I got seduced by an ad on Facebook for “perfect” chicken. Chicken? Yes, heirloom, pasture-raised, slow growth chicken from a company called Cook’s Venture. Perfect? Read on.
You get to put together a box of meat for $149 (shipping included) which seemed like a pretty good deal, for good chicken and beef (grass fed, pasture raised). I created my box, which was heavy on chicken, but also included some skirt and strip steaks.
They were great about postponing my shipment for a week, so I could try to put a dent in my overflowing freezer. The box arrived—beautifully packaged and weighing a ton. Even in the heat we’ve been experiencing, everything was still frozen thanks to 2 huge ice packs that could be reused or safely poured down the drain after thawing out.
The meat is all vacuum-packed and frozen. We tried the skirt steaks, and they were more flavorful and more tender than what I’ve been getting at the market.
Today, I’m putting the whole chicken to the test and doing it the Zuni Café way. It might be cheating a little because almost any chicken is delicious done this way, but a wonderful chicken (like D’Artagnan’s Green Circle Chickens) takes it to another level.
When I was prepping the chicken, I noticed that it wasn’t as rounded/plump as the ones we get from our butcher. It seemed to be longer and flatter-more like a duck. And the wings and legs looked longer too.
The whole chicken was a little disappointing. For some crazy reason (too much free ranging?) the legs and thighs were really tough. It tasted good and as chewy as the legs were, the little bit of breast that I tried was juicy and tender.
The order also contained half chickens marinated in a tandoori spice blend. We roasted one and tried it. The spice blend was good, perked up by a squeeze of lemon, but again, the chicken was a little tough.
My only complaint about the box, so far, is that instead of a bunch of chicken thighs we received a lot of boneless skinless chicken breasts, and it took 2 emails to customer service to get it resolved. So if you have a recipe that will make me like chicken breasts, please share!
If the rest of the steaks are really good and I somehow become a chicken breast fan (a very tall order), we might order another box from Cook’s Venture, but it’s not perfect and right now, there’s a lot in my freezer to eat through.