When chef and owner Lauren Kendzierski isn't teaching at Holyoke Community College, you may find her at Black Rabbit Farm in her kitchen creating the delicious farm-to-freezer meals of Chanterelle to Go or even catering a party in her gorgeous Tasting Room. Black Rabbit Farm is located in Southwick and boasts beer tasting and shopping hours in the Tasting Room on Fridays and Saturdays. From the on-site Black Rabbit Brews and products sustained by her very own farm, to the Chanterelle to Go brand providing locally sourced Farm-to-Freezer meals, plan to swing through as you are bound to find something you love!
Having grown up in West Springfield, Lauren decided to pursue a culinary career and attend the International Culinary Center in New York City. She worked in New York for a few years, and in 2010 she moved to New Haven, Connecticut, where she took ownership of a local restaurant, BeSpoke. She moved back to Western Mass in 2012, and she founded Chanterelle Catering, which she ran out of her Elm Street storefront in Westfield. Within the last year, she moved her business to Black Rabbit Farm in Southwick, where she has since expanded Chanterelle to Go as a food manufacturer and residential meal delivery service.
Savory Braised Greens
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 bunch kale, stems removed and torn into pieces
1 bunch collard greens, stems removed and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a braising pan, add the oil and onions. Roast for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges of the onions brown. Remove from oven and add 1/3 of the greens, apple cider and a pinch of salt. Toss, using tongs. Cover pan with tin foil and put back in oven for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven, add 1/3 of greens and enough water to just cover the bottom of the pan. Toss with tongs, recover, and return pan to oven for 10 minutes. Remove pan and add the rest of the greens, almonds and cranberries. Toss with tongs, taste and add salt as necessary.
Butternut Squash Mac 'n' Cheese
1 pound pasta, cooked and drained
8 ounces shredded cheddar
For the Sauce:
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and quartered
1 quart heavy cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper
In a sauce pan, add all sauce ingredients. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until the squash is tender. Allow sauce to cool for a few minutes before pureeing in the blender until smooth. Taste for seasoning.
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a bowl, toss the pasta, cheese and sauce. Add to a baking pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbling around the edges.
Roasted Chicken with Crabapple Sage Gravy
1 whole chicken, spatchcocked
1 tablespoon garlic powder
For the Gravy:
1 cup crabapple, finely diced
1/4 cup onion, finely diced
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon fresh sage, chiffonade
Preheat oven to 350 F.
To spatchcock the chicken, cut down the backbone and splay open so the chicken lays flat. This cooking method ensures an even cooking time, resulting in the breast meat being very moist. Lay the chicken on a cookie sheet with the rib cage down. Sprinkle with salt and garlic powder. Roast until the juice runs clear. This can vary greatly depending not only on the size of the bird, but also your oven. Test it after 45 minutes.
When cooked, remove chicken from oven and allow to rest on a cutting board for 20 minutes.
In a sauce pan, add the apple, onion, flour and a pinch of salt. Stir together to coat the produce with the flour. Add all the juice and crispy bits from the cookie sheet the chicken was cooked on. Stir to incorporate. Place the sauce pan over a medium-low heat and drizzle in the chicken stock while stirring to eliminate clumps. Once the liquid has been added, stir frequently until the liquid comes to a simmer and thickens. Remove from heat, add sage and taste for seasoning.