Well, not my very first--a friend gave me some frozen chicken breasts from his CSA (along with other meat) over a year ago, and I invited him and mutual friends over for a big feast featuring these goods. However, this was my first roast that I bought that was locally raised.
There's a winter's farmer's market here, and many area farmers offer locally raised chicken, rabbit, beef, pork, and lamb. Now, I love rabbit, but I don't know of too many people who eat it besides me and I figured that the chicken would be a good bet. So I thought, okay, I will pay the much higher price for this (it was a lot more than grocery store chicken) and try it. It's not like I've been spending money like an heiress during the Gilded Age, so what the heck. I had the extra money. My parents came over on Sunday and I made it for them.
I didn't notice it tasting extremely different, though I thought the house filled with the smell of the roasting chicken more quickly (and more fully). Maybe it's because I haven't been eating a lot of meat so I don't have any recent taste to compare it to. It was good, quite tender, and it was flavorful. I also liked the idea that the money I paid basically went into the farmer's pocket (whom I met when I bought the roast). If I buy one in the grocery store, the money goes to a bunch of executives who are happy to squeeze the people who raise the livestock and slaughter the livestock.
One thing I do when I roast a chicken--no matter where I got it from--is I stuff it with a piece of fruit (usually an old apple, orange, or lemon), maybe an onion, and a bunch of herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme, usually). That helps keep it moist. I sprinkle a little salt over it, some pepper, and I might squeeze a little of the juice of the fruit (if it's citrus) over it, and I roast it in an oven that started at 450 degrees brought down to 350 degrees when I put the chicken in. I estimate about 25 minutes per pound. I had a five pound chicken.
However--I know that this is not something most people can easily do. I mean, I'm not joking when I said it was expensive. though if anyone shops at Whole Foods (I don't, but I've been there and I've seen the prices), you'll find the prices to be similar. If anyone reading this shops at Whole Foods, I'd suggest sourcing your meat and produce locally if you can; if you can afford to pay those prices and you want good food, you can get it for the same price from local producers. Just pay the farmer directly, they will get your money and you won't be paying more. If I was not a single woman who was making enough money, if I had kids and a lower salary, this would not have been feasible. And that's sad. I'd rather that the farmer Tad get my hard earned money, frankly.