Slow and Low at the Chicken Inn. Swing by. And Buy.
These major events can often put a huge demand on the business (mainly because their cooked meats sell so quickly that more are demanded at short notice) and Tim says they couldn't manage without having such a great team in place, all willing to pitch in when the going gets tough. The Chicken Inn, through the Lane and Mulcahy family and their employees, has served the market and the city well for close on 60 years. Long may they thrive!
|Tim and the tasting plate.|
In the Chicken Inn, at the heart of the English Market, they cook their chicken and ham slowly and at a low temperature and also on the bone. You may of course buy your chickens uncooked from the big market stall but hard to resist the beautiful flavours produced by their cookers.
The Chicken Inn have been here since 1955 and Tim Mulcahy, grandson of founder John Lane, told me they started cooking in a small way in the ‘60s. Then a small rotisserie met a fairly regular Saturday demand, a demand that grew during the summer when the holiday season kicked in and people regularly picked up a cooked chicken for the picnics.
But gradually the demand built up and Tim’s father Jack sourced an oven in the UK and since then they have been cooking low and slow and on the bone. The meats are absolutely gorgeous. Check it out for yourself before you buy by sampling from the display plate at the stall, the succulent chicken, the flavoursome ham, their own lovely spiced beef and the distinctive ham hock.
You may prefer to cook your own but the market cooked version confers big advantages for busy parents. The ham and turkey breast is sliced and cooked for you. “All the work is done,” says Tim. “You just have to assemble it.” And, with confirmations and communions and Easter coming up, those who prefer to eat at home will be glad of the service. Indeed, over the years, many have availed of it and the reaction has always been great!
|Their spiced beef, now a year round seller.|
“This is real turkey, real chicken, real ham, all with real flavour and the process allows that flavour come through”, Tim emphasised. “It is different to the normal. You don't have to camouflage it with loads of mayonnaise. It is also well priced. We like to give good value to people.”
And there is independent confirmation of the Chicken Inn quality. That came in 2010 when their Honey Roast Ham won a Gold Star at the prestigious UK awards. And then there is the continuing demand for their Spiced Beef, often seen as a Christmas special. “We had always kept a bit on the counter for a few weeks in January but three years ago we just kept it on display, kept selling it and it has been a constant year round seller since. It is not a-just-for-Christmas item anymore.”
Over the decades, the Mulcahy family - Tim’s parents, Mary (nee Lane) and Jack, have always been involved - have built up a large wholesale business and now supply many restaurants and annual or once-off events such as the Michael Jackson concert, the Tall Ships, the Eurovision in Millstreet, the Cork Summer Show and Ford Week.
|Corfirmations, Communions, Easter. All done for you.|