What’s It Like Being a Sanagan’s Chicken?

The vast majority of our chicken comes from very close by, King Capon Farms just outside of Newmarket. Since it’s just up the road we decided to pay the Myers family and their farm a visit. We’ve been selling their poultry since we opened, and wanted to tell everyone why we love them and their products.

Just Chillin'

Upon entering the chicken barns, there’s no denying that this is serious agriculture. When you buy our King Capon chicken you can rest assured that your antibiotic-free, hormone-free bird or pieces: didn’t live in a cage; had dirt on the floor; was allotted three times the required square footage per bird as mandated by industry standards; lived under a natural light cycle; got as much all-vegetarian fed and water as it wanted; and, based on appearances, lead an uneventful, low-stress life.

Well, there may be a few stressful moments right at the end, but way less than what most chickens experience because King Capon has their own processing plant immediately next door to the barns. That means no unpleasant caged truck rides to the slaughterhouse for these birds.

All of that goes a long way towards tasty chicken. Another major quality difference is that, post-slaughter, King Capon air-chill their poultry. A lot of commercial chicken is water or ice chilled which can increase a bird’s volume by as much as 10%. Water’s not a flavour we’re looking for in our meat.

So that’s the story of Sanagan’s King Capon Chicken. That’s why it tastes good and that’s why it feels good to sell it.

 Sanagan's Free Birds: Steve Ward, Claire Renouf, Brian Knapp, Graham Duncan

Aye, That’s The Rubs

We all love meat, right? But sometimes we want to jazz it up a bit. Beyond just seasoning with salt and pepper, rubs are a quick and easy way to bring additional flavour to whatever you’re cooking. They only add seconds to your prep time while offering big taste results.

Here’s an introduction to some of the family-owned, Ontario-made rubs we carry. The first two were taste-tested on chicken legs, the next four on top sirloin steak.

Tunnel Bar-B-Q Rib, Chicken and Butt Rub
Quite the name and quite the rub. Made by Windsor’s first family of barbecue, this all-rounder is like garlic bread for your meat. Sugar offsets saltiness. And where there’s smoke there’s tasty.

Sanagan’s Poultry Rub
Everyday we sell a lot of rotisserie chickens and this is part of the reason why. Salty, zesty, rosemary-y; it really gets your chicken going. Insider tip — also great on pork.

Cured Smokehouse Montreal Spice
Schwartz’s and Moishes’ here we come! With the excellent inclusion of celery seed, this mix was voted most likely to be mistaken for a Caesar (Bloody, not Salad). Dill, and garlic/onion are also in the mix, as is apple and maple smoke.

Cured Smokehouse Brisket Rub
We tried it on steak. Result? Yum! A touch of heat, definitely smoke, garlic and sugar’s counter-weight make the brisket rub highly steak compatible.

Sanagan’s Seasoning Salt
The label says, “For Roast Beef”, but we’re Rub Testers! We’ve got no time for labels. This is elemental stuff: salt, garlic, and herbs with rosemary in front. It’s like a steakhouse in a jar. You may never just salt and pepper again.

Tunnel Bar-B-Q Steak and Chop Rub
Garlic and pepper lead the way with big flavours on this mixture. If I were cooking muscular cuts like bavette, skirt and especially hanger, I’d be a taker on this shaker.

Rub Tips
Rubs are almost always salt based. Being salty there’s two suitable ways to apply them — long and short. Apply the rub overnight, refrigerate and you’ve got a seasoned brine. Or rub immediately before cooking, patting it in lightly, so the rub just sits on the surface of the meat.