Hairy Bikers - Chicken & Egg s01e01 Episode Script


1 Darwin, I think I may have found the missing link in your theory of evaporation.
It's evolution, you buffoon.
What is it, Covington? - It's a fossilised chicken drumstick.
- That is exactly like this.
That means that they had fried chicken 100 million years ago.
No, no.
This chicken proves my theory of evolution.
- We're back! - Shaboom! And we're on our biggest adventure ever.
Let's go! 'We're taking our bikes to four continents' Where's Dave? To find out how chicken has taken over the culinary world.
- Absolutely superb.
- This is almost a religious experience.
And why it's about to become the planet's most popular meat.
We are going across France just to find a chicken.
- We'll uncover the world's most fascinating and delicious - Curry! - Chicken and egg dishes.
- Chicken! From the great British roast, to exotic spices in Morocco.
And the best ways of cooking them.
Mwah-ha-ha! Oh, yes! 'We're exploring the history and cultural impact of the humble 'chicken.
' - It's the Holy Land.
- 'And the egg, dude.
' - From the home of lip-smacking fast-food.
- Thank you! - To French cordon bleu.
- Oh! - Paris! - Ooh-la-la.
It's our most finger-licking chicken-y adventure ever.
I don't know how you top this.
Our journey starts in chicken-crazy Britain.
Do you know what? - I'm dead "egg-cited", Dave.
- Me, too, Kingy.
And I can't wait to get "cracking".
We eat a jaw-dropping 1.
3 billion chickens and over 12 billion eggs a year.
And it's not just about food.
We've turned chicken-keeping into a national obsession.
So, what's behind this passion for all things poultry? And what are the tricks to making some of our favourite traditional British treats? The place to begin is at Si's house, where roast chicken is a Sunday tradition.
It's also the day Si has his mates over for band practice.
And Sunday normally consists of all the lads getting round, having a craic and eating chicken.
It is our roast of choice.
They say timing is everything in music, and I've timed it so the only drumsticks on show are covered in gravy.
- Right, fellas, we're off.
Leg or breast, boys? - Give us both.
There's no more British way to eat a bird than to roast it with all the trimmings.
Even with a simple roast Sunday chicken, there's variety.
Some people like the leg, some like the breast, some like a couple of wings.
I mean, the wings are popular now.
- In fact, they're breeding birds now with giant wings.
- Are they? - Yes! - Cos wings are in.
- It's funny how you can have, like If you were to have beef twice a day or, say, lamb, or something, you would think, "Oh, God, I'm having it again.
"I'm having beef again.
" But chicken, you wouldn't bat an eyelid, would you, if you had it for lunch and you had it for tea? That's very true, actually.
It lends itself to loads of - different techniques, doesn't it? - Absolutely, yeah, it's very versatile.
We're going to get such a lot of pleasure from that humble bird but then we've got the sandwiches to come.
- And the chicken pie, dude.
- Stir-fries.
- Soup.
- Ooh, chicken.
- It is the gift that keeps on giving.
- You're not wrong.
So, what's the secret to cooking the perfect roast chicken? And how did we become a nation of chickaholics? Chicken is now Britain's favourite meat.
95% of us eat it.
The truth is, it's tasty, easy to cook and affordable.
But it hasn't always been on our tables.
In fact, go back 200 years, and we hardly ate chicken at all.
- The answer to all this lies in a tale of two queens.
- Oh! And this grand old house was built during the reign of one of them.
Queen Victoria.
God save our gracious Queen Long live our noble Queen God save the Queen.
In days of old, with empire bold, Queen Victoria ruled the waves.
The favourite nosh, it wasn't posh.
It was chicken that she craves.
A bit like us, really.
We're here because the fire-belching behemoth behind us is a Victorian oven.
Look, it's a very old range, isn't it? And it's cracked so the flames are coming out of where they shouldn't but, dude, it'll be all right.
- Trust me, I'm an arsonist.
- And why this cutting-edge technology? Well, firstly, because we want to share with you how to cook the ultimate roast.
But also because it was during the reign of Queen Victoria that eating roast chicken first took off.
Back in the days of Queen Victoria, people didn't really eat chicken at all.
British birds were scrawny little things not worth cooking.
- When she was a young chick herself - Happy birthday.
Queen Victoria was given some very exotic chickens.
Oh, we are amused.
So keen on her fancy feathered friends was she that she kicked off a huge trend for keeping exotic poultry.
I hear it's all the rage.
Many of the new breeds were plumper and tastier than their scraggy predecessors.
Oh, you look delightful.
Meanwhile, Victorian improvements to ovens and cookers meant people could roast meat at home for the first time.
I'm not going in there.
I'm scared of t'dark.
And among the upper classes, at least, chicken was finally on the menu.
Oh, how scrummy! And now, to honour that glorious history with a roast recipe fit for a queen.
I just wanted to tell you all, you can't just throw it in the oven like everybody else does.
95% of people do.
They just take a chicken, take it out the fridge, whack it in the oven with some onions.
Well, stop it.
Because a chicken deserves respect.
We're going to show you how to do it properly.
If you don't do it, we're going to send the chicken police round and cut your legs off.
- Right.
- OK? The first thing This is the night before you're cooking it, you're going to salt it inside and out.
So, take handfuls of salt and run it over, like so.
- And inside.
- So, in the cavity.
It just makes the meat really, really plump and unctuous.
It's juicy.
It keeps its juiciness, doesn't it, in a weird way? Because it tightens up the grain of the meat to retain that texture and flavoursome content.
It's flipping lovely, so trust us, we're chicken doctors.
Wrap your salty bird in kitchen towel and whack it in the fridge overnight.
And when you get back to business the next day, patience is everything.
Now, what you want to do is you want to let this chicken come to room temperature.
Chicken, steak, whatever.
Always bring it to room temperature before you cook it because the meat from the fridge is like this "Eeeh!" Hard to get a knife through it.
Let it relax before you put it into the oven.
But we'll use that time while this chicken is relaxing in its newly brined loveliness, to make the stuffing.
The first thing that we do is chop five sage leaves, quite finely.
You can use dried sage for this.
About half a teaspoon.
In a bowl, I've got an onion that has been sweated down for about five-ten minutes.
So, basically the building blocks of stuffing, sage And onion.
- Beautiful sage, this.
Fresh, lovely.
- Oh, aye.
And we like a bit of lemon in our stuffing.
You get that lovely zest and that little floral flavour.
It's just so nice.
That goes in.
The breadcrumbs.
Give it a good old stir and season to taste.
Now it's time to get stuffed.
Now, you want to leave a bit of an air gap between the stuffing and the top of the breastbone for the air to circulate.
Now, that's a top tip, that.
And this stuffing's going to go near the breast meat.
It's going to get up there and the sage, the lemon and pepper will work wonders.
So, we're almost ready to roast.
But how do you do the bird without it burning and sticking to the pan? Now, what I would like to do is cut the wing tips off and use this as a trivet.
It just raises the chicken slightly away from the tin so that while the wing tips, which really there is nothing to eat, get burnt and stick, you will get flavour in your gravy, they'll stop the rest of the chicken from burning.
Wing tips.
In most ovens, you will need 40 minutes per kilo.
But the trick is to weigh AFTER you've stuffed your bird.
To make it juicy and golden, we're going to rub that butter all over it.
And while Dave's doing that, a bit of lemon juice all over the top.
- But the thing is, we're not done yet.
- No.
We want gravy with our chicken, so, without adding some liquids to this, we're not going to get proper gravy.
So, 100ml of water and the same of white wine.
- You can use vermouth as well.
- I like vermouth.
- I do.
It's nice.
Slightly herby, as well, which is really nice.
So, for perfect chicken, into the oven, 220 degrees Celsius for the first 15 minutes then down to 180.
Over to you.
You seem to have control of the situation.
I'm not entirely sure I do.
Let's have a look.
That is what's known as cold.
But we're not going to let the small matter of a cold oven come between us and our roast chicken.
- Have we got access to something else? - Course we have.
These big houses, it's all for show, this lot down here.
- They'll have one upstairs.
- Good hunting.
Thank you.
Good grief.
Passage of time.
Look at this baby.
- That's the most perfect roasted chicken.
- Yep.
Now, this can rest, I reckon, for half an hour.
I'm just going to put this in a cosy corner, have a little break.
Meanwhile, back to the gravy.
So, I'm going to take the cooking juices, remove as much fat as possible, then mix a dessert spoon of plain flour into the crunchy, yummy, crispy bits.
For next step, in goes the wine, but a good, big glassful.
Put this on the heat and stir.
As the wine bubbles away, any browned bits that Mr King has managed not to scrape off will, in fact, go into the gravy.
Now, look, the flour's cooking out, which is important.
You can see how thick it's going.
Dave, I think I'm ready, mate.
- Right.
- As it thickens, add your precious meat juices.
Stir, season well and, finally, run it through a sieve.
And that is the tastiest, purest, most beautiful gravy you could possibly want.
It's no surprise when you see how delicious that looks that chicken accounts for nearly half of all meat bought in Britain.
- Gravy? - Ooh, not half.
- How do you like it? - Oh, all over.
- No, I don't like territorial pools.
- Tell me when.
- When.
Now, let's taste this chicken.
Do you know, Si, to me, I think this is one of the most perfect dinners.
The chicken is cooked perfectly.
The stuffing, you've got that wonderful sage, the onions and the bit of light lemon in it complements the chicken perfectly.
And you know what? Great meat produces great gravy.
- And that is so, so important.
- Yeah.
- So, take the time.
Get a great chicken.
There's no questioning the greatness of that roast, Kingy.
And I'll tell you what, it's whetted my appetite to learn more about the story of chicken in Britain.
Oh, me, too, mucker.
The thing is, though, how far back should we go into this feathery fable? You'll wish you'd never asked.
Kingy, you know we were descended from the apes? - Yeah? - I bet you can't guess who this little chuck's great, great, great, great, great -- - you get the idea -- grandad was.
- The dodo.
- No.
Not even close.
- Ostrich? - No, Kingy.
Let me introduce to you, Mr T rex.
Get away with yourself.
Can you see a similarity? That's "egg-straordinary".
"Egg-citing", eh? Our feathery friends descended from flesh-eating lizards.
Who knew? Well, it looks like we've got a lot to learn about all things poultry.
This journey's not just about eating chicken, what about the birds themselves? Well, let's start with the kind of chicken most of us know best, the ones on the supermarket shelves.
These are breeds of chicken that put on weight quickly, making them ideal for eating.
But they're just the tip of the poultry iceberg, dude.
There's an absolute plethora of chicken varieties out there.
And I know just the place to meet some of them.
Charlotte Carnegie is an award-winning chicken breeder.
We've got quite a good collection.
I think we've got about 25 different varieties and colours.
Most breeds will come in several colours.
Charlotte's the perfect person to talk us through the chicken in all its shapes and sizes.
- This one has hair like you when you wash it, Kingy.
- Yeah, it has.
- Yeah.
You won't find any of the birds here on your supermarket shelf.
All Charlotte's chickens are egg-laying breeds, not food birds.
- So, do different breeds have different personalities? - Yes.
They've all Every single breed has a different trait and personality and some are more friendly and some are better for eggs and all sorts.
What's the difference between these birds and the ones that we actually eat? These are obviously just made for eggs.
They're not made to put on a lot of weight cos the ones that we eat are bred for optimal feed-to-weight conversion.
It's a bit like beef, isn't it? You know, you have beef cattle for beef and you have dairy cows for milk.
Really, you don't eat dairy cows.
It doesn't work.
- No, it doesn't.
- I didn't realise it was like that with chicken.
Almost all of these birds are hens.
That's female, to you and me.
These hens are youngsters, called pullets.
You can tell that from the small size of the red comb on their heads.
- Can I try and pick one up? - Yep.
- Which one? You look nice.
Oh, I don't want to upset these ladies.
That was a shock for you, wasn't it? Sorry, sweetheart.
The comb on a hen is the cooling system, so they flush blood through that to cool themselves down.
- And the cockerel being bigger, naturally - Has a bigger comb.
- .
- needs a bigger comb.
- It might be stupid, but do they all lay eggs? - They DO all lay eggs.
Two or three chickens will quite easily supply a small family with eggs for a week.
So, you need two or three chickens and a cockerel, presumably? - You don't need a cockerel for a hen to lay eggs.
- Eh? - Eh? I thought This is amazing.
I always thought you had to have a cockerel in order for all the thingy to happen.
The hen would produce an egg anyway, and if the cockerel is present, the egg will be fertilised before the shell goes on.
So, if hens lay eggs whether or not a cockerel is around, what's the job of the fellas in a place like this, or your coup at home? The cockerel tends to be the policeman of the group, and he'll stop, break up fights, keep them in order.
Ah, the pecking order.
- In every flock of chickens - Are you looking at my bird? .
a pecking order is established right from the word go.
Hey, cock of the north! The strongest, usually a cockerel, will end up first in line for everything.
- The pick of the food.
- Mine! - Roosting spots.
- Bombs away! The most promising mate.
Oh, hello! And being the pecking order means there's no need to fight.
Meaning fewer injuries and less chance of alerting predators.
Shut up.
So, even if you're bottom of the pile, you're better off in the end.
- I told you.
- But let's face it, every cockerel wants to rule the roost.
- Take Mr Red for example.
- Mr Red! - He is coming.
- Come on! - I never thought you could do that.
- Neither did I.
- Not with food or anything, he's coming.
- That's amazing! - Come on, then! - And I thought chickens were stupid.
- No, he's quite clever.
- He's massive! Do you want to have a hand? - Yeah.
- You are more than just a nugget.
- You ARE more than just a nugget.
Aren't you? - Yeah, look at that.
Look at that face, go on.
Go, snuggle.
Kiss him.
Kiss Mr Red.
Oh, I can smell your breath.
It's quite pleasant.
What a lovely bird.
'Oh, get a room, you two.
' What has blown my mind, and I think Dave's as well, is the plethora of breeds that are available because what you associate in a plastic bag in a supermarket is absolutely not what's here.
It's remarkable.
You know, there's one question about chicken and eggs we haven't answered yet, Kingy.
So, Dave, you reckon the egg came first, do you? - I KNOW the egg came first.
- Well, how? - It's obvious, isn't it? You see, because birds descended from reptiles.
The chicken's a bird.
Reptiles laid eggs so, obviously, the egg came first and in that egg was the first chicken.
So, technically speaking, rightly speaking, the egg came first.
Look, you need a chicken to lay an egg.
It's got to be the chicken.
No, no.
The lizard laid the egg, not the chicken.
Can't you see? - Well, no! - Egg.
- Chicken.
- Egg.
'There's nothing I love more, you know, 'than an intellectually robust debate.
' - Chicken.
- Egg! - Chicken! Arguing with you is "eggs-hausting.
" We're never going to see eye to eye on this one, are we? No, more chance of seeing a chicken on the moon, dude.
But one thing we can agree on is wanting to know more about the story of chicken.
And the next question is, when did the chicken And the egg!.
first arrive on these shores? - Up until around the sixth century BC - Four wheels, matey.
way back in the Iron Age, there weren't any chickens as we know them in Britain.
Here, what's a chicken? But then some visitors brought exotic jungle fowl with them from south-east Asia.
- What the heck is that? It was as if aliens had landed.
- We come in peace.
- No-one had seen such colourful, noisy birds.
- Take me to your feeder.
But these creatures weren't seen as food.
- They were thought to be godlike.
- Oh, chicken have mercy.
Great leaders were even buried with their chickens.
Roost in peace, mate.
So, what I want to know next is when did we stop putting chickens in the ground and start putting them in the oven? Ah, well, the answer to that, me mucker, lies in my neck of the woods.
- Northumberland.
- This is Vindolanda.
One of the most important Roman archaeological sites in Britain.
Vindolanda! No, it's not somewhere out of Harry Potter, it's just up the road from Kingy's house, so if you visit Vindolanda, and a visit is well worth it, you're welcome to pop in at any time at Si's.
- He lives at the Old Lodge - Shut up, you, will you?! Honestly, I don't want coach loads coming and eating me chicken dinners! We're here because Vindolanda is where the story of cooking and eating chicken in Britain started.
Archaeologists find new stuff here every day.
And one of their most "egg-citing" discoveries was Britain's oldest shopping list.
It's a wooden tablet with an order to buy 20 chickens and hundreds of eggs.
Wow! You'd think they had to feed a Roman army or something, wouldn't you? What's so exciting is that this, together with some butchered chicken bones found nearby, is the earliest evidence of chicken being on the menu in Britain.
Now, eating chicken isn't the only thing the Romans introduced us to.
No, apparently they also brought leeks into our cuisine.
And I don't half love a leek, me, I do, I love it.
So, while in Rome Or Roman Vindolanda!.
at least, we're going to combine the two.
And cook one of our all-time favourite Northumbrian comfort foods.
'Chicken and leek suet pudding.
' Right, let's get on.
First off, you need to marinate your chicken.
You do.
We've got a mixture of chicken thighs and chicken breast.
- It is a good formula, that.
- It is.
Cos it's different textures, isn't it? - Cos grains in the meat are different.
So - I've got a lemon.
Back in the day, it probably would have been an Amalfi lemon brought by a passing slave all the way through France.
However, this one's from the Grainger Market in Newcastle.
Sage leaves.
We're going to put some in.
And this is all part of the marinade.
Now, preferably, the longer you leave the marinade, obviously, the better it is.
To finish the marinade, we add that other thing the Romans taught us to cook with.
- 100ml of white wine.
Or you can use vermouth.
- Wine.
- Olive oil, they brought.
- They did.
- Heating.
- Baths.
Give it a stir and leave for an hour.
While we're leaving it for an hour, you know what Dave's going to do, don't you? You know, you've watched us work before.
- What are you going to do, Dave? - I'm going to make the suet crust.
- He is.
Now, the great thing about a suet crust is that it's a steam pudding.
So, whatever dried herbs you put into the suet crust are going to work.
So, for this, I'm going to use mustard and sage.
225g of self-raising flour, don't use plain, you're making a suet pudding full of fluff.
Not leather.
It's windy in Northumberland today.
100g of beef suet.
Half a teaspoon of mustard powder.
Some salt and a teaspoon full of sage leaves.
Just to give it an extra bit of oomph, a teaspoon of baking powder.
While Dave's rubbing in his whatsits, I'm just going to prepare the leeks.
It's like crumble mix now.
It's what you want.
Now, about 125ml of milk.
You want this kind of moist but not sticky, if you know what I mean.
You've got to be able to handle it.
Form this into a ball.
Take about a quarter of this off to make the lid.
Think that's too much? - (No, it'll be all right.
) - Can you pass me a bit of flour, just give me a sprinkling? That'll do.
See, look at that.
- Lovely, that, dude.
- You can see all the herbs and speckles.
Right, so, the ball.
The pudding basin.
This has been well greased.
Have you ever wondered on telly how, when you make a suet pudding, it always comes out? That's because we've got a little disc of greaseproof just there.
That's a top tip, that.
With the paper at the bottom, in goes the pastry.
You want to make this quite even as well.
You don't want your suet pudding to be heavier on one side than the other.
- And why, Dave? - It won't cook evenly.
Our chicken's been marinated for about an hour.
We add the leeks.
- Which are essential in a chicken and leak suet pudding.
- Absolutely.
Flour in there as well.
And the flour's just going to make it more saucy rather than dribbly.
- Exactly.
So, a teaspoon of mustard powder.
- Chicken's brilliant! You just pack on the flavours.
I love it! - I love that we've got the citrus notes in there as well.
- Lovely.
- Perfect.
Chicken stock is the last thing that we pour in.
That is just the right amount.
Now we make the lid.
So, with the suet pastry that I kept, just roll it out into a disc.
On goes some greaseproof paper and a trussing of tinfoil.
- The pudding, ready for t'pot.
- I'll get the pan.
- Thank you.
Now, we're going to cook the pudding on an open fire.
Much as the Romans would have done, had they eaten chicken and leek puddings.
So, what you do is You don't want your pudding This is at home, right? In a cooker.
Cos you don't want your pudding to sit on the base of the pan.
It's going to burn.
So, you put a plate or a saucer, put a rag in so it doesn't rattle on there, put your water in.
Pop in your pud.
Put it on the fire so it simmers, it steams.
It's a steam pudding.
Keep an eye on the water.
As the water goes down, top it up.
It needs to steam for two hours.
- Oh, fab! Steam puddings "a la fresco".
- Get in! Succulent suet crust and juicy chicken filling.
- Served with crispy potato croquets.
- I love it when you talk dirty.
For a Geordie like me, this will go down in history every bit as much as the Romans.
I'll tell you what, Dave, adding the flour to the mix has really thickened that sauce and gravy.
- This is really good.
- Oh, aye.
The marinating - Using the dried herbs and the mustard in the suet crust - Yeah.
Everything's got a place in it.
But, above all, the chicken is still there holding its own.
I think using the mixture of breast and thigh, it just keeps it really juicy.
- It definitely does.
Quick, easy to make at home.
Job's a good 'un.
- Yep.
Oh, I'll tell you what, if the Romans would have had this, they'd have never gone home.
But, mucker, they did! They slinked back off to Italy.
And once they left, eating chicken in Britain fell out of fashion once again.
But while we may have stopped eating the birds, we never stopped loving them.
Today, three quarters of a million people in Britain keep poultry.
There's a whole culture out there around chicken-keeping and chicken fancying.
So we're heading to west Wales to meet some people who've dedicated their lives to rearing beautiful birds! And one man in particular, a local legend, the pride of the Valleys, the one and only Tom Hughes, the prince of poultry.
Tom's been knocking audiences dead for decades with his scintillating show chickens.
Two generations of Tom's family, including his daughter Carwen and grandson Tom Jr, are part of a chicken-keeping dynasty.
- Are these what you call fancy chickens? - Yeah.
- These are the show birds.
- Right.
You see, that's what Dave and I are at heart.
- We're show birds.
- Yes.
You know, they come at the lido in Paris.
These are Can Can chickens.
These ARE Can Can chickens.
Tomorrow, Tom's fancies strut their stuff in the Aberystwyth and Ceredigion County Show.
- So, there's a lot of competition, Tom? - Yes.
I know in the Aberystwyth show tomorrow, they'll be up from south Wales and there'll be a few down from north Wales, I'm sure.
- And one or two from Shrewsbury.
- Are you confident you're going to win? - No.
- No, but I will try.
- It's not about the winning.
- Of course it is.
- It's about trying.
- But how do you keep them in such good condition? But surely chickens are messy by nature.
- This is the part I play in the whole - Ah, I see.
So you are the chicken wrangler that washes and blow Blow-dries, yes.
Really? I was just saying that as a joke.
You don't really blow-dry a chicken? I do blow-dry a chicken.
- They do.
- I do.
Well, there's a big show tomorrow, dude, and one of us needs to help Carwen pimp her poultry.
Being a man of fine grooming, I guess that's me, then.
- Right.
He's not happy, dude.
- No.
- He's not.
Well, we're going to have to wash his tail because it's got all dirty.
- Yes.
- Yes.
What do I do now, Carwen? - In the nice warm water, then.
- Coconut shampoo! You're not supposed to give away my secret.
No, the last time I put chicken and coconut together was in a curry.
- Yeah, you have to hold him in.
- Oh, aye.
- Don't let him go now.
- He's relaxed.
- Oh, you've got a good touch.
Excellent job.
- His tail was the worst, right? - And legs.
- What d'you mean, his legs? Look at that, she's scrubbing his legs.
Do you know what? I wouldn't mind having your help before every show.
You're excellent.
- Thank you very much.
- Dunk him in, then, Dave.
- Like all of him? - No, not all of it.
Oh, crikey.
- You said at all of it! He's drowning, the poor sodding thing.
He's opening his mouth and going, "Love me, love me.
" I think I've drowned him.
- Are you happy with that, Dave? - I think he's Bobby dazzling.
Oh, baby.
- He's comfy now.
Aren't you? - Easy.
Let's get his comb dry.
So, Tom, what are you making of Dave's approach? - Not bad.
Not bad.
- Thank you.
- We've never seen him so quiet.
- No! So, where you going on your holidays next year? I went there once with my boyfriend, it was great! - Look at that.
He's fluffing up a treat.
- He is.
I don't think you could get any cleaner.
So, there we go.
Back in.
- What's he called? - White Cock.
- White Cock, you are a winner.
- Shall we give him a name today? - Yeah.
- Let's name him.
- Dave.
- Oh, he wants to call him Dave.
That's it.
Carwen, that's the nicest thing anybody's done to me.
Come on, Dave.
Go for gold.
Number one.
Hey, man, he's happy as Larry, isn't he? He's cock of the walk, Dave.
The familiarities are uncanny.
It's the morning of the big show and if our chickens are going to look - real good, I'm going to look good, too.
- What are you doing? I'm getting ready, Kingy.
What are you doing? This is important research, this, dude.
Because apparently, chickens make 24 different calls that each mean a different thing.
- What, like a language? - Well, yeah, you would think so, wouldn't you? Listen to this.
This is a ground alarm, which fundamentally means something's coming to get us.
- "There is a fox in the coup.
" - That's it, type of thing.
You know.
Like And this is fundamentally, "Hello, good morning.
"How are you all?" - It's like [???] - So, let's get this straight, - you're learning to speak chicken.
- Yes.
- Do you know, - I'm getting worried about you.
- Aye.
After hours of primping and preening, and that's just me, it's the moment of reckoning.
It's like a pageant for poultry here.
With categories for every kind of bird.
But the event that counts is the White Leghorn section, where our Dave is competing.
And the man Dave has to impress is Judge Huw Evans.
What are you looking for? Right, at the minute, I'm judging these birds and these would have - originally been used for fighting.
- Right.
- Right, OK.
- So, we're looking for something with a good, strong beak to it.
- Yep.
- Bold eye.
Looks fearless.
- Yes.
- Can you feel his breast? Muscle.
There's muscle there.
All these birds have a standard.
A breed standard that they have to conform to.
Now, we're not ones for match fixing but when it comes to our Dave, there's nothing wrong with some gentle persuasion.
That, to me, Huw, is like my perfect image of a cockerel.
- Yes.
That's a White Leghorn.
- Yes.
- What do you think of him? Is-is - He looks perfect in every form.
- He looks in really good condition.
Shall we get him out and have a look at him? - Yes, I think so.
- Feel the weight on that.
- Not a lot of weight about him.
- No, but perfect.
- Stop it, Dave.
- Beautifully clean.
- Beautifully clean.
- Yes.
Look at his comb and stuff.
Another standard point, his comb has to be up there.
You can practically see the blood coursing through that.
- You can.
- Healthy bird.
- Keen eye.
Keen eye, Dave, yeah.
Good swagger.
Sets himself nicely.
The only drawback is this feather has gone a little bit creamy.
So, do you think it could be a contender, then? - I think he's in the running for first prize at least.
- Oh, really? Yeah.
Well, that's good.
Come on, Dave.
Knock 'em dead.
We've got a couple of hours before the results are out.
- Enough for some mind games with the opposition.
- Ah-ha.
No, no, no.
There is no need to be rude.
I'm just saying, "Hello.
" Look No, I can't.
I am not getting you a hen.
That's wrong.
Behave yourself, will you? Enough chit-chat, Kingy.
Tom and Thomas are here to see if our Dave is the winner.
The moment of truth is imminent.
Will today be the day he triumphs and reigns supreme? The white one is very exciting.
I'm so intense I could lay an egg.
The white one Scared to look Yes! Get in.
Dave's number one.
Look at that belter.
- Are you chuffed? - Yeah, I'm very chuffed.
- Good.
- Congratulations.
- That is great news, Dave, eh? See? - Dave first.
- You done a hell of a good job last night.
- Thank you.
- And he's still breathing.
- Yes.
That was good.
Dave, top cock.
Do you know what, mucker? It's not every day your namesake wins a top prize.
Too right.
We need to celebrate with a cook-up.
We couldn't cook chicken here, man, we'd get lynched.
Don't worry, chicken isn't the only poultry product on show.
Yeah, Huw will be able to help us find the freshest eggs Wales has to offer.
From the appearance of the egg, you can kind of tell the flavour, or - or not? - I think it's down to personal preference.
I like brown eggs.
Some people like white eggs.
I don't think there's any difference.
People tend to think that eggs have an indefinite lifespan and they haven't.
People often ask us the tips for poaching eggs.
Tip number one is, use a fresh egg.
Is it true to say as well, Huw, my mum used to Before she used to boil the eggs, when she bought them, she used to put them in water and if they sit horizontal, they are fresh.
If they do that, they're not.
Or that, is that true? - Yeah.
- Perfect.
You can also tell the freshness of an egg from the way the yolk sits on the white.
If you look at the quality of the yolk on that, the way it rises up, it is held up by the white.
There's not a lot of liquid rushing around.
A good, solid white.
That is indicative of a very fresh egg.
Let's get ourselves the freshest half dozen we can find and rustle up a couple of Welsh classics.
Who likes Welsh lamb? - Yes! We're not cooking it.
- No, we're not.
- Are we cooking Welsh rarebit? - Yes! - Are we cooking Welsh cakes? - Yes! - But with a twist.
- Ha.
Both these recipes show how eggs are at the heart of so much of our cooking.
And we're kicking off with Welsh cakes.
Delicious doses of local sweetness.
First, start off with 250g of self-raising flour, which I measured earlier.
To that, 50g of caster sugar.
And a pinch of salt.
To that, I'm going to rub in the butter.
And just let this fall through your fingers until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Look at that.
I think we're there, Kingy, do you? Now, for the twist.
Usually, Welsh cakes use raisins but I'm going to use sour cherries with an extra special kick.
So, pop the cherries into a pan and drench in Welsh whisky.
Bring it to the boil.
What's it like? Ooh.
Hurry up.
Hurry up.
I've got to put it back on the set.
Go on.
Flipping heck, you're greedy, ain't you? Back to the cherries.
Much like our audience, they've had time to soak up the whisky.
- We need the zest of an orange.
About a teaspoonful.
- Nice.
Lastly, we add the egg.
Now, if it's a bit dry, I can loosen it up with my whisky mixture.
As you work it a bit, not too much, a bit of flour and we roll this out.
We just start to pop them out.
Really, they take a few minutes on each side.
And now for the rarebit.
A 300-year-old local dish made from eggs and cheese.
I'm going to melt some butter.
Now we put a teaspoon of flour and then we're going to put mustard powder in as well.
And then we whisk it in.
Keep whisking over a low heat.
What is vital is to cook all the flour out.
Because if you don't do that, the gluten in the flour doesn't break down.
So, then, it tastes a bit floury.
Right, now, at this point, we add the beer.
Beer? - Where's the beer? - I've forgotten it.
How are we going to make Welsh rarebit with Welsh beer without beer? Well, if we hadn't drank it last night, it would have been all right, wouldn't it? But I forgot to get some this morning.
- Won't be long.
- We're in a field.
Never mind.
Miracles take a little longer.
Where's the beer? He's been gone for ages.
The thing is, Si King and beer tents can be a fatal combination.
Helloooo! Could Simon King please return to the cookery area as his cheese is going mouldy? Thank you.
Cock-a-doodle-doo! Excuse me.
Very nice Hello.
How many of those have you had? Not to sound like your mother or anything.
I had to drink a bit or I would have spilt it on the quad, wouldn't I? Did you see that? Look at the giggle.
Look at that.
He's all like Well, you get a nice warm glow from Welsh beer.
I'm getting a nice warm glow from my griddle.
Aye, there's only one thing that needs warming up right now and that's my rarebit mixture.
You got to hit the heat back up to temperature, which will clearly take a bit and then you want about 150ml of good Welsh beer.
Right, now put this lovely local cheese in, like that, and then we will put a bit of Worcestershire sauce in.
About a teaspoon.
Some white pepper.
It's the eggs that really ramp up the rarebit.
Three fresh golden yolks.
First of all, it deepens the flavour, it makes it lovely and rich and great colour as well, but also it sets nice on your toast.
And fundamentally, that's ready.
But I want to do a little Hairy Bikers twist, you see.
I want to put some raw onions in it.
Because it gives it a lovely textural crunch.
A little cheese and onion.
What's not to like? Slice of toast.
Take a dessert spoon.
Plop it in the middle.
Spread it nearly to the edges.
But not quite.
Stick that under there for a bit.
Quick and easy.
Nice and cheesy.
Bursting with flavour, you can't beat these Welsh recipes for flipping good finger food.
Here's to Wales.
Iechyd da! Without eggs, these and gazillions of other recipes just wouldn't be possible.
Eggs have been keeping us cooking for thousands of years.
We eat an astonishing 33 million eggs in Britain a day.
That's enough to make an omelette the size of Carlisle.
Do you know what, mate? I love an egg.
The king of eggs has got to be the Scotch egg, hasn't it, really? Mmm.
That peppery sausage meat in breadcrumb coating.
Man, you can't beat it.
And we all know which part of Britain you need to head to when you want the finest in Scotch egg.
Yes! Manchester! Bang on, dude.
Bang on.
There's a chef here taking the Scotch egg into new dimensions of delicacy.
Welcome to the home of the Manchester egg.
And meet chef Robert Owen Brown.
Robert is a one-man northern powerhouse of food.
A champion of regional ingredients and one of the inventors of the legendary Manchester egg.
Which is remarkably similar to a recipe we've been developing.
We call it a hairy egg.
- It's older.
- Oh, no, I made this when I was knee-high to a yolk.
As with all the best relationships, our eggs have more in common than that which divides them.
In this case, a pickled egg.
What we're going to do is, we're going to make our respective eggs.
- We are.
- And just have a look and see which one is best.
- No chance.
How many of these have you made? - Probably about 28,000 over the past two years.
- Really? - We've only done four.
- It'll be all right.
Never mind.
The egg-off! Manchester egg.
Pickled eggs.
- How many are we making? Two? - Two.
- Two.
Those can go in there for a minute.
Good quality sausage meat.
- Bury black pudding.
- Yeah? - About 60-40 mix.
Ah, so that's the killer twist in the Manchester egg, dude.
Adding in the extra meaty hint of black pudding.
- So, patty.
- Patty.
- Egg in.
- Right.
- Job's done, isn't it? - Well formed.
- Try and get it nice and round.
Yeah, like you do.
Why do you think there was a need for this particular egg in Manchester? I think this is the perfect accompaniment to a pint of beer.
Cos you got that unctuous, sort of, warm vinegary smell when you bite into it that comes up and cleans your nostrils out.
So, we're going to add some smoked paprika to our panko breadcrumb.
Yeah, I know.
A bit of that in there.
- They are beautifully formed, Rob.
- Thank you very much.
Like a pair of gorilla's eyeballs.
Right, lads, come on.
Do your worst.
Take a couple of pickled eggs.
Our trick is to roll them in celery salt.
Because you can't have eggs without salt and, indeed, pepper.
Right, what we've done is got a really good quality, sausage.
- Another patty.
- Patty? It's "pah-ee".
But Geordie.
Right, OK, I'm with you.
Then, encase said egg in this Cumberland sausage.
We try to get them round, yeah? That's Geordie round, that.
That's proper.
- That's why the Geordies play rugby.
- Shut your face.
Our secret weapon, of course, is bringing an element of Cordon Bleu to our coating Cheese and onion crisps.
Heh-heh! - See that bath of flavour? - Yeah? It's the colour of sunshine.
Well, you don't see that in Manchester, do you? 10 minutes in the fryer and cue the moment of truth.
So, you join us now at the Bangers and Bacon in Manchester at the egg-off.
Of course, the totally impartial judging panel is formed of two of the chefs that work here.
This is the Hairy egg.
You can hear that crispiness.
- What are you thinking, fellas? - Nice and crispy.
- Completely Yeah, it's a good flavour from the cheese and onion.
I kind of like that Salt and vinegar would have been better, to be honest.
Sausage meat, though, could do with a bit of improvement, I think.
- What do you reckon? - I think it's brilliant.
- I didn't want to say that.
- Let's try the Manchester egg now.
Do you know what? It's the black pudding.
The biggest difference is that black pudding, the meatiness that comes from that.
To be fair, I think if you put that crumb and, granted, - maybe salt and vinegar - Yeah, yeah - with this egg.
Put the two together Could be onto something.
- The Hairy Manchester egg.
- A Hairy Manchester egg.
It'll be on the menu next week.
Well, that's decided.
But I think there's a bigger question to answer here.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? I think it's got to be chicken, hasn't it? I'm going to go for the egg, obviously.
You see, it is the egg.
It's got to be the egg.
Because, in evolution Isn't there something about science that says you can only get a chicken from? Exactly.
It only comes from the egg.
So, it's got to be the chicken I've got a feeling this argument will run and run.
What we can agree on is the Manchester egg is a working man's classic.
Aye, Kingy.
That's the thing about poultry products.
There's something for every walk of life.
Which is why, Dave, we're heading to the swanky side of the big smoke in search of the more exclusive end of chicken dishes.
Do you know, I love the chicken and the egg.
You can have something as simple as boiled egg for breakfast or something like a humble grilled chicken breast for tea.
But those simple ingredients can be raised to the height of gastronomy, though, dude.
Yeah, but where would we go to find a proper posh bird? Well, Belgravia, dude.
I'll have to polish my tiara.
This is the Goring Hotel, Belgravia.
It's where diners who are the very highest in the human pecking order come to eat their chicken, like me.
I'm first.
I'm first.
Get off.
Thank you.
This place was rumoured to be the Queen Mother's favourite hotel.
Executive chef Shea Cooper came here two years ago and has earned the restaurant its first Michelin star.
So, who better to show us how the humble chicken can be the stuff of high-class fantasy? In the shape of his spectacular chicken soup.
Topped with a sumptuous slow-cooked egg.
- It is a homage to the chicken.
- Aye.
So, Shea, I know it's a really, really, really busy kitchen.
But have you got time to show us how to do this? The masterclass from the man himself would be brilliant.
- Follow me.
- Fantastic.
- So, what is actually in the soup? - What have we got? - OK, so, what we have here is the back of the chicken, the thighs, drumsticks and winglets.
You're wasting nothing from the chicken, are you? My mum used to waste nothing.
So, from my mum to Michelin star, you waste nothing.
We get the pan nice and hot.
- So, no oil and there or nothing.
You use the chicken fat.
- Yes.
We give it a little bit of love and make sure that each chicken piece gets its caramelisation.
That's what will give it flavour.
That starts the soup off well.
The chicken itself is a Cotswold White.
They are well looked after.
Mature for about 63 days.
- Really? - We let it go a little bit further.
That'll taste amazing.
The age of a chicken makes a huge difference to the taste.
A bog-standard supermarket bird lives for about 42 days.
A nice, posh, free-range chicken will live for at least 56 days.
We've got good colour on that, as you can see.
A nice golden brown.
We'll add our vegetables, sweat them off with the chicken.
Again, it's quite robust as well.
- It is none of your fancy, tiny - No.
Need not be.
I wish you could smell this at home.
Once the soup has simmered, Shea thickens it with a flour and butter roux .
sieves to extract the most glorious reduction .
before finishing with sour cream, sherry and lemon.
The anticipation's killing me.
I'll tell you what, do you know your tache? Kind of suits this surrounding.
Precisely, that's what I thought.
Shea's prepared a sensational smorgasbord of chicken and egg creations.
But the soup's the star of the show.
Liquid gold.
Served with that confit egg yolk and shimeji and girolles mushrooms.
Look at this, Kingy.
It is the humble farmyard scratcher converted into art.
It's absolutely superb.
If it tastes half as good as it looks, we are in for such a treat.
But, this being a Michelin star restaurant with Michelin star prices, we are sharing.
- After you.
- Thank you.
Should I burst? - Oh, it's slow-cooked, Dave.
- I think I'll just take the big half.
- OK.
- Look at that.
Slow-cooked with jelly.
- Wow.
I am in egg-stasy.
It's just unbelievable.
That egg has been emulsified.
It's a different character to any other egg I have tasted.
It is excellent, that.
The flavour in that reduction in the soup itself is unreal.
It is superb.
- It all started with the way that he was browning the chicken.
- Yes.
It was browned, it wasn't burned.
Shea was so careful to get every bit of flavour.
Well, mate, it's safe to say we've all had chicken soup sat front of the telly but this is something else, isn't it? Do you think one would mind if one licked the bowl? No, not with your moustache.
It's wrong.
Mmm - That is amazing.
- Isn't it? The only trouble with sharing these petite posh portions is that I'm still flipping starving.
Let us find ourselves a more down-to-earth cafe and see what chicken they got on the menu.
- Here, dude, I've got one for you.
- What? What do you call a chicken with a lettuce in its eye? I don't know.
What do call with a chicken with lettuce in its eye? Chicken sees-a-salad.
It's going to go on forever, this.
- I'm starving.
- Well, we've come to the right place.
- Absolutely.
My favourite.
Coronation chicken.
- How shall we have it? - In a sandwich.
On a tater.
Could we have a Coronation chicken, please? In a sandwich and on a baked potato.
Good old Coronation chicken brings us to the final chapter of how Britain became a nation of chicken lovers.
Back to the part of our queen, Elizabeth, had to play in it all.
It is a great dish, this, isn't it? It's got an evolution of nearly 70 years.
This dish was created especially for the official banquet of Queen Elizabeth's coronation by chefs from the London Cordon Bleu cookery school.
The sweet, creamy, curry sauce is brimming with influences from all over the former British Empire.
In 1953, the map of the world was pink.
It was British territories.
And really, Queen Elizabeth II, she's crowned the queen of an empire.
I think it's got all the influences from India, from away.
Bit Moorish.
It is sweet, savoury.
It's really clever cooking.
It is a dish that stood the test of time.
One thing has never changed.
It has never fallen out of fashion.
It just goes to show there is a chicken for everybody.
That is very true.
After Queen Elizabeth's coronation, Britain's chicken farmers adopted American ways of large-scale chicken production.
The idea was that Britain should become self-sufficient in food production.
And in the 1960s, chicken became cheaper and more widely available.
Home kitchen technology also came on in leaps and bounds.
Cheaper freezers came into the market.
By the end of the decade, over 250 million birds were being eaten each year.
Today, and get this, Dave, we eat 1.
3 billion chickens a year.
So, in the time between Elizabeth's coronation and now, Britain has gone chicken crazy.
And you know what? There is only one way to celebrate that.
An invite to the Queen's birthday party.
Yes! We get to go to Buckingham Palace.
What? No.
We don't.
We've got beards, we ride motorcycles and we're from the north.
Are you daft? We're going to a street party.
In Southport.
Oh, well, I suppose that's more like it.
The perfect place to celebrate how chicken's become the country's favourite meat.
From the loftiest royal to the lowest commoner.
That is you and me, Simon.
And our contribution to the festivities? Chicken sandwiches.
Who wants one of our Hairy Biker sarnies? What flavour? Chicken.
Chicken and stuffing.
Flipping Nora, it looks like they could do with something to eat.
They've definitely had enough to drink, that's for sure.
I think there's been a few champagnes in honour of the Queen.
This has to be the perfect picture of what chicken has become in this country.
What was once a luxury enjoyed by royals is now the nation's most eaten meat.
It's about a celebration of British culture because all the families are here and it's brill.
All right, everybody.
I'd like to propose a toast.
Happy birthday, Your Majesty and here's to another 90 years.
Happy birthday! Hip-hip hooray.
Hip-hip hooray.
Hip-hip hooray.
God save our chicken.
That's what I say.
The thing is, Simon, we've all only scratched the surface of planet poultry.
- What? - There's got to be more out there.
There is a whole world out there of chicken and eggs and we're going to get on our bikes and we're going to find it.
Next time, we are in France.
It is nice, hein? Where they pay up to 40 euros for a single bird.
We'll grasp the humble traditions which launched chicken to gastronomic heights.
That is the skill of this cuisine.
We learn the secrets of France's greatest chefs.
That's the way I'm cooking chicken from now on.
And dine Paris, here we come.
at our first-ever triple Michelin-starred restaurant.
I don't know how you top this.