This Bird's Got Soul

I am interrupting my European travel journal this week to interject a few words about the best darn chickens I have ever tasted. Now many of you might naively believe, as I once did, that all chickens are created equal and that they all taste the same, but you must trust me when I say that you are dead wrong. I first stumbled upon Soul Food Farm last year when I bought a dozen of their eggs at my neighborhood farmer's market. I had never seen nor tasted eggs like this before. They were simply stunning in their box, their hues ranging from pinkish-brown to turquoise blue.

Their true beauty was revealed, however, once I cracked open their granite hard shells and slid a few of them into a bowl. The whites were perfectly translucent, like viscous water. The yolks fluoresced like day glow and stood so tall, they resembled ping pong balls the color of the rising sun, bobbing in the bowl. Once cooked, their flavor was rich and luscious – scrambling, poaching, hard boiling, soft boiling, it didn't matter, these eggs were the nonpareil.

When I heard recently that Soul Food Farm was starting a monthly CSA in San Francisco, where they would provide eggs, chickens and more, I jumped at the opportunity to join. I was a bit wary upon placing my first order, as chickens cost $6.50 a pound and eggs $6.50 a dozen. Could I justify buying $25.00 chickens or eggs that cost more than twice those that I buy at the grocery store? When I did the math, I realized that breakfast made from a couple of eggs costs about $1.00 (or less than I probably lose down the black hole in my sofa every day,) but it was the pricey chickens that really concerned me. From an ethical standpoint I felt justified in spending the money. Soul Food Farm chickens are pasture raised, eating grass and bugs like chickens are supposed to and roaming freely on one of the most beautiful landscapes imaginable. Cheesy as it sounds, these chickens seem happy and they are not pumped up with drugs or hormones, nor crammed into tight, dark spaces like so many factory farmed chickens.

Then, last month, I tasted one of these divine birds for the first time. I wanted to prepare it as simply as possible so as not to mask its natural flavor. I patted it dry, generously seasoned it with salt and pepper and threw it into a hot oven with a skeptical snicker, "OK $25.00 chicken, show me what you've got!" An hour later that bird had me silenced. Never had I tasted a chicken so succulent, so moist, so incredibly delicious. It's like I had never really tasted chicken before. Tonight I made my second Soul Food chicken and I have to say, it was better than the first. It's hard to imagine that something so typically bland, neutral and uninteresting could taste this way. This is a bird that requires no sauce, no fancy preparations, no adornment of any kind. In fact, to do anything more to these chickens than a quick showering of salt and pepper would be blasphemous and excessive.

But don't just take my word for it. If you ever get the chance to try such a chicken let me tell you, unequivocally, that it is worth every penny. Not only for the peace of mind you get knowing that your chicken lived a good life, or because it is important to contribute to the livelihood of small farmers who put forth the time and the love to do this in the right way, but also because you have simply never tasted real chicken until you’ve tasted one like this.

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            4 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
            Show more [+]
            3 Program(s) Found
            • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
            • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
            • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
            • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found

            Lackawanna College is the premier, private, accredited two-year college serving the people of northeastern Pennsylvania. With a focus on keeping higher education affordable and accessible to our immediate community, Lackawanna draws 80 percent of its student population right from our own region.

            With a main campus situated in downtown Scranton, Lackawanna’s expanding footprint also includes satellite centers in Hawley, Hazleton, New Milford, and Towanda.

            3 Program(s) Found
            • Culinary Arts program includes the 3-week Farm To Table® Experience, where students gain a direct, in-depth look at where food comes from.
            • Numerous scholarship opportunities and financial aid are available to students who qualify.
            • Accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 campuses located in Boulder, Colorado and Austin, Texas.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid