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Ridgefield Academy Serves Up D'Artagnan Chicken In Quest For Local Foods

Free range organic chickens from D’Artagnan
Free range organic chickens from D’Artagnan Photo Credit: D’Artagnan website

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. - The dining rooms at Ridgefield Academy will now serve chicken thighs and wings from D'Artagnan, an all-natural organic meat and poultry manufacturer.

The company has been working on its Green Circle project, where high-end Manhattan restaurants provide scraps for the chickens on D'Artagnan's farms. The aim is to offer a tasty, non-factory farmed chicken for businesses and schools.

“We served D’Artagnan venison for the Trustee Dinner last year,” says Ridgefield chef Paul Desiano. He kept in touch with the company salesman, who persuaded him to use their chickens for the school.

The chef likes the Green Circle project, as all of a chicken will be used. For example, D'Artagnan will sell wings and thighs to schools. Desiano believes everyone wins: D'Artagnan gets more business, Ridgefield Academy gets better food and it's less waste for the earth.

It's all part of Desiano's plan to concentrate on purchasing local, sustainable food for students.

“If you know the people and value their ethics, then you should be getting a superior product,” says Desiano.

He has noticed that students aren't used to bone-in chicken thighs.

“It’s a challenge given the way eating has gone in this country. Children aren’t used to bone-in meat or poultry," he said. "There is a degree of relearning how food is meant to be.”

However, the wings and drumsticks are quite popular and go fast.

“So is it bone or eating bone-in with a knife and fork that’s the challenge?” he says.

That's the big question only Ridgefield Academy students can answer.

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