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Chicken week: Week 31 of BigBarn’s food and drink weeks

Chickens are now becoming a part of everyday country life and urban life. There has been a new revival of the backyard chicken and why not? They are fun and easy to keep and you get the benefit of the eggs. If you are a backyard chicken farmer then you know how nice it is to make your chickens as happy as possible. In fact the happier the chicken the darker the yoke in her eggs. When you go to a supermarket quite often the yokes are light yellow almost white but in fact a healthy happy chicken will produce a very dark orange yolk, which is far better for you and the chicken.

The humble chicken, is without a doubt, the nation’s favourite meat and we love it roasted, baked, poached, grilled, stir-fried, curried or glazed. We love it so much that most people seem to have forgotten about Jamie and Hugh raising awareness to the difference between free range and intensively reared.

Real free range, friendly, busy, chucks

Real free range, friendly, busy, chucks

Of course price and convenience are big factors and given the layout of supermarket meat shelves, with many products looking the same, the high quality free range bird is often undervalued. Especially when you can pick up an intensively reared chicken, (from egg to slaughter in 6 weeks) for as little as £2.

Unfortunately the two alternatives look almost exactly the same and when covered in bread sauce, gravy or ketchup, probably taste the same. So spare a thought for the intensively reared chicken and buy the healthier (for you conscience and body) free range bird and perhaps save money by eating less.

Whether you choose a standard chicken, or a higher welfare bird, it is by far the best value to buy a whole bird. Roast it on a Sunday and then trim off every scrap of meat and use it in curries, stir-fries or risottos. And don’t forget the bones, boil them up with herbs and a few veggies for a delicious stock.

Local food map with rosette & '£' flags on a butcher's icon

Local food map with rosette & ‘£’ flags on a butcher’s icon

To discover some fantastic poultry producers online try our MarketPlace . Or search our local food map for a farm shop or deli in your area selling high quality meat and poultry.

But, what can you do with your bird when you’ve got it? Click here for some fab tips and ideas on preparing and cooking your delicious bird.

Or, if you have your own favourite chicken recipe, why not share it with us? For the chance to win a prize, please video your recipe and add it to KIS (Keep it Simple) Cookery. Please have a look at existing videos here and try and keep your video less than 2 minutes long.

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