CHICKEN 101 - Let's LEARN more ABOUT what we EAT.

Long live an HISTORICAL meal based on the CHICKEN.

Like most of you...
CHICKEN has honoured our tables more times than we can count.
In one form or other...
this versatile bird sure graces my table at least once a week.

Recently, through historical research, it was suggestively
discovered that the breeding of chicken for meat and egg consumption
was initiated in Vietnam well over 10,000 years ago.
Illustrator: Louis Hudson

India was close behind Vietnam. Thereafter, the fowl was exported to Greece around the 5th century B.C. and also to Egypt, where chicken became a very important food staple during the 18th Dynasty.
It seems that after 'Chevon' aka goat meat, poultry is one of the most currently used meats in the world. Partly, because of its relatively low cost in addition to the fact that mostly all parts of the chicken can be consumed.
In huge part we owe the popularity of this bird to its flexibility in uses. Thousands upon thousands of recipes have been created around chicken. Its versatility has made it accessible to all cooks whether they be an amateur or professional chef.

A chicken meal is always enjoyed in someone's preferred way. Whether it be stuffed, stewed, fried, grilled or roasted...Chicken will remain a very popular choice.
What's is your favourite way of having chicken?
Do you prefer cooking the whole chicken, just the breast part or are the thighs and wings your favourite part?
When it comes to purchasing my poultry...besides having the opportunity of buying it from a local farmer (which is always best)...my alternative was to find a good quality store with a reliable brand. I have tried many chickens over the years...and so far I can't seem to beat a Muslim blessed 'Halal' type chicken. I was very fortunate to discover this at my multi-ethnic grocery store. Many years and tons of chicken recipes later...my search for at least one of the better choices was finally discovered.
What's so great?  For one, they are smaller size chickens that are fed a grain feed mix whereby it produces a leaner chicken.  I don't spend too much time cutting off excess fat. It also holds it own in flavour and tenderness in most preparations I've tried so far.
The term 'Halal' is widely used to designate food seen as permissible according to the Islamic law.    
They have specific ways and only allow a certain method of slaughtering an animal for consumption.
If you'd like more info...please refer to one of the processors of this chicken type: Maple Lodge Farms
The terms 'Halal' or 'Kosher' appear to be interchangeable.
HOWEVER, many within these religious followings may feel that this is highly debatable.

Which begs the question:
Out of hundreds of chicken types that are bred for food consumption...how does one really know which brand to pick?   I'm assuming that many of you have a preference!?!
Therefore, if you have made a good discovery in your region...would you be so kind as to share it with us?
It may not only give us a chance to try something new...it will help some to definitely avoid the major disappointments when recipes go south.
Not to mention the precious dollars and time lost to being misguided about our purchase.
Basically, at the end, you will eventually find a trusted grocer that will sell you a reliable chicken that will suit your needs.

The following ARTICLES may ALSO be of INTEREST:
ARTICLE:  FOOD, where DO you really come from?

source: art.com

*** FOLLOW UP ***
As I was researching more into the world of POULTRY...
I soon realized that I was nowhere near putting together
a resumed version of the all that defines edible chicken.
The info was too overwhelming for me to even start summarizing.
No point attacking this huge subject myself.
Defining ALL the types of Chickens out there and explaining which is used
for what type of recipe...would be incredibly time consuming.
In all fairness...I felt it was best to share with you the links to what
I felt were the best (from the countless) information sites out there.

So, for those that want to educate themselves further...here's a
great big poultry pen of related sites:

Where to BUY... HEALTHY choice POULTRY and EGGS:
Consumers can find humanely raised chickens by checking out the following sites:

Eat Wild...a website that lists people raising pastured chickens, and other animals, by region.
Eatwild's Directory of Farms lists more than 1,100 pasture-based farms, with more farms being added each week. It is the most comprehensive source for grass-fed meat and dairy products in the United States and Canada.

Eatwild's DIRECTORY of where to find their products:

The following RECIPES...may ALSO be of INTEREST:
. Sweet and sour CHICKEN roast
. SOUP Sunday CHICKEN TOMATO potage soup
. Simple Stupid Salt CHICKEN roast


Other...Related Links and Resources
about CHICKEN:

' Wiki ' with their passionate contributors...have this to say about CHICKEN:

Making your head spin with CHICKEN RECIPES galore:
(Remember...these are only a few...any suggestions?...Pass them along)

1001 Recipes ...for very interesting chicken meals
All Recipes ... tons of great recipes
Food and Wine...very successful turn outs
Williams-Sonoma...loads of tested recipes

To my fellow INFO 'junkies'...
Want to dig further...go right ahead...
here are more...Related Links and Resources

. Poultry Hub...for generalized INFO...[mostly Australian based] ...very good info

United States: 
. Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council
. Chicken Farmers of Canada

MORE info on...CHICKEN
...the mother of all sites to explain everything Chicken
What are these chicken really fed? ... more info on the types of Chicken feed

"All feeds have their own benefits in that they provide various nutrients to the chicken."
Meat Cooking Expert ... offers cooking advice and tips

Happy research and flavourful wishes,

Comments ...???... or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at: foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com