A couple of weeks ago I was asked by Kate of A Merrier World if I would like to take part in the blogging event Let Them Eat Chicken. The aim of this event is to raise awareness of the cruel conditions a typical supermarket chicken is raised in and to promote the free range alternative.The life of a standard chicken and a free-range one couldn't be more different. A typical broiler chicken is raised in dark sheds with very little room to move, they are packed in up to 20,000 very close together, the sheds are never cleaned during their short six week life.
A free range bird on the other hand can roam freely outside with plenty of space, these chickens are free to act as they would naturally and so are much happier. I believe that if we are going to raise animals for meat then we have a responsibility to treat them humanely during their life, that is why I only eat free-range chicken.
The issue of animal welfare is something I feel strongly about so I was very happy to take part. If you're from the UK you're probably aware of the recent campaigning on this issue by the celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-whittingstall. The Chicken Out! campaign founded by Hugh Fearnley-whittingstall seeks to change the way we shop for chicken, it has an excellent website which clearly explains the reasons why you should buy free range.
To take part I was asked to cook my favourite chicken dish using free range chicken, I don't know what my favourite is but this Sticky lemon chicken is pretty good, the original recipe is by Gordon Ramsay, I was inspired to cook it after seeing a picture on the She Runs, She Eats blog.This dish is simple to prepare and tastes great, it is flavoured with lemon, honey and thyme, the sauce is reduced down to give a sticky and sweet coating. recipe here.
I hope next time you choose to eat chicken you think carefully before you buy, it may be slightly more expensive to go free range but at least you will know that your chicken has been raised humanely.
This article from the independent shows the conditions some broiler chicken are raised in: