A word from The Country Victualler kitchen…
Now, when the world is slowing down, seemed like the perfect time to start our blog. We hope this will be a place where we can help people fall back in love with British produce. Share recipes and cooking tips, help showcase other artisan producers and answer those burning foodie questions – like how to achieve the perfect crackling or how to cook your steak so it’s always tender, is grass-fed always better? We are working on a customer “Hall of Fame” so send us your foodie photos and scrumptious selfies and you might feature on our blog.
The Country Victualler has a long and respected history as one of the most respected ham producers in the country, but feel free to skip the history if it’s not your thing.
We bought The Country Victualler in 2013, from Richard Craven-Smith-Mines and his wife Jane. Our vision was to preserve traditional ham making and heritage recipes. The jewel in our crown is the Alderton Marmalade Glazed Ham™ the recipe for which has been alive for well over 100 years. We have also expanded to include smoked meats, hams, pâtés, terrines, and delicious baked goods.
Our business is still a family concern, and that is at the heart of everything we do. With a background in butchery and baking and a passionate desire to keep British food heritage alive, we hope to continue producing products that are not just incredibly tasty, but that is sustainable for the future. Most of our courier packaging is now recyclable and we are working on the rest.
We are constantly looking for other British businesses to partner and collaborate with. From wines to sauces, charcuterie, and everything in-between, so if you are a small artisan producer we want to hear from you!
In recent weeks the world has been hit with the invisible enemy Covid-19 and we have all had to adapt our lives very quickly. Social distancing, hour-long queues for supermarkets, empty shelves, and waving at our loved ones through windows have all become somehow normal.
I am so proud of how our team has leapt into action, not thinking of the bottom line but instead suggesting discounts and priority deliveries for the vulnerable and elderly. Alongside our sister company Maloney’s, we have been delivering sandwiches to local hospitals and schools, expanded our product range to include easy to use packs and implemented contactless nationwide delivery.
With the days drawing out and the weather warming, our thoughts turn to lighter, brighter dinner time solutions. We are particularly fond of the following recipe. It combines minimum effort with maximum flavour, leaving you more time to spend however you please.
Sweet chilli & lime chicken with springtime rice salad
1 x pack of our pre-marinated sweet chilli and lime chicken breasts
150g of rice, cooked and cooled
50g of pomegranate seeds
50g of feta cheese, cubed
½ of yellow pepper, chopped
½ a red onion, chopped (optional)
¼ of a cucumber, chopped
For the mint and lemon vinaigrette, you will need…
The juice of one lemon
Light olive oil, equal volume to the lemon juice
2 sprigs of mint, finely chopped
½ teaspoon of white caster sugar
Firstly, cook and cool the rice, you need to cool the rice quickly, to avoid bacterial growth.
Pre-heat your oven to gas mark 5/190 degrees and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
While the oven is heating prepare your cucumber, pomegranate (we used pre-prepared seeds) feta cheese, yellow peppers, and red onion if using.
Place the chicken on the baking sheet and into the oven, cook for approximately 25-30 minutes.
Now make your dressing, the easiest way to do this is in a clean jam jar.
Juice your lemon and pour into the jar, now add the olive oil, judging by eye is fine.
Add your sugar and chopped mint, replace the jar lid and shake vigorously till the ingredients combine.
Fluff the cold rice with a fork and mix through your other salad components, reserving the dressing till you are ready to serve.
Once your chicken is cooked, rest for a few minutes then cut on the diagonal. Pour your dressing over the rice salad and mix thoroughly.