If an animal has feathers and a beak it is classified as being a bird – duh! In eating terms this converts into the broad poultry classification. Although personally speaking chicken is the most boring, bland meat of them all, it is chicken that springs to mind for majority of the world in conjunction to the word poultry, defaulted by its widespread popularity both in the East and the West.
Chicken’s popularity and its huge fan following can basically be blamed and summed up by three main factors. One, that today chicken is the cheapest meat to buy both cooked and uncooked. Two, chicken production is on such a mass scale it has managed to attain a manufactured standardised quality reminiscent of a processed, packaged food, thus its characteristic institutionalised flavour is hardly a surprise.
Three, chicken is largely sold in prepped, cut and trimmed pre-packaged pieces, whole chickens prepped, trussed and ready for roasting or boneless strips and dice – all of which feeds into the 21st century mechanical and sterile mindset – one where we are so far removed with the fact that we are in fact consuming an animal, that we rather pretend meat comes from a packet rather than what was not long ago a living, breathing animal.
Although today many people would be surprised to learn the poultry extends far beyond the sterile, bland production line chooks (Aussie term for chickens) encompassing ducks, pheasants, poussins (young chickens about 4-6 weeks old), quails, pigeons as well as wild or game birds such as emu, ostrich and guinea fowl.
Chicken is always cooked until well done – completely through to 75 degrees C, while on the contrary duck and quail breasts may be served medium-rare so the interior is moist and pink. The tougher legs resultant from the development of thicker, developed muscles however is always served well done as in the case of chicken.
Pan-fried Ballottine with rice and Jus Lie
Galantine of Chicken - roasted Nori, Chicken farce and tenderloin served with Watercress and pickles