Home

Cooking Poultry

Cooking Methods

Poultry Politics

Chicken

Duckling

Turkey

Goose

Guinea Fowl

Pigeon

Ostrich

Quality and Storage

Cutting for Sautee

Spatchcock

Meat

 

 

 

 

  Chicken
 
 

 

Chicken

 

Fact Sheet

 

Because of its relatively low cost, chicken is one of the most used meats in the world. More than 40 per cent of the meat we eat in Britain is chicken – making it the nation’s favourite choice by far. Nearly all parts of the bird can be used for food, and the meat can be cooked in many different ways. Popular chicken dishes include fried chicken, chicken soup, Buffalo wings, tandoori chicken, butter chicken, and chicken rice. Chicken is also a staple of fast food restaurants.

 

Typically, the muscle tissue (breast, legs, thigh, etc), livers, hearts, and gizzard are processed for food. Chicken feet are commonly eaten, especially in French and Chinese cuisine. Chicken wings refers to a serving of the wing sections of a chicken.

 

Chicken eggs are commonly eaten and unlaid eggs removed from slaughtered hens can also be eaten

 

 

Terminology

 

Adult male chickens are known as cocks.

Males under a year old are cockerels.

Castrated males are called capons (though both surgical and chemical castration are now illegal in some parts of the world).

Females over a year old are known as hens

Females under a year are known as pullets.

Babies are called chicks.

 

 

Behaviour

 

Chickens are omnivorous.  In the wild, they often scratch at the soil to search for seeds, insects and even larger animals such as lizards or young mice.

 

Chickens in nature may live for five to eleven years depending on the breed.  In commercial intensive farming, a meat Chicken generally lives only six weeks before slaughter.

 

A free range or organic meat chicken will usually be slaughtered at about 14 weeks.

 

Hens of special laying breeds may produce as many as 300 eggs a year.

 

After 12 months, the hen's egg-laying ability starts to decline, and commercial laying hens are then slaughtered and used in baby foods, pet foods, pies and other processed foods.

 

 

Uses

 

Raw chicken can be frozen for up to two years without significant changes in flavor or texture and is typically eaten cooked--as when raw it often contains salmonella; raw or rare chicken dishes appear in Ethiopian cuisine and Chinese cuisine.

 

Chicken can be cooked in innumerable ways; it can be made into sausages, put in salads, grilled, breaded and deep-fried, or used in various curries.

 

There is significant variation in cooking methods amongst cultures; historically common methods include roasting, baking and frying.

 

Today, chickens are also cooked by deep frying and prepared as fast food as Fried Chicken, chicken nuggets or Buffalo wings.

 

Chickens often come with labels such as Roasting which suggest a method of cooking based on the type of chicken. While these labels are only suggestions, ones labeled for stew often do not do well when cooked with other methods.

 

Some chicken breast cuts and processed chicken breast products include the term "with Rib Meat." This is thought to be the darker meat surrounding and in between the rib cage.

 

The breast is cut from the chicken and sold as a solid cut, while the leftover breast and rib meat is stripped from the bone through cooking, solvents or mechanically recoverd  and the resulting slurry is reduced and processed with stabilizers and hormones into its consumer form.

 

Breast meat is often sliced thinly and marketed as chicken slices, an easy filling for sandwiches.

 

While chicken bones are not edible, they can be simmered with vegetables and herbs for hours or even days to make chicken stock.

 

 

 

 

Sizes of Fresh Chickens

 

 

 

Name

Weight

Portions

Single Poussin

250g

1

Double Poussin

400g

2

Small roasting

800g

3-4

Medium Roasting

1.5 Kg

4

Large roasting

2.5 Kg

8

Capon

3.5 Kg

12

Boiling fowl

3.5 Kg

12

 

 

Quality points

 

 

The following list indicates the quality points to look for when purchasing poultry.

 

 

                     Plump breasts

                     White unbroken skin (unless corn fed)

                     Pliable breast bone

                     Pleasant smell

                     Dry to the touch

                     Small spurs 

 

 

 

The answer to one of the most vexed questions ever asked involving chickens!

 

Why did the chicken cross the road ?

 

Plato:

For the greater good

 

Karl Marx:

It was an historical inevitability

 

Thomas de Torquemada:

Give me 10 minutes with the chicken and I’ll find out

 

Timothy Leary:

Because that was the only kind of trip that the establishment would let it take

 

Jack Nicholson:

Cause it  ****kin  wanted to. That’s the * * * * kin reason

 

Clint Eastwood:

In all this confusion, I forget, was it one road or two and you’ve got to ask yourself chicken – do you feel lucky, well do you ?

 

Chairman Mao:

The chicken is a counter – revolutionary unworthy to retain its’ eggs and must be re-educated

 

Nietzsche:

Because if you gaze too long across the road, the road gazes back across at you

 

Carl Jung:

The confluence of events in the cultural gestalt necessitated that individual chickens cross roads at this historical juncture, and therefore synchronicitously brought such occurrences into being

 

David Kolb:

After observing and reflecting on other chickens crossing the road the chicken actively conceptualized crossing the road before converging this into experimenting with crossing the road. This lead to a concrete experience of actually crossing the road and so the chicken was then able to process this continuum by crossing other roads

 

Jean-Paul Sartre:

In order to act in good faith and be true to itself, the chicken found it impossible not to cross the road

 

Albert Einstein:

Whether the chicken crossed the road or the road crossed the chicken depends on your frame of reference

 

Buddha:

If you ask this question, you deny your own chicken-nature

 

Salvador Dali:

The Fish !

 

Darwin:

It was the next logical step after coming down from the trees

 

Emily Dickenson:

Because it could not stop for death

 

Ernest Hemingway:

To die – In the rain

 

Saddam Hussein:

This was an unprovoked act of rebellion and we were quite justified in dropping 50 tons of nerve gas on it

 

Ronald Reagan:

I forget

 

Henry David Thoreau:

‘Carpe Diem’ !   To live deliberately, and suck all the marrow out of life

 

Mark Twain:

The news of its crossing has been greatly exaggerated

 

Captain James T Kirk:

To boldly go where no chicken has gone before

 

Abraham Maslow:

The healthy chicken, having had its’ basic physiological needs met, coming from a safe, warm and loving family was able to creatively accept the fact that it needed to cross the road. The self esteem and confidence that this gave the chicken, provided it with the necessary knowledge to cross other roads

 

Hippocrates:

Because of an excess of phlegm in its pancreas