Well, at least I think that’s what I heard the girls say when they heard what was on the menu last night. Bernadette was joining us for dinner, so Victoria made something special: roast chicken. When I texted Bernadette to tell her not to spread the info around the chicken yard when she arrived, she texted back: “Was it a close relative?”
Probably not, since the chickens we buy in the supermarket are generally Cornish X’s (Cornish Cross), a bird that was developed specifically to fit the needs commercial factory-raised poultry operations. This is the chicken that nearly led to the extinction of Lily’s breed, the Delaware chicken.
A Cornish X is less a chicken than an eating machine and a freak of fast-forward photography: Due to their rapid growth, they reach a market weight of ﬁve pounds (live weight) in six to seven weeks, which makes them the most efficient and economical meat chicken on the market.
Of course it makess more sense from a business model to process the birds at a younger age for a myriad of reasons, but I know I’ve read someplace that an older chickens taste better than younger ones. A poster on www.backyardchickens.com explains that “older birds have higher amino acid counts wich makes the meat more complex…. more nutrient dense… and because of this you get a higher quality of flavor.” The jury will have to remain out on that one, because no matter how much my girls swear at me, I have promised not to eat them.