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Seven Acre Poultry Farm, N. Reading.

h
headmaster Sep 29, 2012 10:27 AM

I was a bit surprised to find only one mention of Seven Acre on here. They;ve been around a while, and word of mouth is good. I just 30 minutes ago bought my first bird from them, a 4lb. broiler, and a dozen of their eggs. I'll report back on the results later (torn between a chicken Tagine, chicken pot pie, or chicken barley soup with the bird). But meanwhile, so I don't forget, I thought I'd see what other experiences people have had.

  1. Gio Sep 29, 2012 10:36 AM

    We live a few towns away and have visited their outdoor honor system produce stand many times. For the past few years though we have participated in CSAs and can barely keep up with the amount of vegetables and fruit we get in a half share, and our diet is vegetable-centric. I' m interested in what you think of the chicken from Seven Acre. Currently we buy our poultry from Tendercrop Farm in Newbury and Wilson Farm in Lexington.

    1. macca Sep 29, 2012 10:38 AM

      WE get the turkey tips- great on the grill.

      1. t
        T.B. Sep 29, 2012 01:05 PM

        They're my default egg source and told me recently they've increased their flock size to avoid running out on weekends. Haven't tried their poultry yet and would be interested in how yours turns out. I did notice last year that they do a lot of business around Thanksgiving.

        1. corduroy Sep 29, 2012 04:51 PM

          We've been buying eggs from them for years. They've recently increased the price for large eggs from $2.25/2.50 to $3 I think, but it is still very reasonable and well worth it.

          1. h
            headmaster Sep 29, 2012 05:29 PM

            I'll start by noting that my choice of dish for tonight is not optimum for evaluating the meat. I made a Moroccan chicken stew that is strongly seasoned with cinnamon, ginger, and saffron, in a tomato base. It's a good enough dish that even supermarket chicken tastes okay in it.

            Having said that, it was a darn fine bird I bought. (It was $7 for a broiler, close to 4lbs.) The breast had a smidge more color (uncooked) than a grocery store chicken. The meat hadn't been frozen (excuse me, "air chilled") and so still had a suppleness that I'm not used to.

            I sampled the meat once it was fully cooked (in 4 large section, prior to shreding and incorporating into the stew) and it was excellent. The breast had a definite, though mild, chicken flavor. This was, sadly, a young bird, because they had no older "fowls" (as their nomenclature has it). The dark meat was outstanding.

            In short, I am pleased with the quality, and very pleased with the quality/price ratio. I'll make sure to try an older, stewing hen, and may try to snag a capon for Thanksgiving, since two of my three kids hate turkey.

            I hope others will give them a look, and report their results.

            4 Replies
            1. re: headmaster
              Luther Sep 29, 2012 05:47 PM

              Is there something insidious about air-chilled chicken that you're suggesting?

              1. re: Luther
                h
                headmaster Sep 29, 2012 05:55 PM

                Nothing insidious except the Orwellian language. "Air chilled" means rapidly cooled to a temperature well below freezing. And yet, in the bureaucratic Newspeak of the USDA, "airchilled" chicken has not been frozen, and can be sold as "fresh." Whereas if you freeze a chicken more slowly--but to a higher temperature--it is "frozen" and this "not fresh." I acknowledge that there is a qualitative difference when anything is frozen more rapidly. But "frozen better" is still "frozen." Except within the walls of the bureaucracy.

                1. re: headmaster
                  Luther Sep 29, 2012 07:01 PM

                  I thought that "air chilled" was to specify that the chicken wasn't chilled in a water bath, which is supposedly responsible for the superior flavor and texture of the air chilled product; "conventional" chicken is chilled in a chlorinated water bath. Is that part not true... or is this a cover for frozen chicken?

                  1. re: Luther
                    srgoodman Oct 2, 2012 04:35 PM

                    Luther, you are correct about air-chilled, which is a *good* thing.

                    headmaster, you are confusing "air-chilled" with "hard-chilled". Hard-chilling is is the practice of rapidly cooling poultry to 26 degrees F., essentially freezing it.

            2. Karl S Sep 29, 2012 05:32 PM

              I've regularly bought eggs there; excellent.

              1. greygarious Sep 30, 2012 09:33 AM

                There are 16 other Seven Acre threads: http://www.chow.com/search?query=%22s...

                2 Replies
                1. re: greygarious
                  h
                  headmaster Oct 2, 2012 05:16 PM

                  Thanks, Greygarious. The search must not have been working the other day, because that's the search I ran, and it only came up with one of those hits. Weird. Couldn't understand why no one had talked about it.

                  1. re: headmaster
                    greygarious Oct 2, 2012 11:23 PM

                    The default search is for the last 12 months. If you click onto Advanced Search you can extend and tailor your searches.

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