A friend recently asked me if I'd like some young roosters from her very full coup. She raises her own chooks, and she only needs a few high class roosters to do 'the job' come Spring time, so the chicks that turn out to become roosters need to go to the farm in the sky. I was stoked to have the offer and thought maybe we could pop them out on the block with the Graceview chooks and make us newbies come Spring. But it didn't work out that way and the birds ended upside down in my patented chook tamer for a one way ticket to dispatch land. I kinda felt bad for my long time friend Rach, who even though she knew the inevitable outcome put on a very brave face when I picked up the birds (named Harry and Gary). Sorry Rach! Recently my blog was described as having a 'DIY approach' in Savour Magazine, and this couldn't be any truer! I dispatched the birds, I plucked them and I gutted them. I've always said that it's a privilege for us to eat meat, and If you honestly can't bring yourself to 'acquire' your own meat then you shouldn't eat it. I've hunted and fished, no problems. But dispatching a bird takes guts, it's not for the faint hearted. I did it quickly and humanely. These birds had a great life on Rach's farm, spoilt by her love and they now spoilt us with providing a meal for our family. Thats how it goes.
Roasted Home Raised Chicken with Chestnut and Chorizo stuffing, Wild Mushroom gravy and veg.
A few things to note about the differences between a store bought caged bird and truly free range.
1. Caged bird farming is wrong on so many humane levels. That we can all agree on. 2. Free range birds move around the paddock, they should have larger thighs and drumsticks. 3. Caged birds are less active, they'll have more meat in the breast rather than the legs. 4. Dark meat on a free range bird is dark meat. 5. Tender breasts? You can't beat free range.
However I'm not completely sold on what we are told is free range at the supermarket. Yes I'm a cynic, I'm also a realist.
Check out #1 and #17 of the FREPA Free Range Standards. Open to flexibility me thinks.