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Eco Friendly had some 100 day dry-aged steaks (although no calotte, alas) this past sunday. I splurged in a major way for two strip steaks--just because I have not eaten really aged, grass-fed steak, and wanted to know what it tasted like.

Well, fabulous, if you really want to know. I didn't use my steak rub on them, which has Spanish paprika, garlic and cumin, because I wanted to really taste the beef. Just sea salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. The raw meat was definitely less moist than fresh beef --it was kind of sticky. No funky smell at all, though. I grilled the steaks on the Weber kettle with Cowboy charcoal. Medium rare. Roasted garlic mash and haricots verts on the side. No sauce or any other imbellishments. We washed it down with the oldest, drinkable wine we had-- a 1998 Ch. Fombrauge St. Emilion.

Deep, beefy flavor. Great texture. Jonathan would have preferred a ribsteak, because he likes fattier meat than I do. But it'll be a while before I spend that much for a pound of beef again.

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Eco Friendly had some 100 day dry-aged steaks (although no calotte, alas) this past sunday. I splurged in a major way for two strip steaks--just because I have not eaten really aged, grass-fed steak, and wanted to know what it tasted like.

Well, fabulous, if you really want to know. I didn't use my steak rub on them, which has Spanish paprika, garlic and cumin, because I wanted to really taste the beef. Just sea salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. The raw meat was definitely less moist than fresh beef --it was kind of sticky. No funky smell at all, though. I grilled the steaks on the Weber kettle with Cowboy charcoal. Medium rare. Roasted garlic mash and haricots verts on the side. No sauce or any other imbellishments. We washed it down with the oldest, drinkable wine we had-- a 1998 Ch. Fombrauge St. Emilion.

Deep, beefy flavor. Great texture. Jonathan would have preferred a ribsteak, because he likes fattier meat than I do. But it'll be a while before I spend that much for a pound of beef again.

Sounds great. What are they charging for their dry aged beef?

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Eco Friendly had some 100 day dry-aged steaks (although no calotte, alas) this past sunday. I splurged in a major way for two strip steaks--just because I have not eaten really aged, grass-fed steak, and wanted to know what it tasted like.

Well, fabulous, if you really want to know. I didn't use my steak rub on them, which has Spanish paprika, garlic and cumin, because I wanted to really taste the beef. Just sea salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. The raw meat was definitely less moist than fresh beef --it was kind of sticky. No funky smell at all, though. I grilled the steaks on the Weber kettle with Cowboy charcoal. Medium rare. Roasted garlic mash and haricots verts on the side. No sauce or any other imbellishments. We washed it down with the oldest, drinkable wine we had-- a 1998 Ch. Fombrauge St. Emilion.

Deep, beefy flavor. Great texture. Jonathan would have preferred a ribsteak, because he likes fattier meat than I do. But it'll be a while before I spend that much for a pound of beef again.

I just wet myself. This sounds amazing. How much were you charged?

By the way, do you find the Cowboy charcoal discernably diffferent from any other type of natural hardwood charcoal?

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I just wet myself. This sounds amazing. How much were you charged?

By the way, do you find the Cowboy charcoal discernably diffferent from any other type of natural hardwood charcoal?

Twenty-five bucks a pound. OUCH!!!

I like Cowboy for grilling-- it's good quality and I can get it cheap at Trader Joe's. I use Kingsford for slower cooking.

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I bought a cute fresh chicken and an aged chuck eye steak from Eco Friendly this morning and had a nice chat with Bev Eggleston. Someone has offered him a boatload of money to buy his domain name--www.ecofriendly.com--from him, and he has a meeting scheduled with investors to decide what to do. Also, he is working on a project to try to set up networks of small farms that support a processing plant in other parts of the country, and needs to set up a nonprofit, to separate these development activities from his regular business. If there is anyone in the DR.com family who is or knows someone knowledgeable and experienced at setting up non-profits, Bev needs help.

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I bought a cute fresh chicken and an aged chuck eye steak from Eco Friendly this morning and had a nice chat with Bev Eggleston. Someone has offered him a boatload of money to buy his domain name--www.ecofriendly.com--from him, and he has a meeting scheduled with investors to decide what to do. Also, he is working on a project to try to set up networks of small farms that support a processing plant in other parts of the country, and needs to set up a nonprofit, to separate these development activities from his regular business. If there is anyone in the DR.com family who is or knows someone knowledgeable and experienced at setting up non-profits, Bev needs help.

I was going to ask if he donated to "Locks of Love". Looks good.

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The half chicken that I purchased from Eco-Friendly last week at the Dupont market was the worst piece of poultry I have ever eaten. The leg on this bird was as thick as a turkey leg, and I even double checked the package after I opened it to make sure it was actually a chicken. I grilled it and while it was juicy, it was also stringy and tough. It reminded me of a stewing hen, but certainly was not priced like one. I have had good luck with their pork in the past, but this chicken is going to be hard to forget.

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The half chicken that I purchased from Eco-Friendly last week at the Dupont market was the worst piece of poultry I have ever eaten. The leg on this bird was as thick as a turkey leg, and I even double checked the package after I opened it to make sure it was actually a chicken. I grilled it and while it was juicy, it was also stringy and tough. It reminded me of a stewing hen, but certainly was not priced like one. I have had good luck with their pork in the past, but this chicken is going to be hard to forget.

Was it one of the Naked Neck birds? If so, then you're right, they're for slow cooking, stewing, braising, etc. It probably would have been the equivalent of trying to cook a brisket on the grill, as they're definitely not for grilling. Look for the Grass Kickin' Chicken for grilling.

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The half chicken that I purchased from Eco-Friendly last week at the Dupont market was the worst piece of poultry I have ever eaten. The leg on this bird was as thick as a turkey leg, and I even double checked the package after I opened it to make sure it was actually a chicken. I grilled it and while it was juicy, it was also stringy and tough. It reminded me of a stewing hen, but certainly was not priced like one. I have had good luck with their pork in the past, but this chicken is going to be hard to forget.

I had the same experience and have avoided the Naked Necks ever since. They are actually a chicken-turkey hybrid bird. It took Bev and his staff a while to realize that this bird needed different handling than the other chickens they sell, and they may not have been as diligent as they could have been in giving cooking advice in your case. I look for the poulet rouge or the grass kickin' hybrid--they are uniformly excellent, in my experience.

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Thank you both for the information. Unfortunately, this bird only said chicken, I wish they had provided more information especially since I had purchased it for grilling. I will look for the ones that you both mentioned.

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The Wall Street Journal has a tasty profile of Bev, his fat pig/happy pig philosophy and two Lardo recipes:

lardo1_D_20090226144629.jpg

Be sure to flip through William R. Snyder and Stephen Lewis' photo slideshow of Bev Eggleston and his realm.

It's more than a 12-step process to stop reading William R. Snyder's article that begins this way:

First, know this: Eating bacon is nothing more than sampling a gateway drug. To experience the full rush and complexity of flavor, take a taste from a slab of raw, pure fatback. The thin slices of fat glow in a shade of bright white normally associated with wedding gowns, and each bite dissolves into a creamy consistency that sends the body into a euphoric state.
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I had the same experience and have avoided the Naked Necks ever since. They are actually a chicken-turkey hybrid bird.
To add to this discussion: one of the best stocks I ever produced was w two packages of chicken feet and one of these naked neck birds.

* * *

Thanks, Lydia, for the reference. Great photos, indeed.

* * *

FYI: Bruce, the ex-ponytailed guy (see posts above), made demi-glace w a chef-friend and is offering little jars for sale (frozen). No need for furtive appointments near Watergate or elsewhere. Just go to the farmers market.

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I had the same experience and have avoided the Naked Necks ever since. They are actually a chicken-turkey hybrid bird. It took Bev and his staff a while to realize that this bird needed different handling than the other chickens they sell, and they may not have been as diligent as they could have been in giving cooking advice in your case. I look for the poulet rouge or the grass kickin' hybrid--they are uniformly excellent, in my experience.

Totally missed this. Someone asked me about it. It is not a hybrid, but a specific type of chicken. Click.

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Totally missed this. Someone asked me about it. It is not a hybrid, but a specific type of chicken. Click.

Thanks for the clarification. Either Bruce or Stacy told me that it was a turkey-chicken hybrid. I suppose the name "Turken" would lead one to conclude that.

edited to add: sent via a friend

http://www.messybeast.com/genetics/hybrid-birds.htm

TURKEY-CHICKEN HYBRIDS

There have been attempted crosses between domestic turkeys (Meleagris gallapavo) and chickens (Warren and Scott, 1935). According to Gray (1958) in 12 studies no hybrids hatched. Other reports found only a few fertile eggs were produced and very few resulted in advance embryos (Ogorodii, 1935; Quinn et al. 1937; Asmundson & Lorenz, 1957). According to Olsen (1960), 23 hybrids were obtained from 302 embryos which resulted from 2132 eggs. Dark Cornish cockerels and Rhode Island Red cockerels successfully fertilised turkey eggs. Harada & Buss (1981) reported hybridisation experiments between Beltsville Small White Turkeys and two strains of chickens. When male chickens inseminated female turkeys, both male and female embryos form, but the males are much less viable and usually die in the early stages of development. When male turkeys inseminated female chickens, no hybrids resulted although the unfertilised chicken eggs began to divide. According to Olson (1960) turkey-chicken crosses produced all males.

MW Olsen, US Dept of Agriculture, successfully bred turkey x chicken hybrids from Beltsville Small White turkey hens artificially inseminated with semen from Dark Cornish male chickens. Morphological evidence of the hybrid status of the birds (Olsen, M. W., J. Heredity, 51, 69 (1960)) included the fact that the adult hybrids' dark plumage resembled that of the chicken, being dominant over the recessive white colour of the turkeys. Serological studies on their red cells also provided evidence of the birds being hybrids.

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