Australia’s taste for specialty poultry is undergoing a transformation with home-grown Asian-inspired chickens, cockerel and game birds making their way into more restaurants, retail spaces, and home cooks’ kitchens than ever before.
Aurum Poultry Co. – a collective of Australian poultry specialists dedicated to producing the finest locally reared chicken, cockerel, pullet, duck and game birds – is experiencing increased interest and orders for its new specialty products, and anticipates the sector will grow significantly in 2023.
“We believe the same opportunity awaits locally reared poultry products as we’ve seen with products such as Australian Wagyu Beef and Flinders Island Lamb. With increased awareness and understanding, demand and appreciation for our products has heightened, and our customer enquiries have expanded beyond Asian specialty restaurants and into new spaces,” shares Company Director, Sam Wong.
Showcasing the Aurum Poultry Co. range in 2023 are expert Chef Ambassadors Jerry Mai, Jacques Reymond and David Dellai, who have developed recipes for Australians to enjoy at home including:
● Steamed Ginger Chicken
● Duck and Liver Mortadella
● Roast Cockerel, Sweet Garlic and Tarragon Sauce
The three ambassadors highlight how Aurum Poultry Co. can work across a range of different cuisines, from Vietnamese to Italian and French. Vietnamese-Australian chef, Jerry Mai was drawn to the uniqueness of the Aurum Poultry Co. range and particularly loves the tender texture and ‘gai’ flavour that its products bring to her Steamed Ginger Chicken.
“The Fook Wong Cockerel is great for this dish as it showcases its bouncy flesh under the golden yellow skin. I also like to use Fook Wong Pullet for its tender flesh and the mellow sweetness of the meat,” says Mai.
Chef David Dellai often features Moorabool Valley corn-fed ducks on his restaurant, Il Bacaro’s menu, including in his duck and liver mortadella recipe.
“We receive many compliments on the Moorabool Valley corn-fed ducks we use in the restaurant. The corn flavour comes through in the duck meat beautifully and the deep red colour of the flesh attests to the quality of the product,” says Dellai. He continues, “I often feature the Fook Wong Cockerel as a special – I see it as a chance to educate customers on a product that they may be unfamiliar with. I also use the chicken bones in a number of my stocks and sauces as they are packed full of real poultry flavour.”
Chef Jacques Reymond found the Fook Wong Cockerel brought back memories of his youth in France.
“Fook Wong Cockerel reminds me so much of the Poulet de Bresse they breed in the village I am from in France. I remember the delicious aroma that filled the house for days after roasting one of those birds. These cockerels have so much natural flavour, that there is no need to cook an accompanying sauce for a long time,” says Reymond.
Aurum Poultry Co. was founded in 1999, by brothers Sam and Danny Wong, who wanted to bring the poultry dishes of their childhood in Vietnam to Australian plates. Joined by Company Director Henning Skallebaek, a veteran duck farmer whose focus lay in artisanal farming approaches, the company is committed to sustainable farming practices.
Forming close relationships with a selection of small, hand-picked family farmers throughout Victoria, the Aurum Poultry Co. founders have shared their traditions and knowledge with its farming cooperative in order to grow perfect birds and create refined poultry products. Aurum Poultry Co. farms utilise well-honed farming techniques and the highest level farming and animal husbandry in the industry. Birds are reared in specially designed, low-density barns, allowing room to move around. They are also raised over a longer time period, meaning they develop more muscle and stronger bones, creating a greater and more nuanced flavour.
“In a world of food where everything seems fast, we are not afraid to go slow. One of our biggest points of difference with other poultry producers is that we understand flavour and to achieve great flavour sometimes you have to be patient. While some commercial growers will take just 42 days to raise a bird, we will allow up to 120 days to slowly grow our Fook Wong Chickens. This extended maturation time makes a huge difference in the flavour of Aurum’s Poultry Co. birds,” says Sam Wong.
The Fook Wong chicken name, created by Aurum Poultry Co. and comes from a merging of the Chinese words ‘fook’ meaning happiness and ‘wong’ meaning to feel royal. It is this feeling that Aurum strives to achieve when customers enjoy its products, as well as being an ode to the founding brothers’ name.
Unlike many other specialty poultry producers, Aurum Poultry Co. oversees the entire farm to table process, allowing them complete control at every step. From the rearing of the birds, to processing, packaging and transport, Aurum Poultry Co. is able to ensure it delivers the freshest specialty poultry to both home cooks and professional chefs across Australia.
Aurum Poultry Co.’s produce can currently be found in many established restaurants and fine food stores, with plans to expand further. All of its poultry products are also available to purchase individually online, as well as wholesale, via its website.