I am going to have to make some room in the freezer.
We have been living here in Birkenhead for almost 16 years and for almost as long as that every second Saturday of the month I have made my way down to New Ferry for The Wirral Farmer’s Market.
There are plenty of good things there: Welsh Black Beef, Organic Lamb, home-made chocolate, veal if you want it, off cuts of bacon and good vegetables including potatoes and carrots still thick with dirt from the ground they have come from.
But the big constant as far as I am concerned is the stand selling chickens that is just on the right hand side as you go in. To my mind they are the best chickens you could ever ask for. When Simon Hopkinson wrote “Roast Chicken and other stories” it is chickens like these that he had in mind. There is nothing pale and easy about them. There is an earthy smell about them that tells of time spent outside and there is a gaminess to their taste. And they come with giblets. Is there anyone reading this now who knows where they can get a chicken with giblets?
I buy one of their chickens every month when I go and invariable we have it roasted for Sunday lunch although their have been variations.
Today they had a sign up to say that due to oncoming retirements they are downsizing and won’t be able to make The Farmer’s Market after April. I won’t be here in April so there is just one more chance after this month for me to buy one of their chickens. I might even stock up and stash a few away in the freezer.
For lunch we had some of their thighs cooked in oil and shredded and then stuffed in a baguette with salad, tomato and onion and a good dollop of hot sauce.