It seems an odd thing to get excited about — a frozen three-kilo dressed chicken at PHP129 a kilo or so in the freezers at S & R Taguig. But for years I havesearched and wondered why locally produced chickens seemed to be so small, almost anorexic, possibly undernourished. Finding a local dressed chicken in a grocery that exceeded 1.2-1.4 kilos in weight was a rare occurrence. I figured the feed cost to growth ratio meant it was probably unprofitable to raise larger chickens… So I eventually got used to the smaller chickens, but always hoped for bigger ones. Like most folks I know, chicken is a huge part of our diet, and one of the most economical sources of animal protein on the market today. So there isn’t a week that goes by that we don’t have chicken at least once or twice. And while I love a totally free-range and organically raised chicken, I find the prices still a bit too high to rely on them solely for all of our dishes… I preserve the best and costliest chickens for a simple roast, where the quality of the chicken stands out more than in say an afritada or stew.
Over the years, my hope for large chickens dimmed until I spotted this plump bird in the freezer section of S&R a few days ago. I bought one to try, and while I haven’t cooked it yet, I am thrilled to find a large bird. I know, I know, bigger isn’t always better, but sometimes skinny isn’t thrilling either. :) I was once extremely lucky to score this 3-4 kilo capon from a family friend one year, and hoped she would provide a steady supply, but it was a one-off event. Recently, I learned that both Pamora farms and Solraya had capons at around 3 kilos each, but prices for the organically raised ones were at between PHP400-900 a kilo, a bit much for my budget. So maybe, just maybe, the chicken Gods are listening and are bringing bigger chickens to market…yay. And don’t get me started on how these were probably raised in inhumane conditions with their irises seared to prevent neighborly fights… I know there is a sordid side to eating intensively farm-raised protein, be it beef, chicken, pork or fish…
So if you too wanted a bigger chicken, they are at least available from Magnolia in select locations. Thank goodness for more product choice.