Do I need to cook Heritage Chicken differently? The answer is no, and yes. No: you can use your favorite flavorings, herbs and sauces that you use with pastured poultry cooking. But, yes: you must turn down the temperature, and make sure it doesn’t dry out either by keeping it tightly wrapped or cooking with extra moisture (or both). As a general rule of thumb, allow about 15-20 minutes per pound at 275-325F to ensure your chicken is tender and delicious. The dark meat especially benefits from an elongated cooking time.
Recommended Cooking Techniques
Braising is the best way to cook heritage chicken, followed by roasting after a brine. We don’t recommend grilling heritage chicken over high heat since the short cooking time isn’t enough for the proteins to relax and become tender. However, you may use a grill to impart flavor and crispiness to heritage chicken that has already been roasted or cooked in a pressure cooker. To some extent, the best cooking method is determined by the size of your bird:
- 2-4lbs birds are best for frying, roasting, braising. They can be used for stewing and grilling.
- 4+lbs birds are best for braising and stewing. They are NOT recommended for frying or grilling.
Follow these recipes for cooking heritage chicken: