Wednesday, 7 September 2011

We honestly admit that we love meat (all kind) but we don't have to be a vegetarians to understand the importance of animal welfare. As a carnivorous person myself, I have to put up with the fact that animals have to die. Nevertheless, it matters about animal welfare, and it's best if the animal's life is reasonably good and it grows well in the most natural environment for quite a while before it ends up being killed and eaten. Particularly notable are the chickens that seem to be grown in the most appalling conditions and this is because of the increasingly growing demand of the world market. Thus, hens, which hit the shelves of our favourite stores look great, but do we realize what kind of life they led before they were so beautifully arranged to attract our eye in the supermarket? The whole thing about animal welfare was already publicly raised by a number of organisations but the celebrity chefs have the biggest input in this matter... especially, Jamie's Oliver whose campaign in 2007 was to make people aware of the conditions in which chickens were kept, so then people could make informed decisions about what to eat, rather than allowing the factory-farming industry to hide the shocking truth.What's interesting about his campaign is that it doesn't urged people to an absolute transition to vegetarianism, but to stimulate an informed choice. We have already made a choice... And you? We strongly recommend you to watch the entire experiment of Jamie Oliver HERE

And here we go... on the table today is this beautiful, tasty free range chicken - recipe by Jamie Oliver.

Roast chicken with vegies and herbs

1.5 kg chicken 'free range'
2 medium onions
2 carrots
2 sticks of celery
1 bulb of garlic
olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon
small bunch of fresh thyme, rosemary, sage, or a mixture of all these herbs

Take your chicken out of the fridge 30 minutes before it goes into the oven. 
• Preheat your oven to 240°C/475°F/gas 9 
• There’s no need to peel the vegetables – just give them a wash and roughly chop them 
• Break the garlic bulb into cloves, leaving them unpeeled 
• Pile all the veg and garlic into the middle of a large roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil 
• Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper, rubbing it all over the bird 
• Carefully prick the lemon all over, using the tip of a sharp knife (if you have a microwave, you could pop the lemon in these for 40 seconds at this point as this will really bring out the flavour) 
• Put the lemon inside the chicken’s cavity, with the bunch of herbs 

To cook your chicken
• Place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the roasting tray and put it into the preheated oven 
• Turn the heat down immediately to 200°C/400°F/gas 6 and cook the chicken for 1 hour and 20 minutes 
• If you’re doing roast potatoes and veggies, this is the time to crack on with them – get them into the oven for the last 45 minutes of cooking 
• Baste the chicken halfway through cooking and if the veg look dry, add a splash of water to the tray to stop them burning 
• When cooked, take the tray out of the oven and transfer the chicken to a board to rest for 15 minutes or so 

Enjoy and have a nice evening!

p.s if you want to read a bit more about chicken welfare, have a look here, and here and here

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