Available fresh from Thursday 20 December. There are only a limited number of these birds and they're really something special.
Specially grown out for us by Grasslands Poultry to around 112 days (the intensive standard for white broiler chickens is 35), these are mature, deeply-flavoured birds. Grand and gorgeous, slow-growing, pasture-raised, heritage birds that hark back to the days when a big, plump chicken was proudly presented as the the centre piece for special feasts in the calendar - like Christmas.
If turkey's not really your thing, then this is definitely the way to go.
Pay a $75 deposit now and we'll charge you the balance at $36.95 per kg when we know the final weight of your jumbo chook. (As a guide, the bird pictured weighed 3.5 kg so it was $129.00 in total.)
The birds will range between 3.5-4.5 kg. We won't know the final weights until Grassland Poultry deliver the fresh birds on 20th December. Select the number of birds you want and add a note in your order to let us know if you'd prefer a larger or smaller one - we'll do our best to accommodate you.
(We layered our pancetta across the breast of our test bird just because it's delicious and it prevents the breast drying out if you're cooking for a long time. This is a good trick that we usually use when cooking turkeys. Then we stuffed our chook with juicy, home-grown lemons, bay leaves, thyme and garlic cloves. Simple, but really, really delicious. )
Our Sommerlad Heritage chickens are born and bred by Kim and Bryan Kiss at Grasslands Poultry Farm, near Wellington in NSW.
Sommerlad chickens are a superb table bird that have been skilfully bred to thrive outside on diverse Australian pastures. These birds live up to four times longer and are a profoundly different product from the ubiquitous white Cobb/Ross chickens that make up 99.9% of the Australian meat chicken industry.
The birds have access to a starter crumble with no GM, hormones, medications or soy products. Then from three weeks they also have access to whole grains of wheat, sunflower, corn and sorghum. As well as bugs, grasshoppers, grass and anything else that they can forage for. This is all free choice.
Read more about them here.
Celebrating Sommerlad chickens.
Photograph: Alan Benson. Styling: Michele Cranston