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Heirloom Poultry


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Has anyone read the April 2006 Atlantic article on heirloom poulty? (I apologize in advance for bringing up an article restricted to those with subscriptions -- if you're interested in reading it, PM me and I'll give you my online login/password).

It's a great article -- focuses on the differences in taste between today's "corporate" chickens and heirloom breed chickens, which have more muscle, a stronger taste and better breeding conditions. Here's a quote:

"Pasture-raised chickens eat grass and peck for bugs rather than standing in miserably cramped pens; they spend the daylight hours outdoors. Their meat tastes so good it’s hard to believe you’re eating chicken and not some special game bird. The dark meat is much darker, because the birds have actually exercised; all of the meat has sinew and taste. The fat is a deep gold rather than an anemic yellow. Real chicken could practically be called “the other red meat.”

The article also goes on to discuss how these birds are different from free-range chickens (given the different interpretations of free-range) and is pretty detailed about how heirloom birds are raised.

So, my question -- has anyone here tasted "heirloom" chicken? The article gives a couple of places to buy it and I'm thinking about getting some -- my mouth was watering by the time I was finished reading it! I'm just interested in whether they're all their "clucked" up to be.

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