Move over crisps, back down nuts, there's a new snack in town!
Enter Arrogant Chicken Jerky!
To spice up our beer cave we decided to venture into the snack world. While it would have been easy to stock snacks that are commonly available, we thought we'd try something different.
I reached out to Alexandra & Lee (the founders of the company) after seeing their page on Instagram. Based in Devon, all their snacks are based on travel experiences that as a family they have taken, well when the world was normal.
Chicken Jerky may seem like a new thing to us but in Russia and Ukraine it is fairly common. Alexandra tells me that many bars in these countries will automatically ask you what snack you want with the beer. Not salted peanuts or ready salted crisps, but jerky made with different meats. It's a healthier snack, which is low in fat, cholesterol and calories but high in protein.
Seeking help from friends who have industry experience in smoking meats, they provide a jerky that is smoked with Alpine Spruce to give it a real smoked flavour. No liquid smoke here! Another friend helps them source the spices directly from the suppliers. Only responsibly sourced chicken is used from a trusted supplier. The couple highlight the importance of getting to know their suppliers, which we at The Misty Bottle are passionate about too.
Since starting just before Covid and it now becoming a full-time job, I spoke to Alexandra on the phone and asked about challenges that they have faced.
Well first of all, trying to get the texture, the taste and the look of the product for consumer purposes. We used a different type of wood first which didn't give the correct flavour, before settling on Alpine Spruce. One of our jerkys is an Indian spiced flavour. It took 55 times of trying to get it to where we wanted it to be. Making curry with the spices is very different to making a smoked chicken marinade and it had to be right! So eventually we got there. There is no point in putting out a product that we are not happy with!
The range of products you have is very unique I must say. Where do you get your inspiration?
From travelling! Basically, we enjoy going to different countries and absorbing the culture, especially the food culture. Learning from people first-hand is the best way to understand the ingredients used. There are so many flavours out there so let's embrace them. A percentage of our profits go to the Woodland Trust so we can give a little bit back to the world that is so good to us!
Currently we have five exciting flavours on offer.
Le Coq – Inspired by a trip to French Provence in 2017. Heading off the beaten tracks, staying near beautifully colourful lavender fields, they were able to try and begin to understand the complexities of Southern French Cuisine.
Cluckropolis – A 2018 trip to Halkdiki was a unique one. Staying with a traditional Greek grandmother, they fell in love with the food of the area. Especially the commonly eaten grilled souvlaki BBQ!
Cluck Norris – An American Cheeseburger chicken jerky, have you ever heard of such a thing? Well why not try a love fat version, saves the dishes!
Gangnam Style Oriental Jerky – This one is based upon Alexandra's life growing up in Ukraine. In the 60's/70's the Soviet Union invited Korean families work visas to come and live in Korea. With them they brought their food culture and opened Alexandra up to completely new flavours.
Tandoori Hot Indian Jerky - Smoked chicken jerky inspired by the majestic cuisine of India. Made with a special blentof Butter Chicken Masala.
What does the future hold for Arrogant Chicken?
Well, we have a couple of more flavours we are tinkering with at the moment, so hopefully they will be perfected soon. Ideally, we would love to have a shop based near us that we can offer beer from local microbreweries to go with our range of jerky. Currently on our website we sell beer from a local brewery and would love to continue this partnership on a bigger scale!