This is one of our favourite fast foods and it's quite rich so a little goes a long way.
All you have to do is brown them in a pan with some of the schmaltz (fat) and pop them in the oven for 20 minutes or so to warm them through. (Or you can just pop them in the oven and then under the griller if you want more colour.) And you'll have plenty of left over schmaltz in the pack to use for roasting potatoes and vegetables. So delicious.
To prepare them, first we render the schmaltz (fat) from Grassland Poultry Sommerlad Heritage chicken carcasses for the confit. Then we salt the marylands over night, pack them in the schmaltz with fresh herbs and sous vide them very gently so they're par-cooked. The fat and herbs and gentle heat keep the meat juicy and flavoursome.
One of the most striking differences between Sommerlad Heritage chickens and conventional Cobb/Ross chickens are the legs which are much longer and more powerful and, therefore, much more flavoursome. If you like marylands, these are the bomb. Save the bones and collect them until you've got enough for a pot because they make great stock.
About Sommerlad Chickens from Grasslands Poultry
Our Sommerlads are born and bred at Grasslands Poultry Farm, near Wellington in NSW.
Sommerlad Heritage chickens are the result of a 15 year breeding project developed by Michael and Kathryn Sommerlad to develop an old-fashioned, deeply-flavoured table bird designed specifically to thrive outside on Australian pastures with the highest animal welfare outcomes.
Sommerlad chickens live on pasture for between 12 -16 weeks. This is up to three times longer than conventional white broilers which make up the remainder of the Australian meat industry and is a consequence of the slow growing genetics that allow for the development of strong bones and more deeply flavoured meat. Sommerlad birds have longer legs and more even meat distribution than the breast-heavy white broiler chicken and they are vigorous, athletic and curious, ranging far afield in search of grubs and green pick.
They’re wonderful to look at too, with multi-coloured feathers and a variety of colours, shapes and sizes - breeds include Transylvanian Naked Necks, Australian Game, Croad Langshan and Plymouth Rock.
"We’ve specifically bred them to thrive in free-range pasture rearing environments. (Characteristics include) active foraging behaviour, heat-resistance, balanced body confirmation and strong legs, as well as good liveability with improved, natural resistance to diseases endemic to Australian poultry flocks.”
Michael and Kathryn Sommerlad
"The flavour of a Sommerlad chicken is something very special, it’s the combination of the heritage breeds that makes this chicken stand out. The free range environment and the naturally slower growing birds also helps to develop their full flavour."
Peter Gilmore, Executive Chef, Quay Restaurant
Sommerlad Heritage chickens represent a profoundly welcome return to the days before a single genetic strain of white chicken was raised by the thousands in artificial light inside sheds with the exclusive purpose of achieving maximum efficiency, volume and speed to market with the least investment.
We’re proud to have been actively supporting this project and selling Sommerlad birds since late 2014.