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Aren’t CHICKENS all the same when they get to your plates?

The taste only varies with its preparation or how it is marinated or cooked, and to many chicken-loving Filipinos the choices are limited only to either KFC, Jollibee, McDonald’s, Kenny Rogers, Inasal, Max’s, Savory, Baliwag, Andoks, Chooks2Go and the likes.

So why is it at the supermarket, some chickens costs a bit more than others? Pamora for example labeled as “Free-Range Chickens” is sold in different variants and sizes such as spring, coquelet, poularde, premium and capon at prices that are really high.

Last week, I was able to get a detailed answer to my questions when I attended a specially hosted late lunch gathering at The Peninsula Manila together with an intimate group of restaurateurs, chefs and other members of the media.

The event showcased dishes made with Pamora Free-Range Chicken products prepared by the hotel’s executive chef, Franco Diaz.

The buffet included Pamora Chicken Paté Bites, Pamora Chicken Adobo (using thigh and leg choice cuts),  Pamora Sesame Chicken Salad (using breast choice cuts), Pamora Chicken and Waffles (using chicken oysters), Pamora Tandoori Chicken (using wing and lollipop choice cuts), Pamora Chicken Roulade (using whole chicken), and Chicken Sliders (using ready-made chicken burger).

A CHICKEN FARM

The biggest question answered that afternoon was “What is Free-Range Chicken and what makes the Pamora Farm brand different from the other chickens available in the market today?”

To answer that question we’ve had the pleasure of talking to the owner and General Manager of Pamora Farm – Ms. Tina Morados.

Pamora Farm is a Filipino–European venture establish by Tina and her husband in 2000 which operates a free-range chicken farm that integrates raising and growing of free-range chicken with dressing, packaging, and distribution facilities. The name, Pamora was derived from the combination of their family names, PApillon and MORAdos.

The farm is located within a 4-hectare property on the foot of a hill in Barangay Garreta, Pidigan, Abra, about an hour away from Vigan.

I found out that poultry or chicken farms are set up differently and big farms are accustomed to using either the battery or barn set-up because these process are more efficient in producing more yields. More chickens means more profit – which is not entirely bad, if you’re NOT the chicken.

Conditions in these farms are not really first-class accommodations – if you know what I mean. Good news is that they don’t get to stay there for a long period.

Dressing is also done efficiently by using the water chilling process where the chickens are soaked in iced-water with chlorine for 2 to 3 hours. This method is the fastest way to do it but what you usually get are chickens with water added on its weight and size.

THE PAMORA WAY

Now Pamora Farm uses a very different method because according to Ms. Morados that while they have a lot of chickens in their farm what they are after is QUALITY more than the QUANTITY. So efficiency is placed on the process of ensuring that these chickens is grown according to their standards.

Philippine National Standards (PNS) for organic poultry requires only a minimum of 70 days for the chickens to grow. Pamora follows the French Label Rouge standards and grows their Premium chicken (1 to 1.850 kg) for a minimum of 81 days, sometimes up to 100. They do not inject hormones and other chemicals to rush the growing process.

“With Pamora free-range chicken, you will eat 100% chicken. No hormones, no antibiotics, no chemicals,” said Morados.

The birds are grown with feed intake designed for free-range chickens. To boost the immune system of the chickens, they use herbal concoctions from organic herbs and plants found in their farm such as oregano, ginger, chili, lemongrass, and kakawate. They also use charcoal powder to prevent chickens from getting sick and eliminating the need for synthetic veterinary medicines.

Pamora chickens are brooded from day 1 to 21, depending on the weather or season, sometimes a week longer or a week shorter. Afterwards, the chickens are set free and allowed to follow their natural instincts.

“We grow the chickens the way a chicken normally should, scratching the ground to find food, to access natural vitamins, minerals and other nutrients available in the grass, insects, and from the soil. They are left roaming in the open –  they run, they fight, they exercise,” described Tina.

Pamora free-range chickens have only 8 to 10% fat content versus 19 to 29% in commercial chicken.

“Chicken farming is not just a business for us, it’s our passion. We eat what we produce. So we make sure that our chickens are produced for quality before quantity. We grow real free-range chickens, we don’t take short cuts. Our farm is open, you can visit anytime,” stated Tina

Pamora Farm is the only National Meat Inspection Services (NMIS) accredited “AA” Poultry Dressing Plant in the Cordillera region and the only dressing plant in the Philippines that caters exclusively to free-range chickens, using air-dry chilling process that is compliant with the EU standards on poultry dressing facilities.

Air-dry chilling maintains the freshness, meat quality, and taste of the chicken, and no water is absorbed by the chicken. Meaning, what we get is 100% chicken meat. Pamora free-range chicken will not shrink during cooking because it is air-chilled therefore does not retain water.

The dressing plant is also complete with blast freezing equipment and cold storage. Pamora’s whole dressed chickens are vacuum-packed while the choice cuts are Individually Quick-Frozen (IQF).

Pamora Chicken Products

Pamora’s product line includes whole dressed chicken in different sizes (400-600 g Coquelet, 650-850 g Spring chicken, 1–1.850 kg Premium chicken, 2 kg up Capon,  1.8 kg up Poularde), choice cuts (breast,  legs, bone-in thighs, boneless thighs, wings, wing-lollipop, and chicken oyster), eggs, chicken burger, chicken nuggets, and chicken tocino.

Prices:

  • Coquelet – 300 Pesos/piece
  • Spring – 384 Pesos/piece
  • Premium – 432 Pesos/kg
  • Capon – 1,440 Pesos/kg
  • Poularde – 1,080 Pesos/kg
  • Eggs M/L – 126 Pesos/6pcs Tray
  • Eggs XL – 137 Pesos/6pcs Tray
  • Chicken Breast (Skinless) – 890 Pesos (1kilo) / 470 Pesos (500g)
  • Chicken Wings – 745 Pesos (1kilo) /395 Pesos (500g)
  • Chicken Wings Lollipop – 625 Pesos (1kilo) / 335 Pesos (500g)
  • Chicken Legs – 575 Pesos (1kilo) / 300 Pesos (500g)
  • Chicken Thighs – 745 Pesos (1kilo) / 395 Pesos (500g)
  • Chicken Burger – 205 Pesos/pack
  • Chicken Burger (Mini) – 530 Pesos/pack
  • Chicken Oysters – 420 Pesos/500g

Pamora also sells paté for 140 Pesos per 100g which are creations of Gérard Papillon using old fashion recipes from his grandmother Jeanne Papillon. The paté is available in six variants: Chicken Liver, Chicken Breast and Liver, Chicken Gizzard, Chicken Liver and Gizzard, Chicken Breast, Chicken Breast and Gizzard.

How do you cook free-range chickens?

Free-range chickens are grown longer, thus the meat is firmer, cooking time takes longer for free-range chickens, although you will not need any flavor additives like broth cubes or chicken stock. Salt and pepper will be enough, and sometimes even those are not needed.

You can cook it in any way as you would your regular chicken. But cooking time is a bit longer than regular commercial chicken. Slow cooking is best.

So Why are Pamora Chickens Priced Higher than Commercial Brands?

In case you lazily skipped all the way to this part here’s a summary of the reasons why Pamora Chickens are the most expensive chicken brand in the Philippines if not in the whole of Asia:

  • Pamora free-range chickens are grown for a longer period, which means more labor and time are spent to take care of them.
  • Pamora chickens are given lemongrass juice everyday and natural/herbal medicines which are more costly to produce than the synthetic veterinary medicines.
  • Pamora Chickens are guaranteed free from antibiotics, hormones and chemicals.
  • Pamora Farm uses air-dry chilling and guarantees that there is no water added in the meat of the chicken and will not shrink during cooking.
  • If you want to invest on your health, invest on the food that you eat. Healthy comes with quality, and quality products takes time and more money to produce. No shortcuts.

Where to get Pamora Chicken Products?

Pamora chicken is served at The Peninsula Manila Hotel, City Of Dreams, Novotel Manila, Element Boutique Hotel, Marriott Hotel, Makati Shangri-La Hotel, James & Daughters by Le Jardin (BGC), Sagana Restaurant (BGC), and Guidivilla Inc. (Alabang).

You can buy Pamora products at the following stores:

  • Santis Delicatessen (Makati City/ Timog, Quezon City/ San Juan City/ Ortigas, Pasig City/ BGC-Taguig/ Alabang-Zapote/ Sta. Rosa, Laguna/ Silang, Cavite/ Twin Lakes, Batangas)
  • Terry’s Bistro and Gourmet Store (Pasong Tamo, Makati/ Salcedo Village, Makati/ Podium, Ortigas, Pasig City)
  • Echostore (Serendra, BGC, Taguig City / Salcedo Village, Makati/ Centris Walk, Quezon Ave., QC)
  • Jojiberry (Mother Ignacia, QC)
  • Real Food (Molito, Alabang)
  • L’Epicerie Gourmande (Festival Supermall)
  • Billie O’ Naire Corp (Ayala Alabang Village)
  • Mother Earth Deli Basket (Baguio)
  • Rustan’s Supermarket (Makati, Greenbelt, Paseo de Roxas, Century, Alphaland, Uptown Mall BGC, Magallanes, P. Guevarra,  Shangri-La Mall, Katipunan, Corinthian Gardens, Gateway Mall, Tomas Morato, The Grove, Evia Lifestyle Center, Ayala Alabang)
  • Marketplace By Rustan’s (Power Plant Mall, BGC, San Antonio Plaza Arcade, Connecticut)

Or you may order online through gerald.ph and honestbee.ph. You can also visit their stall at the Ayala Alabang Village Saturday Market.

For more information, you may log on to www.pamorafarm.com, call (02) 257-6834 to 35/ (0917) 537-5639 / (0917) 591-7391  / (0918) 872-6672, email [email protected] / [email protected] or follow them on social media: @pamorafarminc on Facebook, @pamora.farms on Instagram, @pamorafarm on Twitter.

 

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raindeocampo

Writer, Wanderer, Child of God

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