- Suitable for freezing
- Delivered fresh
- Native breed
- Great for home roasting
For many years, we’ve been working with North Yorkshire's award-winning poultry farmers Edward and Emma Wilkinson whose traditionally farmed chickens represent the finest of British poultry.
Valentine Warner loves our chickens:
I think it best to start by stating the extraordinarily high quality of chickens* from Swaledale Butchers. The meat is dense and firm, the skin unbruised and clean. There is obvious taught muscle structure only seen in strong birds that move regularly and freely. The bones, before cooking or even afterwards, are sturdy, strong and hard to snap. Quite the opposite of poor-quality birds and further demonstrates the importance of good diet and exercise.
Their diet, in addition to foraging in the pasture, includes basil, chives, dill, coriander, edible flowers and various salad leaves from a neighbouring herb farm. This gives the birds a truly distinctive flavour so far removed from the unpleasant taint so often detected in lesser-quality fowl.
In short, these are some of the best chickens I have ever eaten, delivering truly, memorably delicious results!
It is worth noting that when cooking over a barbecue or in stews and the with more fat and complex muscle structure the brown meat is more forgiving to overcooking. Chicken breasts if to be included in long braises should be included towards the end of the cook.
With so many meals making up a single chicken If not roasting whole or feeding many from a single recipe then I tend to braise or perhaps curry the the legs (chopped on the bone) and sauté the breasts. Both are good on the barbecue, grilled until crisp and juicy within.
When roasting chickens, brining can produce the most wonderful results with a crispy skin and the most tender meat inside.
However, try cooking your chicken with the oven on 100°C until the internal temperature is 64°C then remove the bird from the oven and give it a blast at a high heat once the temperature is up.
With a more conventional 180-200°C roast and I find that roasting the bird breast down on a rack for the first half will give juicier results.
These birds make for great stocks but remember that if roasting with a lemon inside the body cavity, you will need to remove said lemon and rinse the frame to prevent bitterness.
I tend to include the fat and skin in a stock as it delivers more taste. When chilled the fat can be removed after straining and chilling the stock. If collected and the fat is good for cooking with potatoes or sautéing fish.
When making stocks I tend to use little veg, primarily bones and salt but remember that your peelings and onion skins can be included. If you want a coloured stock then the inclusion of the brown onion skin will give you a richly-coloured stock on top of any colour given by pre-roasting. For a white stock and I normally use just bones and salt with maybe a leek end or a few parsley stalks. Little more flavour can be got out of the bones than after a 2-3 hour simmer. Strain at this point and do your reducing without the bone wreckage. Over cooking, especially at a more rapid simmer, can start to produce a milky stock.
A very reduced stock mixed with a little white wine, lemon juice and butter can make for an excellent dinner when tossed with pappardelle pasta, toasted pine nuts and gremolata. A true favourite!
*Ed and Emma's free range, herb-fed chickens are reared in small flock sizes and live in mobile huts bedded-up daily with fresh straw.
Free range, herb-fed chicken
Orders received before 9am are freshly prepared and shipped DPD for next day delivery. We serve the whole of the UK excluding Channel Islands, Northern Ireland, and some parts of Scotland.
Our meat has been celebrated in Britain's best restaurant kitchens for over ten years. There are many who claim to work with native breed farmers, but few who can prove it.
Sustainable & traceable
We have partnerships with selected farms and work with carefully selected local abattoirs so we have confidence in the welfare of the animals and full traceability of all our products.