65 billion chickens are consumed each year and poultry meat accounts for over around 25% of world meat intake. Whether it is our home, a delicate dining experience or a fast food affair - it is safe to say that chicken is the king in every gastronomy area and numbers speak for themselves. After all, what's not to love about chicken meat?
It's versatile, inexpensive, and a great source of protein. If you’re starting out as an enthusiastic cook or just want to know more then read on and step up your game by trying out our new recipe, gathering some ideas and packing in some essential information about the chicken meat.
Chicken as Food
Chicken is the king when it comes to meat and is the most common poultry on the planet. And this isn’t a recent deal or an accident, as chicken as food can be found as far back as 600 BC among Babylonian carvings while Middle Ages also enjoyed the meat as one of the most popular food.
Many different cultures and cuisines around the world have embraced chicken as their main staple in the food chain.
In addition, the different parts of the chicken, as well as types, made the meat one of the most diverse foods out there, with a rich variety of preparation methods and recipes constructed over the centuries.
Different Types & Parts of Chicken
Chicken can be broken up into two when it comes to recognizing the differences – types and parts. The main three market chicken types include:
- Broiler – Chickens that are bred for the sole purpose of meat production and refers to a chicken of 6 to 10 weeks old. These are the most popular type of chicken in the food industry.
- Fryer – A 7 to 10 weeks old chicken, usually slightly larger than broilers and are good for preparing with any method.
- Roaster – An older chicken of an age 3 to 5 months equipped with way more meat and weight and is best roasted as a whole.
Other lesser-known types of chicken include Capon, Poussin, Stewing Hen, and Rooster. Chickens are sold fresh or frozen which brings us to diverse parts of the chicken which are cut up and then sold.
You can find thighs, legs, wings, party wings, breasts and even chicken backs and bones for soups. All sold separately with each one adapting to hundreds of unique recipes.
The chicken might have almost an unlimited potential of how to prepare it with a quality taste to it, but the nutritional value of the meat plays just the as important role of why it is so popular and valuable.
It is mostly known as a rich protein source in general (one thigh has around 30 grams of protein), but chicken meat goes well beyond that with dozens of other benefits.
The meat mainly delivers vitamins from the B complex such as vitamin B3 or vitamin B6, both critical for essential body functions. With that comes a dense mineral range of magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and more.
The amount and effect of such elements greatly depend on the type of chicken, part of it and cooking method used.
Most Common Cooking Methods
So, how do we cook chicken? And yet again, we are met by profound versatility and cooking methods that are plenty. Therefore, let’s shift the focus on the three most common cooking methods in the culinary world:
- Pan-frying& Stir-frying are very similar methods and most accessible and easy ways to cook the chicken at home or anywhere else. Perfect for cooking smaller pieces such as thigh fillets or chicken breasts.
- Grilling/BBQ is an outdoor classic and also used widely in restaurants. A brilliant method for chickens that are marinated and prepared beforehand. Grilling will give a crispy touch and a strong flavor to the flesh.
- Baking/Roasting cooks the skin and the flesh gently and evenly and is best used to cook the whole chicken as well as other parts such as wings, drumsticks, thigh cutlets and more.
And then there is frying, poaching, braising and boiling and more among slightly less popular cooking ways. A whole life to explore the tastes and possibilities of chicken meat and culinary techniques!
Creative Ideas to Think About!
Cooking basic recipes and something you are comfortable with can get really boring over time. But let’s not forget it is chicken we are dealing with and creative ideas are always there to be explored. Let’s hope a couple of intriguing ones will ignite your curiosity to strive for more!
- Chicken Pie has its own library of variations and is a great way to spice up your game in the kitchen. Think of creamy chicken puff pies, chicken & mushroom pie or even combinations with other meats such as bacon. Yum!
- Chicken & Cheese? Yes! It goes surprisingly well together and can be seen in many recipes out there. Think of mouthwatering sauce that you enjoy combined with rice and a chicken breast that has a melted parmesan or cheddar on top. Mmm.
- Baked Chicken Roll-Ups are another great way of expressing creativity. And it allows stuffing the baked chicken with anything in accordance to your own personal preference. This is also a way to go for those looking for a refreshing and healthy low-carb option to eat.
How About a New Recipe?
If you’re keen to try something new at your home, then we invite you to craft a special dish that is tested and perfect by Michelin-starred chef Björn Frantzén.
The chicken breast will be pan-fried in two different oils, butter, and other ingredients and later roasted in the oven with garlic. Already sounding delicious it will be accompanied by even more exciting components.
Carrots will be shiny and glazed while sweetcorn will be cooked with 10 different ingredients and blended afterward to make a shining sauce.
The carrot vinaigrette goes on top of the yummy chicken breast, while the sweetcorn velouté is poured over everything. Simple ingredients and an exquisite result!
To learn more about this recipe we invite you to look at Björn Frantzén’s cooking class where you will learn to cook more exquisite dishes like this one with an ability to expand your cooking game into all directions!
Corn on the cob - 450 g (kernels)
Large shallots - 2 pcs
Garlic cloves - 3 pcs
Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Butter - 4 tbsp
White wine - 200 ml
Chicken stock - 200 ml
Milk - 150 ml
Cream - 200 ml
Salt - 2 tsp
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
Large carrot - 1 pc
Olive oil - 50 ml
Orange zest - 1 tsp
Orange juice - 50 ml
Tarragon leaves - 20 pcs
Salt - 1 tsp
There you go! Even something as common as chicken can get almost as new and as something you never tasted before with the right mindset and will to learn. Therefore, we encourage you to explore new tastes, embrace different ideas and keep striving for unique tastes and sharpening not only your knife but your cooking skills as well. Good luck and Bon Appétit!