* Heirloom chickens are distinct from modern chickens in two ways. First, prior to World War II, they chickens were raised at least partially outside, where they had access to green feed, or, during colder months, were given table scraps, hay, etc. Grain was part of their diet, but certainly not their entire diet. Second, heirloom chickens took nearly three times longer to grow than modern chickens. A "fryer" is the stage after broiler (very young) but prior to roaster. Sixty years ago, a fryer was around 12 weeks old and weighed around 2.5 to 3 pounds. So a classic frying chicken should come from a slower growing breed of chicken — these are generally pretty rare — and be raised on grass. If you try this recipe with a standard supermarket chicken, it simply won't work. The meat is too bland.