You are here: Home » Ingredient » What Does “Free Range” Mean What Does “Free Range” Mean Ingredient http://relish.com/articles/what-does-free-range-mean/ August 24, 2012 If you find an artisan farmer whose chickens actually roam around eating what chickens were intended to eat (grass, grubs and insects), the meat can be remarkably different from that of their cooped up cousins. http://pgoarelish2.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/robschicks2.jpg Share this: Pin ItEmailPrint The term “free-range” brings to mind verdant pastures, blue skies and chickens happily milling about. In reality, it can be a very different picture. The term was originally used in ranch country as a legal description of areas where herds could be grazed without fences. While beef, bison and other meat may show up in the store as “free-range,” the USDA sets free-range standards only for poultry. These standards require only that birds have some access to the outdoors. On some farms, they’re given access to grasslands and unlimited exercise. But in large-scale operations (including organic ones), they may be kept in the coop for the first five weeks of their lives, by which time feeding routines are firmly established. Since they’re often slaughtered at seven weeks, the birds never develop the habit of stepping out the door. If you find an artisan farmer whose chickens actually roam around eating what chickens were intended to eat (grass, grubs and insects), the meat can be remarkably different from that of their cooped up cousins. It may be higher in healthy Omega-3 fatty acids and can be so much tastier than your run-of-the-mill roaster that you may swear you’re eating a different animal. Finding pastured poultry may take some pecking around. Farmer’s markets are a great place to get to know local producers and find out what your dinner had for dinner. —By Jo Marshall, a food writer in Deephaven, Minn. (10/08) Share this: Pin ItEmailPrint Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce Skewers of savory chicken and a luscious peanut sauce for dipping. Satay is the perfect dish for introducing kids to the flavors of the world. Peruvian Roasted Chicken Thighs Known in many stateside Peruvian restaurants as “Super Chicken,” this one-dish recipe earns its name every time, even when reheated. Don’t skip the lemon-water step—it makes a big difference. Chicken Quesadillas with Corn, Edamame and Lime Rotisserie chicken plus corn and edamame from the freezer make this dish super speedy. Green Tea Asian Chicken Black tea can be substituted for green tea and flank steak subbed for the chicken; but don’t use black tea with the chicken as the tea tannins will stain the chicken a dark color. Pizza Bianca with Chicken, Caramelized Onions and Fontina Savory roast chicken and tender caramelized onions on a crisp crust. Chicken Tetrazzini The traditional Italian baked pasta, with chicken, cheese, sherry and nutmeg. Southern Fried Chicken Use authentic ingredients for an authentic taste. Easy Chicken and Dumplings Five ingredients and two steps is all it takes to make these simple and comfortingly delicious Bisquick based chicken and dumplings. Boursin-Stuffed Chicken Herby Boursin cheese makes this chicken dish indescribably delicious—perfect for a special occasion dinner.