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Fermanagh Free Range Chicken

Maurice Kettyle - Kettyle Free Range FoodsKettyle Irish Foods is an innovative food company producing a variety of speciality food products developed out of the 500 acre family farm in Co Fermanagh, which had mainly reared beef for export to Europe and beyond.

In 2004 Maurice Kettyle realised that there was a niche market for the very best of Irish food products such as dry-aged beef, Lough Erne Lamb, naturally reared Irish rose veal and really good chickens.

The beef, in particular, is now well known and is credited on many of the best restaurant menus in Ireland and Britain. The chicken, however, has been a well-kept secret until recently. Chicken with a texture and well-developed flavour that attracts the attention of the leading chefs and speciality food retail outlets is a rare bird these days – and, in recognition of the excellent eating quality of Fermanagh Free Range Chickens, Kettyle Irish Foods received an Irish Food Writers' Guild award last month.

Fermanagh Free Range ChickenMaurice Kettyle, with the aim of producing chicken that is good to eat, has developed a programme that involves good husbandry, good welfare, good feeding and a carefully thought out processing system. These chickens are genuinely free to roam and scratch around outside in paddocks.

The combination of exercise and a carefully planned programme enables the chickens to grow slowly and naturally without having to resort to restricting their diet to stop them getting too big.

Like all animals, a stress-free end has a beneficial effect on the eating quality. Add skilled butchery, a process that does not use water, and the end result is tender, fully-flavoured, succulent flesh - chicken like it used to be. A real treat.

Chicken Breast with Fennel and Rocket SaladChicken Breast with Fennel and Rocket Salad

Simple and special, this takes only 30 minutes to cook, and the salad can be prepared ahead. Its simplicity makes this an ideal dish for cooking free range chicken, allowing the flavour and texture to speak for itself.

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