Chicken: Everybody's Favorite Bird

A t D’Artagnan we believe that a happy chicken is a tasty chicken. And if you are going to eat 80 pounds of chicken a year – as the average American does - you might as well eat the very best. That’s why we partner with conscientious farmers and do plenty of taste tests of their products ourselves. The chicken we sell is the chicken we want to feed our families.

Everybody's favorite Bird: Chicken - Our Products – Dartagnan.com

Everybody’s Favorite Bird

It used to be that every farm had a flock of chickens, providing fresh eggs and meat. Even city dwellers would keep a few chickens in a coop as they are the perfect meat: easy to raise in small spaces, nearly all the parts of the bird can be used for food, and a single chicken can be consumed in one meal. Chickens were scrappy yard birds that served a purpose; they foraged for insects, ate table scraps, and eventually made their way into a pot.

But today, most chicken comes from big factory farms, where the birds are raised intensively in crowded barns, pushed to grow quickly and processed at a young age to keep chicken meat on every table. Chicken is considered a cheap meat, and it’s raised in a way that keeps the price low, and if we may say so, keeps the flavor bland. This ubiquitous white meat is not the chicken that our grandparents ate.

D’Artagnan’s Chicken Choices

At D'Artagnan we’re serious about chicken. From our earliest days, we have been dedicated to providing the highest quality chicken available and doing it outside the factory farm model. We establish lasting partnerships with farmers that share our vision, respect nature, and focus on the best animal welfare practices, from start to finish. This holistic approach produces truly wholesome results – and supremely tasty chicken on your table.

Green Circle™ Chicken

Our exclusive Green Circle chicken is raised by a network of Amish and Mennonite family farms in Pennsylvania, certified by Humane Farm Animal Care and recognized by the ASPCA on their “Shop With Your Heart” list.

In our unique program, the chickens eat clean surplus vegetables along with wholesome grains, keeping unloved vegetables from going to landfills, benefitting not only the chickens but also the environment. And of course, no antibiotics, hormones or arsenicals are ever used. Green Circle chickens are air-chilled and hand processed in a low-volume facility near the farms where they are raised.

This common sense, waste-nothing philosophy reflects days past when chickens lived on vegetable scraps and roamed freely around farmyards. The diet and the care that is taken on the farm give this chicken a unique, old fashioned and authentic flavor.

We offer two types of chicken in this program:

The Heritage Green Circle chicken is an old-breed bird. They enjoy more than twice the barn space required to be considered free-range, have access to the outdoors and the ability to forage naturally, and are raised to 85 days of age, twice that of the average chicken. Raising birds for a longer time allows muscle to develop, which translates to better flavor and texture.

The only real difference with our original Green Circle chicken is the breed, and the processing time at 56 days of age. They get the same space, care, feed, and certification as the heritage birds do.

You can’t go wrong with either choice for all your chicken recipes. If you needed proof on the plate that a happy chicken is a tasty chicken, you’ll find it with our Green Circle chicken.

Organic Chicken

D’Artagnan sold organic chicken before the USDA certified the process and allowed the term on a label.  Our organic chicken is raised on small Amish and Mennonite farms committed to sustainable agriculture. The birds are free-range, stress-free conditions on family farms using practices designed to maintain and enhance ecological balance, and allow the birds to express natural behaviors.

The certified-organic grain feed does not include herbicides, antibiotics, growth hormones, or additives at any time during the lifecycle, and the chickens enjoy free access to spring water. Our organic chickens are air-chilled to retain authentic flavor, not water.

Air-Chilled Chicken

Our air-chilled chickens are raised in much the same manner as the organic chickens, save for the organic feed. These Rock Cornish chickens are reared on Amish and Mennonite family farms in the Midwest, in open barns with sunlight, and lots of room to grow. They are never given antibiotics or growth hormones.

Air-chilling is a method for cooling chickens after slaughter, which involves “wind” chambers that blast cold air on the chickens, instead of dunking them into cold water tanks. Air-chilled chicken has less retained water as a result, which means deep flavor, tight texture, and skin that crisps nicely in cooking.

Whichever chicken you choose, know that you are supporting small farms across America that are dedicated to doing the right thing – for the animals, the planet and for you.