Sunday, 7 December 2014

Free range chicken

Obviously, this is what it looks like cooked
On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me three (well one) French (well, British) hen(s)

Price: £3.29 per kilo

Score (out of five): 4

Review: it was with trepidation that I bought my first chicken from Lidl. The Sunday roast is a bit of an event in our household so this could have ruined a week's meals. But I figured at that price I couldn't go too far wrong.

And I have to say, I've always been very impressed indeed. I roast mine with lemon, garlic rosemary and butter for about 1 hour 20 minutes for a four pound bird and it makes a fantastic Sunday roast and leftovers for chicken pie during the week, The flesh is always very moist - I eat a leg with my Sunday lunch and it really is divine. And the skin is always crisp and tasty.

I used to buy my chickens from Tesco and would either go for corn-fed free range, or Finest organic free range, if I was feeling particularly flush. I always find with all Tesco chicken there's an odd rubbery texture to it, it's a bit flavourless and bland. The Lidl chicken could not be more different.

It would get a five-star review, but at the price they sell it at, I do worry slightly about quite how free range the chickens are. Once the bird I bought had one leg decidedly smaller than the other, which did show it had probably been running around a lot, albeit in circles, but did leave me thinking. Please, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, don't do a expose on the atrocious conditions in a Lidl chicken farm. I really like them.

Shame Lidl don't stock fresh rosemary. Whenever I do this for Sunday lunch I always have to go home via Tesco to get it.

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