Exciting things are underway at the Kosher Omnivore's Quest.I'm working on a full rebranding of this website and its associated social media properties. You can look forward to a cleaner and more professional looking website which better reflects how far I've come since starting the blog. At the core of rebranding I'll be developing great video content which will be posted here as well as on my youtube channel and facebook page. Stay tuned for updates by singing up to my mailing list.
Before the advent of factory farming, chicken was considered a gourmet food, eaten maybe once per week. In those days large roasted birds served as grand centerpieces for elaborate Sunday dinners. Conserving traditional breeds also means conserving these old cooking traditions. You can do both by serving beautifully roasted heritage birds for your shabbat and holiday meals. Below is my recipe for a traditional herb and garlic roasted bird adapted specifically for kosher heritage chickens.
1 whole kosher heritage chicken
~2 gallons water
~¼ cup salt
~¼ cup sugar
handful of dried herbs
2-3 tbs whole peppercorns
1 large lemon cut into slices
2-3 bunches of fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, and sage - 1/2 minced
1-2 tbs cracked black pepper
1/4 cup shmaltz, beef tallow, or margarine
1/4 cup olive oil
3-5 cloves garlic - minced
2+ cups chopped veggies of your choice - (enough to lightly cover roasting pan)
Brine - Per gallon of water add ⅛ cup salt and ⅛ cup sugar. Also add a handful of dried herbs, the whole peppercorns, and half of the cut up lemon. Brine whole bird in the fridge for 4-18 hours. If you don't have the time to brine you can skip this step by adding 1-2 cups of liquid to the cooking pan instead, though I far prefer brining to adding liquid to the pan.
Rub - Take bird out of the brine and dry. Vigorously massage the minced fresh herbs, 1/2 of the garlic, and cracked black pepper into your oil for 60-90 seconds. Rub 1/2 of the herbs and oil generously onto every part of the bird. Pull up skin around the breasts and thighs and rub remaining oil into the bird under the skin.
Stuff - Fill cavity with remaining garlic, fresh herbs, lemon, and truss (tie up) the legs.
Roast - Layer bottom of cooking vessel with veggies and place the prepared bird on top. Roast in a tightly covered pan at 300° until meat is tender, usually 30+ minutes per pound.
Finish - Broil uncovered chicken for approximately 5-10 minutes making sure to rotate so skin gets fully crisp on all sides. Let chicken rest for 10 minutes, carve, and serve.
I was recently interviews for the Kibitz Podcast. You can find a link and and info on the episode below. My Interview begins at 22:35 if you're feeling short on time.
"Episode 9: animals Our 9th episode of The Kibitz, titled ANIMALS, features an exclusive tour inside Teva Foods, one of the few remaining kosher slaughterhouses in the LA area. We’ll discover how the kosher slaughter process takes place and examine whether kosher is a more or less humane method of processing beef for food. I also interview Yadidya Greenberg—a Jewish Animal Welfare Advocate, Shochet, and Blogger who works with the Jewish Initiative for Animals—and Devora Kimelman-Block, the founder of KOL Foods, the only purveyor of pasture-raised grass-fed kosher beef in the US."
Seven years ago I made a decision that would radically change my life forever. I decided to devote myself to becoming a Jewish animal welfare advocate. At that time no such job existed and companies like KOL Foods and Grow and Behold were barely getting off the ground, but I knew three things. I knew that this was my greatest passion, that interest in animal welfare was rapidly growing in the Jewish world and that I had a unique perspective and allot to offer to the cause. Today I can gladly say that my gamble has paid off and that the efforts of the past seven years are finally coming to fruition.
I’ve loved animals ever since I can remember and have held a lingering interest in animal welfare issues since high school but it was only after I completed a project about animal ethics during a college sociology course that I realized how much this topic truly fascinated me and how animals had touched the very depth of my being. That class propelled me on a course which led me to learn shechita (kosher slaughter), start this blog, move to Nebraska and put in thousands of hours researching kosher slaughter, animal welfare and related Jewish law.
These past years have been some of the most challenging I’ve had. Devoting myself to this cause while holding down a full time job has been quite stressful, exhausting and overwhelming. Possibly the hardest part has been moving to Nebraska. Being in such a challenging and isolated environment and working in a place that doesn’t align with my values for the almost three full years has led to tremendous growth but has also been one of the most difficult experiences I’ve endured. Luckily today all that work and struggle has paid off. Next week I will be starting a job as a principal staff member for a new Jewish animal welfare initiative, the first ever Jewish initiative to devote itself to this cause. In my new position not only will I have the chance to effect change through education but I will also hold the role of working inside the kosher meat industry to positively advance the cause of animal welfare within it. This job is truly my dream and more than I could have ever hoped for.
A picture of the packing plant I've worked at for the last three years.
I am wildly excited to start this journey and am ecstatic to take my readers with me for the ride. But before I do I want to extend a thank you to some people that have helped me get here. First and foremost I want to thank Aaron Gross, who saw potential in me the first time we met and has been absolutely instrumental to bringing me to where I am today, none of this would have been possible without you. Next I would like to thank the late Rabbi Yisroel Landsman 'z"l' for teaching me shechita and constantly lighting up my life. I also want to extend my utmost gratitude to Becky O'brien and all of Hazon Colorado for believing in me, supporting my work and doing so much to build me up as a Jewish educator. Last but not least, I want to thank all of my beloved friends, family and loyal readers for your wonderful support, I couldn’t have done it without you!
I’ve mostly fallen behind on my blog for the last six months and with this new position I'm unsure of when I will get to writing. But regardless of when I get back on the blogging horse your can now follow the work I do by going to the Jewish Initiative For Animals website and signing up for updates there.
[note to bloggers and media folks - official “launch” and “press release” coming soon - this announcement is not for publication or reposting]
Hello, Welcome to the world's only blog focusing exclusively on the topics of kosher slaughter, kosher meat and animal welfare. My name is Yadidya Greenberg and I'm a Kosher Omnivore on a mission. A mission to create a better world for animals and people. I'm a certified shochet (kosher ritual slaughterer, and animal welfare advocate & educator. Follow the blog as I journey into the depths of the human-animal relationship.