What is infinitely worse, is that most of the chicken we eat today, be it fried chicken from the famous colonel or your regular chicken rice place, uses chicken that is not naturally bred or fed.
To eat a "real" chicken today, we have to either travel overseas or if you are really lucky and rich, eat a chicken in an expensive restaurant that has reached its natural 90 day breeding cycle. And not many such restaurants exist here.
I was fortunate enough to be given a tour of Toh Thye San's chicken farm in Sunggei Renggam a couple of weeks back by Kenny, who is the the third generation owner of Toh Thye San.
Unlike the regular frozen chicken we get here, the chicken in Toh Thye San's farm are not artificially injected with hormones or growth promoters to accelerate growth. Instead, they are fed with natural feed like corn. The birds originate from France and has a distinctive long neck. They have rebranded it as Anxin chicken to inject a sense of confidence to their customers and consumers.
|The Chicken Are Free to Roam About|
Toh Thye San started off as a small slaughtering house in 1979 and has now expanded to poultry farming in Malaysia. They are supplying their chicken, both Anxin and others, to many reputable eating establishments in Singapore.
They also supply the regular broiler chicken which only takes about 5 to 7 weeks to grow as compared to the Anxin chicken, which will take up to 15 weeks to reach over 2kg for each chicken. Typically, the broiler chicken only reaches up to 1.5kg before they are slaughtered. As you can see, there is a huge difference.
For this year's Ultimate Hawker Fest, Toh Thye San has again graciously donated 100 Anxin chickens for this event. These chicken will be used by Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice for their "ultimate" version of their chicken rice.
As the Anxin chicken are allowed to roam and grow a more conducive environment and grow to its full cycle, the chicken will have a more natural flavour to it. Furthermore, the texture of the chicken will be firmer, but yet retain a succulent, juicy quality about it.
In a later post, I will share with you the resulting comparison at Tian Tian between a conventional broiler chicken and the Anxin chicken. And let me just say now, it was an eye opener!
If you are curious about how Anxin chicken tastes like, be sure to check out Toh Thye San's Anxin chicken at the Ultimate Hawker Fest on the 22 Nov 2014, and Suntec Expo Halls 401 at Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice stall between 11am to 5pm.
Details and coupons can be purchased at https://www.ultimatehawkerfest.sg or call 6377 0122.
Here is a video of our visit to the chicken farm, hosted by Miss Tam Chiak.
Video shot and edited entirely on the iPhone 5S.
Featuring Miss Tam Chiak.
All music, direction, editing and videography by Ian Low.
No broiler chicken was harmed during the making of this video.