Date: Wed 08 Feb 2023

Cracking chicken

Our top tips for getting the most from your chicken

Chicken is a firm family favourite - in fact, chicken is the UK's most eaten meat by a country mile, we consume over 850 million chickens per year!

Whilst around 95% of these are intensively barn-reared, our whole chickens from Castlemead poultry are totally free-range and slower-growing which means they are happier, have less stress, have a lower environmental impact, and (most importantly) have much more flavour. This does mean they come at a higher price point though, so here are our top tips for turning a chicken into all manner of meals!

  1. Roast it: Either roast your chicken whole, or ask your butcher to take the legs off and roast the crown (just the breasts on the bone), a large free-range chicken will easily feed a family for roast dinner, with plenty of breast meat left for sandwiches too, or for a second meal. Roast leg meat is perfect to flake into a curry or pasta dish, and makes fantastic coronation chicken.
  2. Break it down: Ask your butcher to break your whole chicken into it's component parts, or learn to do this yourself at one of our butchery masterclasses! This will give you legs - which can be used for casseroles, gumbo or barbecuing and breasts - which can be roasted, grilled and diced, as well as the bones and wings. The breasts from a large chicken will feed 2 or 3 people each, depending on the recipe and how hungry you are!
  3. Save the bones: Whether you've roasted your bird or not, make sure to save the carcass and boil with stock vegetables and bay leaves to create a delicious stock. There will still be plenty of meat on here as well, so you can either turn this into a nutritious chicken soup, or strain it and freeze as homemade stock to use in the future.
  4. Get creative: Chicken is easily the most versatile meat, and doesn't have to just be a boring roast: Stuff a breast with sausage meat to turn it into a mini roast; make homemade kievs; flatten a breast using a rolling pin and bread it for chicken escalopes or homemade 'KFC'; use marinades to flavour the thighs or drumsticks - anything goes!

Try Gordon Rhodes 'No Hurry Chicken Curry' and stuffing mixes when you need a quick midweek meal, or get our R&W cranberry sauce to add some zing to your roast. Our shop is full of delights to make your meals easier, and all those nice ingredients for that certain recipe. Be sure to pop in when you're passing or browse our deli pages!

Buy Whole Free-range Chicken