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What's in Season - April

What's in Season - April


What’s in Season - April

Seasonal eating means two things, really: building meals around foods that have just been harvested at their peak - and adjusting your diet to meet the particular health challenges of Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn. 

While it may seem like a luxury to have any food we want, anytime we want it, eating foods in season offers many benefits.
 
Simple joys 
For starters, it connects us to the calendar reminding us of simple joys - the first taste of Asparagus in Spring, the smell of ripe Strawberries newly picked in Summer, Apple picking on a clear Autumn day, celebrating Winter holidays with hearty, warming meals

Tastes Better
In-season produce is fresher and tastes better, sweeter - when perfectly ripe. 

When fruits and vegetables are picked for consumption that have been naturally ripened on the vine or the tree and harvested at the right time, they will have much more flavour and nutrition.  

More vitamins, minerals and antioxidants 
Produce eaten at its peak generally has more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than foods harvested before they’re ripe and then shipped long distances. 


  
Eat a more well-rounded and balanced diet 
A pleasant added benefit of eating what's in season is that you get a broader variety of foods in your diet. Those foods can broaden your palate, for one, but they may also expose you to dishes and ingredients you may not have otherwise explored. 
 
Supports small and midsize Farmers
Eating seasonally often means eating locally grown foods, so it’s good for the environment too. It supports small and midsize local farmers, cuts down on pollution from shipping and transporting food and reduces your carbon footprint. 
 
Saves you money 
And if all that’s not enough to get you to make some simple switches in your diet, - In-season foods will usually save you money.

Time to eat Seasonal
Each meat, fruit or vegetable has a prime time when it is at its seasonal best - and they tend to complement each other. That means extra flavour, extra crunch, extra juiciness - all super-fresh and great value. 
 
And so here is what is in season - and most popular - in April to help you eat seasonally: 



  
Leaves and Stems : Spring Green Cabbage, Savoy Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, Celery, Chicory, Kale, Kohlrabi, Pak Choi, Sorrel, Spinach, Radicchio, Wild Nettles 
 
Flowers, Fruits and Seeds : Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Cauliflower, 
 
Roots and Bulbs : Carrots, Celeriac, Leeks, Onions, Parsnip, Salsify, Shallots, Swedes, Turnips
 

Tubers :
 Jerusalem Artichokes, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Jersey Royals

And here is just a summary of the main Meat Cuts that become popular in April:

Thrifty Cuts : Bavette Steak, Rolled Brisket, Salt Beef, Braising Steak, Shin of Beef, Beef Meatballs, Lamb Breast Roulade, Breast of Lamb, Chicken Breasts, Hand Diced Chicken, Chicken Plum Parcels, Chicken Lemon and Coriander Parcels, Toulouse Sausages, Gluten free Cumberland Sausages, Shoulder of Pork Boneless, Mini Porchetta with Chorizo, Belly of Pork, Pork Mince, Pigs Cheeks, Tame Rabbit, Bacon Knuckles

Roasts, Casseroles and Stews : Beef Picanha, Carvery Rib of Beef, Topside of Beef, Silverside of Beef, Carvery Leg of Lamb, Rack of Lamb, Shoulder of Lamb, Mini Leg of Lamb, Otter Valley Organic Chicken, Special Reserve Chicken, Leg of Pork, Shoulder of Pork, Porchetta with Chorizo, Whole Duck, Marrowbones

Seriously Low and Slow : Beef Short Ribs (Jacobs Ladder), Oxtail, Ox Cheeks, Lamb Shanks, Lamb Middle Neck, Unsmoked Gammon, Venison Saddle Eye, Beef Marrowbones, Pork Caul

Quicker cooking : Flat Iron Steaks, Rib Eye Steaks, T-Bone Steaks, Marinated Rump Steaks, Freshly Ground Beef Mince, Master Beef Steak Burgers, Calves Liver, French Trimmed Lamb Cutlets, Lamb Steaks, Lamb Garlic Rosettes, Chicken Supremes, Mini Chicken Paupiette, Handmade Chicken Kievs, Marinated Chicken Kebabs, Chicken Skewers, Caramelised Red Onion Pork Sausages, Boerewors Sausages, Traditional Lincolnshire no colouring or preservative Sausages,  Pork Chops, Pork Steaks,  Mini Porchetta with Chorizo, Marinated Pork Ribs, Veal Chops, Hand Diced Veal, Barbary Duck Breasts, Venison Steaks


Every month we will pick out one Seasonal product and explore a little more about how best to prepare it

This April we feature Free Range and Organic Chicken


Every year in the UK over 64 million people consume around 910 million chickens – that is 17.5 million chickens a week.

That shows just how popular a meat Chicken is - ranging from a gloriously Whole Roast all the way through a plethora of dishes to the famous Chicken Curry

Yet 98% of those Chickens produced are intensively farmed

Intensively farmed Chicken
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has tirelessly championed the fight against the horrors and personal health threats of intensively farmed Chicken - which he comprehensively and accurately chronicles in his excellent book The River Cottage Meat Book 

Here is a very shortened list of what intensive Chicken producers need to do to produce birds to a price:


Genetics : use a breed that will gain weight quickly, thus taking less time to get to market

Intensity : a high number of Chickens per barn lowers your unit costs

Antibiotics : rely heavily on antibiotics to fight off disease due to overcrowding. Remember what your Chicken eats  - you eat

Feed : use high protein (often GM) foods to encourage rapid weight gain

And that is why we offer only Organic or Free Range Chicken

Undoubtedly Organic Chicken is the gold standard of Chicken husbandry - but not everyone can afford the cost of raising such birds - but if you can you will be more than amply rewarded in texture, taste and the sheer quality of the meat

Less onerous rules
With Free Range Chickens the rules are less onerous and open to being stretched to the limit with some so called Free Range being housed in Hangers containing up to 10,00 birds

Raised in small numbers 
That’s why we source only from flocks that are raised in small numbers - and who genuinely want to get out to roam freely

A big difference
In the world of Free Range Chickens there is a big difference between Chickens that are happy to naturally roam freely - and those that are “free to roam” - which can mean - as long as they are prepared to crawl over the other 9.999 cooped up Chickens - in the hope of finding a nearby pop hole to get outside
 
So we are fastidious in checking on the husbandry standards of each of the farmers we source from


Healthy, sublime flavours, textures 
That way we not only know our customers are eating healthily - but also enjoying the unique flavours that should naturally be in birds that have been allowed to solely build healthy muscle and forage for all the wild ingredients that add to the sublime flavours, textures and supreme quality of meat of all of our Chickens

So now you know you are cooking with Chicken that is the best money can buy what options are there for preparing your Chicken? 

Here are some tips:

A whole roast truly Free Range or Organic Chicken is a joy - but to save money, buy a whole Chicken and let us joint it for you - instead of buying pre-packed portions - it works out a lot cheaper, you can freeze what you don’t use, and you will be left with a carcass that will make the best Chicken Stock ever.

Always store Chicken in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer (for up to 6 months) and remember to defrost thoroughly before cooking.

How to cook chicken
Almost every part of Chicken can be used and our How to Cook Related Recipes featured with every cut will help you to get the most out of it. 

Season first
When cooking Chicken, always season the Chicken first - you can keep it simple with salt and pepper, or rub in butter or alternatively rub in oils infused with Garlic, Herbs or Spices 

The meat should always come up to room temperature before cooking

Always use a Meat Thermometer not just for more consistent results and but to ensure the Chicken is properly cooked through. 

It is necessary to cook Chicken through completely before eating. 

Rest
Once cooked leave it to rest for at least 10-15 minutes - which allows the meat to relax, resulting in a Chicken that will be juicier and more tender 

Slow methods for cooking chicken
Slow cooking is a great way to get the most out of Chicken. The LegsThighs and Whole Bird are most commonly slow cooked cuts, with roasting, braising, poaching and confiting being popular methods. 

Poaching Chicken provides very succulent meat and can be done in any flavoured liquid you chose, providing a great opportunity to add flavour.

Quick methods for cooking Chicken
You can cook Chicken quickly by pan-frying or in the oven, with the Supremes, Breasts and Livers proving the best quick-cook cuts. Overcooked Chicken is unpleasantly dry and almost powdery in texture, so try not to over-do it.

Conveniently sized, one-portion cuts 
Chicken Supremes and Breasts are conveniently sized, one-portion cuts. To add more flavour before pan-frying or roasting, marinate the Chicken Supremes or Breasts overnight, or cut a pocket into the flesh, stuff it with Herbs and Butter and wrap with Bacon before baking.

Chicken Livers are often used to produce velvety Pâté and Parfaits, but are also sensational when quickly fried in a little butter and served up on toast with some salt and pepper.

What goes with Chicken
Chicken is one of the more versatile meats around, which perhaps explains its immense popularity. Traditionally, the bird is roasted and served with a variety of vegetables and roast Potatoes. 

The mild flavour of Chicken is often well supported by stronger, piquant flavours, which may explain while Chicken Tikka is now a staple dish.

Chicken is also wonderful in salad and as mentioned before, Chicken Curry is a national favourite - or for something less spicy try a glorious Chicken and Mushroom pie

Splendidly seasonal Recipe suggestions:
April seasonal recipes to try include: 



•   
Chicken with Wild Garlic & Asparagus  - by Colin McGurran
Seasonal, springtime ingredients are combined sumptuously in this Chicken with Wild Garlic recipe. The raw mushroom garnish may not be to everyone's taste but helps to accentuate the earthy nature of the dish. Asparagus is a great addition to this dish.
Preparation/Cooking time 1 hr 30 mins plus salting time.
 Click here for Chicken Thighs
(Click title for recipe)




• Chilli Chicken Breast, Jersey Royals & Romesco Cakes
- by Graham Campbell
Capitalising on Catalunya's Romesco sauce and Britain's Jersey Royals, this recipe makes a terrific lunch or light dinner
Preparation/Cooking time 1 hr 15 mins - plus marinating time. 
Click here for Chicken Breasts

(Click title for recipe)



Preserved Lemon Roast Chicken with Freekeh salad - by Rosie Birkett
A main course bursting with fresh flavours, citrusy Chicken with Mint, Radish and Spring Onion-spiked grains - a new way to serve your roast
Preparation time less than 15 mins : Cooking time 1 hr 35 mins.
 Click here for Church Hill Farm Chicken, Special Reserve Chicken, Otter Valley Organic Chicken
(Click title for recipe)



Escalope of Chicken with Rocket, Sage and Lemon - by Paul Merrett
This is an impressive meal that's as easy on your wallet as it is your waistline
Preparation time less than 30 mins : Cooking time 10 to 30 mins.
 Click here for Chicken Breasts
(Click title for recipe)



Poulet Sauté au Vinaigre - by Henry Harris
Chicken on the bone gently cooked with tart Vinegar, delicate Tarragon, punchy Mustard and cream - a real French gem.
Preparation time less than 30 mins : Cooking time 30 mins - 1 hr.
 Click here for Church Hill Farm Chicken, Special Reserve Chicken, Otter Valley Organic Chicken, Fresh Chicken Stock, Dijon Mustard
(Click title for recipe)



Fillet of Beef with Braised Oxtail, & Morel Madeira sauce - by Simon Haigh
Prime Fillet of Beef paired with braised Oxtail and a Madeira sauce made with Veal glace. If you can't get hold of the glace, simply reduce 500ml of Beef Stock by half. The addition of morels makes this a great dish for early spring.
Preparation/Cooking time 3 hrs. Click here for
 Fillet Steak, Oxtail, Fresh Beef Stock, Fresh Chicken Stock

(Click title for recipe)



Braised Beef Cheeks with Salsa Verde
Warm up with this meltingly tender Beef Cheeks and creamy Mashed Potato topped with tangy Salsa Verde.
Preparation time 10 mins : Cooking time 5 hrs. Click here for
 Ox Cheeks

(Click title for recipe)



• Herb-crusted Leg of Lamb with red wine gravy 
- by James Martin
Thanks to a breadcrumb coating made with Parsley, Mint, Rosemary and Garlic, this roast joint is a cut above the rest
Preparation time less than 25 mins : Cooking time 2 hrs- plus resting.
 Click here for Carvery leg of Lamb, Fresh Beef Stock, Dijon Mustard
(Click title for recipe)



•  Lemon-and-herb stuffed Shoulder of Lamb - by The Hairy Bikers
The Hairy Bikers walk you through the simple steps to a gourmet Lamb Sunday roast with all the trimmings.
Preparation time less than 1-2 hrs : Cooking time 1-2 hrs.
 Click here for Shoulder of Lamb Boneless - ask for the bone,  Fresh Chicken Stock
(Click title for recipe)



Neck of Lamb with Lemon and Thyme  - by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Neck of Lamb is a cheaper cut of meat, but no less delicious if cooked long and slow with plenty of seasoning.
Preparation time less than 30 mins : Cooking time 30 mins to 1 hr.
 Click here for Middle Neck of Lamb 
(Click title for recipe)




Korean crusted Roast Lamb  - by Shaun Rankin
The crust on this Roast Leg of Lamb is based on a Korean barbecue marinade called Bulgogi - perfect for a Sunday roast with a difference
Preparation time 20 mins : Cooking time 2 hrs - plus 2 hrs marinating. Click here for
 Leg of Lamb
(Click title for recipe)



All-in-one posh Lamb Balti - by Sarah Cook
Feed a crowd with this gorgeous slow-cooked Curry made from tender Lamb Shanks
Preparation time 35 mins : Cooking time 4 hrs 20 mins - plus overnight marinating. Click here for
 Lamb Shanks
(Click title for recipe)



Roast Pork with Fennel & Rosemary - by Mary Cadogan
Tender meat scented with Herbs and Spices to serve as part of a light lunch- the gravy is super-simple too. Gluten-free.
Preparation time 25 mins : Cooking time 2 hrs - plus optional 24 hrs marinating. Click here for
 Shoulder of Pork, Boneless Loin of Pork

(Click title for recipe)



Asparagus with Fettuccine and Smoked Bacon - by John Torode
A Pasta Carbonara with a special summer treat of fresh Asparagus Spears. Ready in no time, and such a luxury.
Preparation time less than 30 mins : Cooking time 10-30 mins. Click here for
 Smoked Streaky Bacon
(Click title for recipe)



Fillet of Venison and Wild Mushroom sauce - by Antonio Carluccio
Once past the marinade, this easy Venison recipe is so quick. Let the flavoursome ingredients do your work for you.
Preparation time overnight : Cooking time 30 mins to 1 hr. Click here for
 Venison Saddle Eye

(Click title for recipe)

So there you have it - Free Range and Organic Chicken and other seasonal meat Recipe ideas for April using seasonal ingredients - with sometimes a delightful symbiosis of seasonal meats, fruits and vegetables - all on the same plate - just as nature intended!

Enjoying all the benefits
Now armed with all that information - what is stopping you to start eating seasonally and enjoying all the benefits that come with the healthier approach that each month has to offer?


So whether you choose one of the recipes above - or are just inspired to explore further recipes we hope we have given you much food for thought for your April meals

Give it a Click 
So why not give it a Click -  and experience a whole new way to enjoy Godfreys Free Range Premium Meats and Poultry - all week long - or month long - by ordering from the comfort of you own home - or office - at a time that is convenient to you 


We do the rest - be it if you would prefer delivery direct to your door Nationwide - or at our Click and Collect Points in Highbury or Finsbury Park. 

Bon Appétit!
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