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  • Laura Kahler

Guest post: K Mill Iron Ranch

Updated: Jul 16, 2021

Vendors Laura and Brad Kahler from K Mill Iron Ranch are guest blogging this week so you have all the info and ingredients you need to roast one of their locally raised broilers. Read on to hear more about their family operation.

As predominantly beef ranchers, poultry had rarely been on the menu in our house. Occasionally I had cooked up wild game birds we hunted, or cut up a cull chicken for soup. However, I had never had a reason to figure out what to do with an entire broiler chicken.

That changed a couple years ago when my husband Brad suggested we raise our own chickens. He wanted to add some variety to our meal rotations, but we both wanted to be eating chicken that we knew the diet and environment it was raised with. We wanted our meat chickens to have the same experience our layers get - our chickens are all fed a combination of corn, soybean, and minerals that we weigh and hand mix for each feeding, and they also get to enjoy kitchen leftovers like strawberry stems & watermelon rinds, and bugs they find in the grass.

Child looking down at baby chicks

Building chicken tractors to move on fresh grass was the perfect solution. Our toddler, Armin, loved raising the baby chicks, and we loved seeing the birds get moved on to fresh grass every day, feeling fresh air moving through their pen, and protected by Bruce the Goose. And as a large group of white birds, I had no emotional attachment when it came to butcher day.

White chickens in grassy field

However, after we finished our first batch I found myself with this nicely packed broiler, and no idea what to do with it. So naturally, I turned to Facebook and the ideas poured in. The one that jumped out to me was a crazy looking word: Spatchcock. I did some research and found that by simply removing the backbone and laying the bird out flat, I could turn the intimidating five pound broiler into a flat piece that I can easily fit on the grill or oven. It cooks quickly, and is then easy to cut apart and serve. Of course the recipes online are endless, but a great guide to get started on this can be found at this link:

Child smiling next to spatchcock chicken
Grilled spatchcock chicken

If you’re thinking of picking up one of our birds and giving cooking a whole chicken a try, I’d highly recommend the Spatchcock method. And in the summer, there is no better way to cook them than on the grill alongside vegetables you picked up at the farmer’s market.

Be sure to like and follow K Mill Iron Ranch on Facebook (and of course BAFM too):

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