Why do we need another chicken blog or forum?

Many chicken forums are moderated to sell commercial feed, chemicals and ideology.
I prefer to find my own balance between nature, welfare and cost in raising happy chickens.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What do you do with home grown?

Tonight's dinner for four is 2 of the home grown sussex cockerels gently baked (lid on) in spices and then topped with lemon sauce (juice of 2 lemons, garlic, paprika, tumeric, cayene pepper, salt, sesame oil, chicken pan juices, cornflower).

Skinned chicken is a little more delicate to cook with than skin-on, but if you cook with a lid, add about 30ml water in the beginning and don't overheat you get a very nice result. In this case the birds were halved, lightly seasoned and cooked at 165C for about an hour and forty minutes, then topped with the sauce. After trying the meat before adding the sauce I was very pleased with the flavour, which was a lot richer than I expected for such young birds (11 weeks).

In the past I've mainly fed table birds a commercial diet with a bit of extra grass and maybe some of the sprout diet for extras. The sussex were raised almost entirely on the home sprout diet. I'm inclined to suspect the meat flavour was because they ate a natural (if not organic) diet rather than grains fortified with artificial methionine, though it's too early to tell (especially after only two have been processed!). Perhaps after I've dealt with some of the meat hybrids at a similar age (11 weeks — depending on how well they're still getting around and how they're enjoying life) I'll be better able to tell whether the flavour is consistently better for natural food.

Of course it sounds almost stupid to think it wouldn't taste better... But you never know. :-)

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