Gran Roca has the freshest, highest quality, most delicious foods you can buy. You can see and taste the difference. We offer a large selection of sustainably grown fruits, vegetables and herbs, milk products, eggs, chicken, beef and pork, all grown in enriched soil or raised on pasture on our permaculture farm in the Yunguilla Valley about an hour southwest of Cuenca.
This week we’ll shine a spotlight on our healthier, award winning, sustainably raised chickens that are rotationally grazed on pasture 24/7 on our land, freshly butchered to order in our commercial kitchen, and sold directly to our customers. Our world class tasting chickens come in two sizes, our regular size, at 5-6 lbs, and our “Party Chickens” that are 7-10 lbs and great for larger groups. We have also expanded our chicken offerings to include our popular Chicken Breast Cutlets, Chicken Big Leg and Thigh (dark meat quarter from a large chicken), Chicken Wings, Chicken Feet, Chicken Bones for making broth, our healthy special Smoked Chicken Sausage Patties, and our Chicken Gallinas, older hens (egg layers) that are a favorite here in Ecuador as they have more flavor than a regular chicken and make the best soup and broth.
You may not think there is much difference between the chickens from Gran Roca and other vendors, but there are considerable differences. Important factors include rotationally grazing on pasture 24/7, the quality of the supplemental ration feed, and how fresh, after processing, you receive them.
First, however, let’s talk about “Chicken Size,” or at what weight are chickens a good buy. There are many chickens that are sold at 3-4 pounds, or even less. They may seem cheap, but that ignores the rule of “the meat to bone ratio.” (As chickens grow, the meat to bone ratio, yes, increases.) The fact is, for smaller chickens, you pay for less meat and more bone. Smaller chickens may be “cheaper,” but they are not a better deal. You get more meat on a 6-pound chicken than from two 3-pound chickens. This is why we don’t sell chickens that weigh less than 5-pounds. We don’t believe they are a good deal for our customers.
Second, we want to be clear that “free-range” chickens are not close to the quality of “24/7 pastured raised chickens.” “Free range” chickens are raised in traditional chicken houses with doors that are opened for a short period of time during the day so the Chickens can go outside. Some chickens might go out the door, but others might be too afraid. And if they do venture out, the surface outside is probably dirt, cement, or asphalt, but unlikely grass or pasture. In my opinion, “free-range” is a sales gimmick, not a way to raise chickens.
In addition to the grass and bugs our chickens eat on pasture, they also need to eat a ration that contains mostly grains. At Gran Roca, we make the ration ourselves on our farm to ensure that we know what’s in it and that it is healthy. Most chicken producers that we have visited purchase bags of commercial “balanceado” feed that almost always contains antibiotics and possibly hormones and who knows what else and how long those bags have sat around.
Finally, when you buy a Chicken from a tienda or market, do you know when it was processed? Some stores put on a sell-by date, but that doesn’t tell you when your chicken was processed or how fresh it is. Realize, Chickens can be contaminated with Salmonella or other bacteria that can make you sick. The longer they sit around, the longer bacteria have a chance to multiply. (This is why we recommend cooking Chicken to 165F degrees at its thickest part.) At Gran Roca, our chickens are only hours from being processed so you get the freshest Chicken for your family and friends.
To make an order using our on-line store for any of our products, please subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter. It’s easy. Go to granroca.net and click the Newsletter tab, fill in your name and email and press subscribe. That’s it. Newsletters are sent out on Saturday mornings for order delivery or pick-up on Monday afternoons. All the information you need to make and receive an order can be found in the Newsletter.
Gran Roca has received many GringoPost awards over the past 4 years.
Deliveries: Are made to your personal address.
Pick-Ups: 2-4 PM, next Monday, August 16th, Smokehouse on Colonel Talbot 8-66 across from Parque San Sebastian
Rob Gray: firstname.lastname@example.org