Home' Scoop : Scoop 50 Summer 2009 Contents 192 SCOOP SUMMER 2009
mately comes down to the care and attention the
birds get from the moment they hatch.
The business is also involved in a partnership
with Landcare Western Australia that see funds
from every chicken sale donated to the Gondwana
Link project, which aims to restore depleted
wildlife in the Stirlings and the Porongurups.
The next step for Mt Barker Chicken, says
Mark, is to look at farming other types of poultry
such as quail and spatchcock.
"There's no-one in WA producing these types
of birds at the moment. And we've had heaps of
demand from butchers and restaurants so it seems
like a logical step to take. We just want to provide
as much choice as we can for the consumer.
"After all that's what free range is all about:
offering choice outside your run-of-the-mill poultry
MT BARKER'S GUIDE TO THE
PERFECT ROAST CHICKEN
~ Serves four ~
1 Preheat your oven to 180°C, then take
a size 16 Mt Barker Free Range whole
chicken and pat it all over with paper towel
to make sure it's nice and dry (including the
2Cut alemoninhalfandrubone ofthe
halves over the skin of the chicken,
then slice the other half and stuff it inside the
chicken along with a handful of fresh herbs (we
like a combination of parsley, sage, thyme and
rosemary, but you can use whatever you like).
3 Rub the chicken all over with olive oil
and plenty of salt and pepper, then
place it breast-side down on a roasting tray
and cook for 45 minutes.
4 Turn your chicken over (carefully - you
don't want to tear the skin!), and cook
for a further 30 minutes or until the skin is
golden brown and the juices between the leg
and thigh run clear when a skewer is inserted.
5 Let your chicken rest for 15 minutes in
a warm place, then remove the lemon
and herbs from the cavity, carve and serve --
6 When you're finished with all that
succulent meat, you can use the bones
to make a fantastic chicken stock -- just pop
them in a large pot with a chopped onion,
carrot and celery and bring to a simmer for
a couple of hours before straining out the
solids. The stock will keep for a couple of
days in the fridge or can be frozen for up to
With estimated beginnings in the 1950s,
Australia's chicken meat industry is a
relative newcomer to the livestock game.
Consumption has increased from 6kg per
person in 1965 to 36kg today, making it
one of our nation's fastest growing primary
industries. Here are a few more tasty morsels
about the humble Aussie chicken.
• Australian chicken growers produce an
estimated nine million chickens per week (of
which fewer than 10 percent are free range or
organic). That equates to roughly 20 chickens
per man, woman and child each year.
• All chicken sold in Australia is grown in
Australia. Importing raw chicken meat is a big
• Chickens are bred separately for meat and
eggs. Comparing the two is like comparing
dairy cows and beef cows. They never serve
• The three most common chicken meat
breeds are the Ross, the Cobb and the Arbor
Acre, which have all been selected for their
high meat yield.
• Contrary to popular belief, no chicken in
Australia is given added hormones. What
may happen though, is that some producers
routinely use growth-promoting antibiotics to
increase development rates.
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