Europe on a plate. Food and drink blogs direct from Phil Lowe, Butcher and Fishmonger. Written with passion and humour. Winner of Tesco 'Passion For Food Award' 2013. Order books and dvds or anything else you desire through the Amazon link below.
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Thursday, 24 September 2009
Story of the smelly chicken
You remember how I went to M&S to check out their chickens and was alarmed by the ones priced at £13 plus? Well yesterday I decided to go the local Co-Op store and get one for about £5 and once cooked, make it last a few days. I have purchased a few chickens from there in the past and sometimes have been disapointed that the chicken was off and I've gone back and got my money back plus be given another, fresher bird. On that score I am always a bit reluctant to buy chicken from the local Co-Op. I should have known better.
The chicken looked fine as I chose it from the display and, along with my other bits of shopping, I took it home and unwrapped it. Urgh! The underside smelt sweaty, the wings looked bluey red and I felt that the meat was too risky to eat/cook. Back I went to the store with the chicken. They apologised profusely and gave me a double refund plus a promise that the store would look into their fridges and see why a bird that was deemed OK until 28th Sept should be off. Now armed with this re-assurance and £10 to play with I got a bus to a large housing estate called Clifton and headed for one of the few butchers left in Nottingham, the shop owned by Paul Walker - a real proper butcher's shop with a great display. What to spend my free £10 on? There was so much choice and all of it looked fresh.
Chicken from Paul Walkers' butchery shop
I got a chicken for £5 and went for a heavy piece of pork called 'a hand of pork'. It is part shoulder meat and a knuckle of pork. That too was a very good value £5. On returning to my house I jointed the chicken and bagged it up for the freezer and I removed the knuckle joint of the pork and boned the rest, scoring the flesh and then put a metal skewer through the centre to keep the joint from flopping all over the place. I studded the scored skin with cloves and put the joint in the pre-heated oven for four hours at a medium heat (gas mark 5) to slowly roast. I used sunflower oil to roast the pork. Every hour I basted the pork with the hot oil. In the last half hour I dowsed the well-cooked pork with cider to add taste.
Later on I prepared some simple veg and make some fresh apple sauce from two large cooking apples and sugar with a cinnamon stick to add flavour. After the apple had reduced down I popped the sauce in a seive and pressed out the excess water.
The finished meal was delicious and I have enough cold pork left for another two days plus.