Chicken is the type of product that is easily adaptable in all sorts of ways; it can be cut and prepared in a variety of styles, and the meat is sufficiently 'neutral' in taste that it will accommodate a wide range of stronger-flavoured ingredients. This is one of the reasons it is such a popular choice with shoppers and it is one of the easiest products that a butcher can add value to.
Although chicken was once an expensive, almost exclusive, product it is now one of the most popular and commonly available items to buy. In its basic whole form it can be bought in a supermarket for a few pounds.
For the independent butcher to profit from a whole bird, it has to be bred to the highest standards or must have value added to it. The best way to achieve the latter is to create a kitchen-ready product that is flavoursome and easy to carve.
Brindon Addy's Chicken with Haggis achieves both aims with style. The flavour of the chicken is enhanced by the intensely different flavour of the haggis and rounded off by the sweetness of apricots. As it is a prepared boneless product, it is easy to carve at the dinner table and is bound to be a talking point.
Brindon Addy is a first-generation butcher, who started as a Saturday boy, aged 11. "I always wanted to be a farmer, but was told that butchers made the money. I loved it from the very first day."
He trained under Dave Clapham at Thomas Danby College, Leeds, then joined Malton Bacon as a trainee production manager. For two years he worked with a butcher in his home town of Holmfirth in Yorkshire, before striking out on his own a few miles away at Hade Edge at the tender age of 21.
He admits that while he initially thought he knew a lot about running a business, it was only when he saw the standards achieved by competition winners and by butchers in the Q Guild that he realised how much more he had to learn.
Since opening in 1993, the business has expanded greatly. The original butcher's shop is now a delicatessen and the fresh meat section is at the front of the building. It looks tiny from the outside, but this shop opens up once you step inside and becomes a veritable Aladdin's cave.
Its mission is to support local farmers by cementing field-to-plate supply partnerships. Brindon was chosen as Meat Buyer of the Year in the annual Pig & Poultry Marketing Awards last year. "We cater for people who appreciate and enjoy eating top-quality locally produced food at the right price" he says. "We seek to handcraft as many of our own products as possible in-house including homemade sausages and beefburgers, pies, cooked ham and beef, and dry-cured bacon."
Having originally admired the Q Guild from the outside, Brindon is now chairman of the north-east region of the association. "The Q Guild opened up my eyes and helped develop my business no end. We now have about 20 members in the region and we're always interested in hearing from forward-thinking butchers who may want to join."
For Brindon, the next development stage of his own business is possible further expansion of the front of his shop to create a food hall. He may also buy another shop if the right premises come along.
Chicken with Haggis
1 whole chicken
1 small haggis
Remove the wings and legs. These can be eaten or used separately. Now carve the boneless bird at 90 degrees to where the backbone would have been.
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