I've been getting great chicken and goat (yes, we've finally got a source for great goat in NYC) for many weeks now from Paul of Violet Hill Farms, the new vendor at the Wednesday Union Sq Greenmarket. His stuff is really topnotch, organically raised and free-roaming. He's the only one I've seen with Belle Rouge chickens -- some kind of special French breed that has a bunch of the area's chefs all excited. I recommend them, but his regular chickens are swell too, clean and fresh, with the taste and texture of chickens that have been running around instead of cooped up in a commercial factory. The Belle Rouge ones start at 5 lbs, so those looking for a smaller bird should just stick with the regular ones (3.5 to 5 lbs).
As far as the goat, I've been extremely pleased with the stew meat, which makes fantastic rogan josh. Also tried some rib chops last week and was generally pleased, while not too overly enthused -- they weren't particularly well-dressed by the processor and needed a bunch of prep work to get rid of excess gristle. For the price, I'd prefer cleaner chops ready to go out of the package, but I'm picky like that. Flavor was great though, and they were lean and tender once I frenched the chops. They'd be a regular addition to my shopping list if they only they came really nicely butchered.
The truly noteworthy news is that starting yesterday they'll be providing beef as well. Tried a NY strip steak and was really struck by the difference the feed makes. Violet Hill's beef is grass-fed, so is markedly leaner than what I've been used to getting. It requires less cooking time and rewards you with a clean intense beefy taste (hung to age for 14 days) -- I've sliced up leftovers and will toss it in with some salad greens for lunch. Can't wait to get the flank steak next week for stir-fries. Overall, Violet Hill's a valuable addition to the Wednesday market scene and well worth a try.
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