Chicken is a kind of domesticated fowl, a subspecies of the red junglefowl. It is the most common type of poultry in the world, and one of the most common and widespread domestic animals. Humans raise chickens primarily as a source of food, consuming both their meat and eggs. The meat of a chicken has been variously adapted to regional tastes. They have become prevalent throughout the cuisine of cultures around the world because of the relative ease and low cost of raising them compared to other animals such as cattle or hogs.
- Chickens can identify over 100 different faces of people or animals.
- There are more chickens on earth than people.
- On average, 97 chickens are slaughtered every 0.05 seconds worldwide.
- When the head of the chicken has been cut off, it can run the length of a football field before dropping dead.
- There’s a rare type of chicken from Indonesia that you can buy for $2,500. It is entirely black, including the feathers, beak, and organs, due to hyperpigmentation.
- The fear of chickens is called Alektorophobia.
- When they feel stressed, they start to lose their feathers.
- Chickens have their unique language with over 30 different sounds used to communicate.
Chicken: A domestic bird that is kept for its eggs or meat, especially a young one.
White Meat: Pale meat such as poultry, veal, and rabbit.
Fowl: A gallinaceous bird kept for its eggs and flesh
Hyperpigmentation: Patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin.
Chicken Buying Guide
Compared to beef and pork, chicken can be less confusing to shop for at the market. It’s helpful to take note of the chicken’s coloring, which will give you some insight into the freshness of the package. No matter what cut you’re buying, look for chicken meat that has a pink, flesh-colored hue, while the skin should be a yellow tint. The breasts must be pale pink with very little fat, and dark meat should be dark pink with some white fat. As chicken spoils, its coloring fades from pink to a dull gray. So, it’s best to skip over any packages containing chicken with even a hint of grayish coloring.
Don’t just rely on that “best by” date alone. Additionally, the chicken should not have any particular smell — if it has any odor, it’s not right, and you definitely shouldn’t buy or eat it. Fresh chicken should not have an odor and should be plump and undamaged.
Chicken Production & Farming in Texas
Chickens are pretty easy to raise. Just make sure they have a clean environment and plenty of food & water, and they’ll be good to go! Most chickens, in general, are not allowed to range free-ly until they reach about four months of age.
When the chicks have grown to full size, you have to process them for the freezer. You can do this on-farm, or you can find a poultry processor and transport them to the site to be slaughtered and processed. If you plan to sell them, you will need to have them slaughtered at a USDA-approved facility. Some states have mobile facilities, making the location more flexible.
People in Texas have been raising chicken since the Spanish period, but commercial production did not begin until the 1840s and was extremely limited until the twentieth century. Most families raised their poultry, and there was little market for any excess. The 1890 census shows 11,523,117 chickens are on farms in Texas, and production of 32,466,433 dozen eggs was reported that year.
The chickens that we have today seem to have all descended from the red junglefowl. Before the advent of fast, inexpensive DNA analysis, the origins of chickens were discovered using archaeology, history, linguistics, and the morphology or physical appearance of the birds.
They were likely first domesticated about 5,400 years ago in Southeast Asia, although archaeological evidence of wild chickens goes back even further, to a 12,000-year-old site in northern China. Once domesticated, though, chickens were brought westward to Europe and east-southeast into Oceania.
Chicken is a well-known white meat that has lean meat, which contains a small amount of fat and is concentrated in easily identifiable places. The skin of the chicken is where it accumulates the most. On the contrary, the thigh and the breast are the two pieces with the least lipids, the latter with only 60 milligrams of fat per 1 gram of meat. In addition to being very healthy, chicken meat stands out for its flavor, versatility, and texture in the culinary universe.
Fresh and raw chicken can be refrigerated in its original wrapping in the coldest part of the refrigerator for several days. The amount of time that it can be refrigerated will depend on the freshness of the meat when purchased, the temperatures it is exposed to in transporting from the store to home refrigeration, and the type of packaging used. If you don’t plan to cook it in 48 hours, you must store it in the refrigerator.
For convenience and to prevent freezer burn, wrap separate pieces in foil or plastic bags. Then place all wrapped or bagged pieces into a bigger freezer bag or foil wrap. Press all air out of the bag/foil package and label package with contents and date frozen.
Chicken is a delicious and very healthy meat that can be cooked in an infinite number of ways and is appealing at any time of the year. There are countless different recipes and preparations, including:
Stir-frying – Breasts or thigh fillets are the ideal cuts to for stir-frying. You must use a sharp knife to slice the breast or thigh into thin cuts.
Pan-frying – the ideal cuts for this are the chicken breast, tenderloins, or chicken thigh fillets.
Grilling or Barbecuing – Ideal cuts for this are chicken breasts, tenderloins, or thigh fillets. If you are using a flattened chicken, you can grill both sides for color and flavor and then place in the oven to cook through thoroughly with moderate heat.
Baking or Roasting – For this, wings, drumsticks, chicken thigh cutlets, and whole chickens are best because they have a bone in the center.
Favorite meat of all, chicken is not only easily available but is also nutritious and healthy if consumed in the right quantities. It is a popular option when it comes to lean protein, as it packs a considerable amount into a single serving without a lot of fat.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamin B6: It’s significant to protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism and the creation of red blood cells and neurotransmitters.
Vitamin B12: Keeps the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells.
Vitamin D: A nutrient found in chicken that is needed for health and to maintain healthy bones
Zinc: Helps the immune system to fight off invading bacteria and viruses.
Iron: An essential component of hemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to transport it throughout your body.