiny fingerling potatoes)
* 2 large carrots, peeled if not organic (otherwise scrubbed very well) and chopped (or use 6-8 small carrots, chopped)
* 6-8 jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed very well and chopped (substitute 1-2 chopped parsnips, if desired)
* 2 leeks, trimmed and cleaned very well, then chopped
* 6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced in half
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Fill your cast-iron skillet (or small roasting pan) with the vegetables and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Remove giblets from chicken and rinse very well inside and out. Pat completely dry. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the thyme and the sliced lemon. Gently slather the chutney under the skin of the chicken (and then brush on top of the skin as well). Sprinkle liberally with coarse salt and pepper.
Truss the chicken if you so desire (I am usually to lazy to do so).
3. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables breast side down. Roast for 30 minutes.
4. Turn the chicken over and brush with more of the chutney. Roast for another 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken, until it is nicely browned all over and cooked through.
5. Remove the pan from the oven and allow 15 minutes or so for the chicken to cool before serving.
The Balsamic Honey Vinegar is an award-winning product made entirely from honey (not from grapes). It’s lovely as the acid component in any and all dressings and works nicely over raw or cooked vegetables as well as with rice and all grain-based salads. I used it to enhance the syrup of the baked pears in the recipe below.
The Spiced Honey Creme is a creamed honey embellished with cinnamon and additional spices. It can be used anywhere you’d use honey: I love it in my morning tea and it’s wonderful on gluten-free or regular toast with or without a little organic butter. It’s nice when used in a small quantity in a dressing for roasted root vegetables and of course it’s a natural in any dessert recipe (like these baked pears).
Honey and Cyser Baked Pears with Spiced Honey Creme Fraiche
In this simple recipe, sweet comice pears are baked with a liquid comprised of melted butter, pear cyser, and spiced honey creme. Cyser is like Mead, a fermented honey wine with a very long history, only the honey is fermented with apple (or in this case, pear) cider. Cyser has a much more delicate flavor than typical hard cider. The one I used was from Long Island Meadery; if you can’t find cyser, substitute a fruity dessert wine appropriate for cooking (like Riesling), or use pear juice/nectar.
*3 tablespoons organic butter
*1 cup pear cyser
*1/4 cup plus 1-2 tablespoons spiced honey crème
*5 ripe (but not soft) comice pears, ends trimmed, peeled, and sliced in half
*2 tablespoons balsamic honey vinegar
*1/2 cup crème fraîche
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Combine butter, cyser, and 1/4 cup honey crème in small pot on the stove. Heat until everything is liquified.
3. Remove the core and pits from each pear with a melon baller or or a metal spoon. Place pears cut side down in a suitable sized baking dish and cover with the cyser mixture.
4. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, and then pour the liquid back from the baking pan back into a small pot on the stove.
4. Add the honey balsamic vinegar and bring the liquid to a boil. Allow to reduce by 1/2, then pour back over the pears.
5. Whip the crème fraîche with the honey creme.
6. Serve guests 2-3 pears halves, with some of the sauce poured over, and some of the whipped crème fraîche on top.
Honey Ridge Farms will give one lucky Healthy Green Kitchen reader the exact same products I used to make the recipes above. Entering the giveaway is simple: here’s what you have to do…
1. Leave me a comment letting me know about your favorite way to use honey in the kitchen.
This giveaway ends Sunday, November 14th 2010 at midnight (EST) and is only open to US residents. Winner will be chosen using random.org…thanks for entering and good luck!