Young woman pilot wins old space freighter in a gambling game. Discovers some crew on board, including Romany young woman (and her stowaway father) who has a hidden hydroponics plant.
One of the crew officers stinks and after they deep space him for mutiny, they find an artifact in his cabin, hidden in a decomposing chicken. Usual complications with overbearing Empire.
Added: they wanted to scoop up some asteroid ice to refil tanks with water but were chased off by "authorities" demanding large fees. A nearby ship secretly gave them coordinates where they met up with a ship crewed by an extended Germanic family. That ship helped them get the ice and introduced them to a small loose group of likeminded rebels, which they joined.