For six months we’ve been driving each week to Rungis market, on the outskirts of Paris, to buy stunning French poultry. With poulet de Bresse, poulet noir and corn fed Landes chickens flying off the blocks of our five London shops, we know that they're popular - quite rightly! - with customers as well as butchers and chefs.
Because these chickens are simply outstanding; quite different to poultry produced in Britain, in part due to nature – slow growing, leg-meat heavy breeds not commonly reared in the UK – and in part due to nurture. The birds are grown up to a month longer than their British counterparts, from 93-110 days as opposed to just 65 for a commercially grown free range British chicken. They’re leggy, they’re succulent and they’re richly flavoursome.
We believe that we produce pork, beef and lamb that is among the best in the world, and so in collaboration with the Botterills of Lings Farm on the Belvoir Estate, we’ve turned our trotters to chicken and started rearing our own incredible poultry.
The Ginger Pig 100-day chicken
between a Cornish Game cockerel and a Sussex or Dorking hen, our chickens are
bigger than your average bird and have been reared outdoors, free-ranging over
grass and herbage in the heart of the Belvoir Estate on the border of
Lincolnshire and Leicestershire. They’re dry-plucked, hung for a week and
labelled as cockerels or pullets (hens) to ensure you can cook them the right way for the tastiest, most succulent meat.
Both birds should be cooked low and slow to give great texture, with the
cockerels particularly suited to pot-roasting and casseroles, and the pullets
producing a fantastic roast.
|The Ginger Pig chickens, braving the outside world on a drizzly day in the estate|
We have - quite literally - spent years getting this right and are delighted to announce that these wonderful birds will be hitting our shops in time for the weekend. Chick chick hooray!!! We've got recipes up our sleeves too, which we'll be sharing on the Hog Blog all week starting this afternoon.
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner: The Ginger Pig pops up
Chickens this delicious – as well as the people who’ve worked hard to rear them – deserve a bit of a party, so we’ll be hosting dinners in our Shepherd's Bush and Hackney shops to celebrate the new addition to our marble slabs. Diners will eat their way around these birds through five courses, prepared by our butchers and chefs.
Shepherd's Bush: June 13th and 14th Hackney: June 20th and 21st
We'll announce details of how to grab a spot at Winner Winner Chicken Dinner at 10am on Thursday this week. Places are extremely limited so watch this space...