- Suitable for freezing
- Delivered fresh
- Native breed
- Great for home roasting
- Cook on the BBQ
⭐⭐ great taste® 2022
Swaledale whole chickens have a wonderful depth of flavour, which is a direct result of the wholesome and natural life they enjoy. They live outdoors with maximum access to sunlight, and spend their days foraging for insects and grasses. They have freedom of movement in the pastures, and are able to exhibit their natural behaviour and instincts. They usually only come inside at night, and that’s mostly for their own protection from predators; they sleep in small-flock huts and enjoy lush straw beds for warmth and comfort. Our flocks are reared with care and attention, they are nurtured, and a testament to traditional farming values.
Chef Val Warner loves whole chicken:
"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, something 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.
In short, these are some of the best whole chickens I have ever eaten, delivering truly, memorably delicious results!
It is worth noting when cooking the brown meat over a barbecue or in stews, that the higher fat content and complex muscle structure makes it more forgiving to overcooking. Also, if chicken breasts are to be included in a long braise, they should be added towards the end of the cook.
You can create so many meals from a whole chicken. If not roasting whole or feeding many from a single recipe, then I tend to braise or perhaps curry 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 the meat in advance can produce the most wonderful results, with a crispy skin and the most tender meat inside.
Try cooking your whole 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, I find that roasting the bird breast down on a rack for the first half will give juicier results.
These birds create great stocks, but remember that if roasting with a lemon inside the body cavity, you will need to remove the lemon and rinse the frame to prevent bitterness. I tend to include the fat and skin in a stock as it delivers more flavour. When chilled, the fat can be removed after straining and chilling the stock. If collected, the fat is good for cooking with potatoes or sautéing fish.
When making stocks I tend to use primarily bones and salt but remember that your veg, 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, I normally use just bones and salt with maybe a leek end or a few parsley stalks. After a 2-3 hour simmer you’ve got pretty much all of the flavour out of the bones, so 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!"
great taste® commented:
"This is a glorious roast chicken with real richness. The skin is golden and crisp, and the leg meat in particular is gorgeously moist and full of flavour. The breast meat is tender and has a firm texture that would be wonderful smothered in gravy. A real treat of a roast.
The flavour of this chicken is rich, full and tells this chicken has had a good life, from both the texture and flavour depth. This is a beautiful roast chicken that is juicy and deeply flavoured with a clean finish. This is delicious and would grace any table happily."
*Swaledale is a whole carcass butcher so in addition to our whole chickens, a full range of fresh, free range chicken products are available, including chicken thighs, breasts and wings. Our chicken is versatile and can be the perfect meat for whatever meal you're cooking; whether it's a curry, summer barbecue or a roast dinner, our tasty and high welfare chicken will shine.
Always Fresh Never Frozen®
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.