Oven baked chicken, with chicken sourced from close quarters, Kött på Riktigt, a farm located in Västra Götaland, Sweden.
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2021
Oven baked chicken in the making, using chicken sourced from a local farm, Kött på Riktigt, Gothenburg, Sweden.
How different can a chicken taste? I wondered as we fingered the options of meat boxes presented to us by Kött på Riktigt. We live in the southern archipelago of Gothenburg, and representatives from the farm, Kött på Riktigt were up and about, taking orders.
Curious, I asked if the chicken was any different from the ones you can get from the large grocery stores. The answer was yes. But what was meant by ‘different’ was not clearly explained, except that Kött på Riktigt raised their chickens as how chickens were supposed to be raised, “You know, like how our grandparents would raise chickens if they had them.” I smiled, because when I was about five years old, I remember how great-grand relatives on my mother’s side raised chickens where they lived in the rural areas in Ipoh, Malaysia. The chickens roamed everywhere in the kampong, eating whatever they could find.
Kött på Riktigt is coalition of about eighty small Swedish farms that practice regenerative agriculture. The company is co-founded by three young Swedish entrepreneurs who are passionate about regenerative farming practices and short food supply networks. They see a unique value in continuing to generate new knowledge in the field of ecological agriculture, and solving last mile logistics of local food distribution.
As economies grow increasingly services oriented, the concept of farm-to-door for customers is one aspect of personalized services provided by Kött på Riktigt. Located in Gothenburg, in the region of Västra Götaland, Sweden, the company has a delivery radius from Vänersborg to Onsala, offering free home deliveries if you live within a 2-hours drive from the coalition of small farms. This saves time for consumers from having to navigate too large grocery shops with aisles of potential compulsive buys. A meat box delivered home also helps with meal plans if you have a family for which to cater.
We went with the company´s most popular meat box order because of the combination of beef cuts, pork tenderloin and chicken. I was totally curious about the chicken, and decided to try the chicken breasts in three different seasonings that include, BBQ spice, rosé and black pepper with cumin, and Herbes de Provence on a base of ground black and white peppercorns.
Coming out of the oven, and cooked to an inner temperature of about 72°C, the chicken breasts smelled and looked gorgeous. The flavour was indeed different, with what I can only describe as chicken meat with a hint of sweet grass. The meat was juicy, and its texture was pleasantly lighter than chickens bought from grocery stores. There was also greater flavour profile difference that you can taste depending on the seasoning used. My favourite was the one with Herbes de Provence. The mix of leafy herbs seemed to give the chicken breasts a floral overtone, so if you’re not into floral tasting chicken, you might want to go with a different seasoning. The rosé and black pepper seasoning tasted exotic, and I can certainly see myself using more of that in future oven bakes on meat.
There was a heads-or-tail toss on what type of fat to use when baking, duck fat or butter. Both were used in the end, the combination of which rendered what I thought was some very nice chicken liquour.
So how different can a chicken taste? As I found out, with excellent production practices at Kött på Riktigt, a chicken when fed on a proper chicken diet, and treated with rights to quality living conditions, is extremely flavourful.