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British chickens...

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by inky, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    ...don't taste of anything, even when they're organic, corn-fed and free range.
  2. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Maybe it's just the ones I get from Tesco's. I'm sure you can get decent ones somewhere. But I paid £3.50 for a French corn-fed chicken last week and it was delicious.
  3. grandelf

    grandelf New commenter

    I picked up some OK ones from waitrose and sainsburys in the past few weeks.

    the best come from the meat man in the market.
  4. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I used to get them from our local butcher. They weren't free range or organic and were pre-packaged. They tasted fabulous.
    I'll have to try one from our new butcher and see if they are as good.
  5. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Without a shadow of a doubt.
    Why on earth are you buying chickens from Tesco's?
    Waitrose do decent Label Anglaise ones, but you should really be checking a decent butcher or buying directly from a producer at a famers' market or something.
    You live in that there London, don't you? There must be loads of such things available to you.
    I can get decent chickens easily, and I live in the provinces.
  6. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Yes, but, this being very central London, we have no local butcher.
    We go to a brilliant butcher in Theobalds Road, Holborn, Another brilliant one [Baldwin's] in Green Lanes, an Algerian butcher, who does fine veal, in Finsbury Park and a beautiful Lebanese suppermarket+butcher+deli called Green Valley off Edgware Road. That's where I buy my lambs' tongues. The calf's liver from the Alfgerian butcher knocks spots off what you can get in Waitrose, and is half the price. We also know an excellent halal butcher who sells good quality mutton and goat.
    So, you see, we have fine butchers not too far away, but none near enough to be called local. Someone did set up a so-called butcher round the corner from us last year and tried to flog pheasants at £7.50 each!
    Each of the ones I've mentioned involves a bit of an expedition, and we don't have a car. We tend to try and stock up at weekends, setting out on expeditions with our rucksacks on our backs.

    Hence the Tesco chicken.
  7. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Fair enough, but...do none of the butchers deliver (do liver, deliver...there's a joke there somewhere)...?
    I mean, I'm aware that buying meat online poses problems, but if you trust the butcher...well a chicken is a chicken if it's a good one.
    Our butcher is a 15 mile round trip. It's not our nearest one, but it's the best one in the area - we used to live within walking distance of it...'twas brilliant...
    We still visit it to buy, but tend to put in an order online which we pick up ready packed up. We get a few months' worth in at a time and freeeze it up. We're happy to do this without seeing the meat, as we know the butcher very well an trust him/them implicitly.
    Here they are in case anyone's local to Soton. One of the best in the country by all accounts:
  8. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Free range chickens from Costco are far superior to any from supermarkets and also much larger. You can get a Costco card if you work in education (not just a teacher!).
    Costco meat is excellent. The butchers will prepare to order and all meat is English. The dry cured bacon is quite superb.
  9. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    We never know when we'll be in or out, so de-liver-ies aren't really an option for us. Thanks for the tip, though.
  10. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Ta, Belle. Is it worthwhile for carless people who live in central London?
  11. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    British Chicken can have flavour....but in my experience Tesco chicken is amongst the most tasteless!
    We are lucky enough to still have a local butcher that provides really good chicken - free range and very tasty. The added bonus is that he provides giblets too, and some people don't want them so he happily throws in a few extra bits for a chubby middleaged woman with long lashes and a shy smile!
    I also find our Morrisons have a very good butcher counter - but they are less likely to offer the giblets. (What is it with the British....there used to <u>always</u> be a little bag of goodies inside the chicken!)
    (Giblets are important for the most delicious chicken and rice dish that Mum makes - rice cooked in chicken stock and with all the offal and scrappy bits sliced into it...served as a sort of thick soup....mmmmmmmmm *drool*)
  12. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    My butcher has actually stopped selling chicken now because he says that people aren't willing to pay the price he has to charge for them (I didn't find them that expensive - used to buy 3 or 4 at a time, joint a couple and freeze a couple whole). I'm still trying to find a source that I am happy with but I still have some left in the freezer for the moment.
  13. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    I miss the giblets too.
    Last week we bought a free-range cornfed chicken from our nearest proper butcher. It Was a 3-pounder and cost &pound;3.50. I roasted it Greek-style and it was delicious, as was the stock, with which we made turnip soup. This butcher also sells posh French chickens but we were happy with what we got, so I've sent mr inky off today to buy three more. What a bargain!
    I agree about how chicken used to be a lovely Sunday treat. Back in those days, we also used to eat boiling fowl, from which my grandmother made the most wonderful stock. I can smell it and taste it now as I write. Is there anyone else who, at the age of eight, used to enjoy gutting a fowl with the hope of finding an egg yolk inside? I can still smell the gizzards - not so nice! But we always kept a saucer to hand in case of finding that precious egg.
    For the benefit of other central London Tessers, the butcher is called Theobald's, and it's on Theobald Road in Holborn. They're great game merchants too.
  14. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Nd anyone who lives in Finsbury Park or thereabouts, Baldwins is a brilliant butcher's shop. It's just down the road from Homebase.
  15. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    I'm not sure where your nearest Costco is Inky, but you really need a car as it's well worth stocking up on all sorts!
  16. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I am happy to report that my free range chicken from the butchers tasted wonderful.
    If anything a little bit tastier than the non free range ones that I used to get. It looks as if the Tesco was the problem Inky. Thank you for reminding me that I hadn't had roast chicken for a while!
  17. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    Well, if I could actually drive and we could afford the cost of stabling one where we live, perhaps that might be a good idea! As it is, we rely on buses, tubes and our old friend Shank's mare.

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