I love chicken, a light, tasty and versatile meat. It makes a big difference which chicken you buy though. Intensively farmed birds usually have a fishy taste. It reflects the life they have been leading and the food they have been fed.
I was lucky, I grew up only having my grandmothers home bred chickens. She would buy about 80 chicks a year, feed them salad, vegetable scraps (including oranges and lemons!), cereals and corn until they were about 9 month old, big and strong.
She had a very large field where they would roam happily under the sun in the countryside.
When it was the time to slaughter them all the family was called to help. We would all work in a chain. I can't say it was one of the most exciting jobs though. Hard work and it would last for 2-3 days and it was exhausting! The hardest was to take all the feathers off.....
But when it came to eating the meat then I would realise that all that hard work was worth it. The meat was incredibly tasty and the bones were so hard and strong and this is a sign of a good quality chicken.
Usually when you cook cheap chicken, apart from the poor taste, you find that the bones fall apart and break easily.
These days I have to buy my chicken and the closest I can get to home bred ones is by buying organic free range. Much more expensive I know, but much much nicer than the mass produced birds which have an horrendous life as well! I buy a chicken a week and maybe I try to save money somewhere else. After all we are what we eat aren't we? It is worth it to buy the best food you can afford.
I made this simple chicken casserole with olives, rosemary and sage. This is a hand me down recipe from my mum. I usually have it with polenta, vegetables and of course, a nice glass of wine!
- Prep Time : 20 minutes
- Cook Time : 60 minutes
In a large pan fry the chopped onion and garlic cloves with 2 tbsp of olive oil until translucent.
Roll the chicken into salt and pepper and add it to the fried onion. Seal the chicken by stir frying it until golden.
Add the white wine, the herbs, the tomato paste, the chopped olives and the olive oil and cook for about an hour.