What is corn fed chicken?
Corn Fed Chickens
UK farmers and owners of livestock around the world are constantly looking for new ways to rear animals, including chickens. One of the methods that has come to the fore in the last decade is corn fed chicken. Chicken is one of the most consumed meats in the world, let alone the UK.
Here, we’ll be delving into what sets corn fed chicken apart from other types of chicken, tips for cooking corn fed chicken, and where people can go to source high-quality corn-fed chicken.
Corn fed chickens are typically raised on a diet of grains, primarily corn. This gives the animal an abundance of high calorie food, which is often combined with vitamins designed to mimic the ideal wild diet. Chickens are omnivores, typically feeding on a variety plants, seeds, worms, and insects. As corn fed chickens are primarily characterised by what is fed to the chicken over its life, there are other rearing techniques that can be used to influence the quality of the meat.
At The Village Butchers, we inspect all our local producers to ensure they’re following the best practices for flavour and safety. As a result, our corn fed chicken is delicious and reasonably priced.
Differences Between Corn Fed and Regular Chicken
Nowadays buying chicken can be a bit mindboggling due to the number of options available. It’s hard to know when each variety means, and how they differ from one another. Corn fed chicken can be identified by its slightly yellow flesh colour and increased flavour. This is because the nutrition of the corn has a direct impact on its texture and taste. Of course, to properly assess the pros and cons of buying corn fed chicken, we need to see how it compares to other types of chicken meat. This includes:
Typically reared for longer, free-range chickens are allowed to roam outside for periods of time each day. This can lead to the animals consistently a greater range of movement, resulting in more protein developing in the meat. However, there can be many factors that impact this. For instance, how much time the chickens actually get to spend outdoors and at what time of day.
Generally speaking, anything that’s labelled organic is expected to be high quality. This is because the process of rearing organic livestock is governed by organic standards. These include measures that influence the animal’s treatment, environment, and what they’re fed. In the case of corn fed and free range chicken, it’s up to farmers to uphold quality standards. The Village Butcher only sources from trusted local producers to ensure you get the best quality possible.
How To Cook Corn Fed Chicken
Chicken is a flexible meat that can produce great results with roasting, smoking, pan frying, barbecuing, or grilling. You can’t really go wrong. The only thing to be aware of is that, due to the leanness of corn fed chicken, the meat is at risk of drying out during cooking. However, this is less so for our corn fed chickens as they have a large layer of fat beneath the skin. The skin itself can also act as a makeshift covering, protecting the meat from direct heat and allowing it to steam from the inside.
Whatever corn fed chicken cooking method you choose, there are certain recommended techniques. Let’s go through some examples!
A roast chicken is an amazing centrepiece for almost any occasion. What’s particularly great about it is the tray can be filled with vegetables and seasonings, which then take on all the lovely juices from the chicken as it cooks. Once the chicken is cooked and removed from the pan, what’s left can then be used to make a delicious gravy.
We recommend preheating the oven to 200°C (180°C for fan ovens). The skin should then be seasoned with your choice of herb butter or dry rub. The skin can take lots of sea so don’t be afraid to be generous. Cover the chicken with tin foil as it cooks to prevent burning, then remove for the last stretch of cooking to crisp up the outside. Let rest and serve – it’s that easy.
Check out our recipe for the perfect roast chicken.
BBQ & Smoking a Corn Fed Chicken
BBQ chicken thighs, drumsticks, and wings are some of the dishes most associated with BBQ itself. The key to not overcooking the meat is to be patient. Low and slow will still create that amazing charr, while also keeping the meat moist. Just be aware that chicken will take longer to cook than other BBQ meats such as burger patties.
To BBQ, choose the barbecue sauce or marinade of your choice, coat thoroughly and place on a hot grill. You can leave the chicken to marinate for a few hours beforehand or overnight. Make sure you turn the pieces regularly until cooked through. Basting is recommended to achieve the perfect cook and improve flavour.
Smoked chicken is a wonderful thing. The indirect heat is ideal for cooking a whole bird over the course of 2-3 hours. Just as with the BBQ method, coat the meat thoroughly in whatever herbs and spices you prefer. The type of wood used can add a slightly different smoky flavour too. As the chicken is smoking, bast intermittently to prevent drying out. Remove and rest while covered.
Buy Chicken Online
If you’re looking for corn fed chicken that’s miles beyond what you can get at the supermarket, choose The Village Butchers. We stock a wide variety chicken cuts to make sure our customer’s BBQ needs are met all through the summer and into the holidays. Contact us today and see how easy it is to have quality meat delivered.