Oven Roasted Chicken Recipe from Chef Schuster of Ollie Food and Spirits



Whether you built your own outdoor, wood-fired oven or purchased one like we did from Forno Bravo, pizzas are just one of the many items that can be made in your oven. From artisanal breads to roasted chicken, with a little practice, your oven can be used for a wide range of dishes. Thanks to the cottage food law in Wisconsin, we’re perfecting our Latvian rye bread. Sometimes recipes can leave your indoor kitchen smoky. So, being able to prepare an oven roasted dish outdoors may make the best sense.

On a recent culinary excursion to Ypsilanti, Michigan, I had a chance to savor a farm-to-table meal at Ollie Food & Spirits where Chef Travis Schuster prepared his mouth-watering Helen’s Chicken, an herbed breadcrumb encrusted, oven roasted chicken. The moist chicken with its unique pesto coating blew me away with its flavor.

As it turns out, Chef Schuster is serious about farm-to-table cuisine at Ollie Food & Spirits, having spent some time in the growing fields as a farmer himself. “The food is important and unbelievably delicious, sure, but the real benefit for me is getting to know these people that I rely on for ingredients,” he explains related to his approach to working with farmers.

“This is how we build strong, lasting communities and foodways,” Schuster says. “I want to get to know a person, their stories, what drives them. I'm way more likely to pay top dollar for a pretty good tomato from someone who is passionate about taking care of the land than for a ‘perfect’ tomato from someone who's just trying to make money. Luckily, the farmers I work with are both passionate about the land and grow mind blowing tomatoes.”

“The stronger the interpersonal relationships within our foodways, the more sustainable and secure they become,” he adds. “This is something that industrialized and commodity farming completely destroyed. If I need something for the kitchen and one farmer doesn't have it, odds are they'll point me to a neighbor. Conversely, if a farmer comes to me with an ingredient I don't have a need for, I can usually find another chef that does. We all want each other to succeed, and success for us means a healthy community with easy access to nutritious and sustainable food.”

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