Eating chicken is common in all cultures, which is why there are such dissimilar recipes as raw chicken torisashi (from Japan) and chicken with Viennese waffles (from the USA).
One of the essential advantages of chicken is its ease of preparation. The meat is quickly marinated; cooking according to a simple recipe takes a few minutes. For a holiday, you can buy a whole carcass and stuff it with fruit – this delicious dish will undoubtedly become a table decoration.
Chicken fillet is often added to salads: making the dish more nutritious, it has almost no effect on its calorie content. The undoubted advantage of fillet is the absence of fatty layers in it.
Transparent broths, first prepared many centuries ago in France, have gained nationwide popularity. There were also recipes for soups, sauces and stews with a broth base. To prepare the dish, either a whole chicken carcass or wings with legs are required, which provide richness. You won’t be able to boil a real broth from chicken breast – the dish will come out almost tasteless.
The broth contains many amino acids and minerals, it strengthens the immune system, improves digestion and the condition of bone tissue, and maintains healthy hair. This healthy dish also tastes good, which is why it is included in the menus of the best restaurants around the world.
There are recipes in which the main ingredient is not only chicken fillets, legs or wings, but also hearts, stomachs and liver. Chicken hearts and liver on skewers, chicken ventricles with stewed cabbage and saffron are just a couple of dozens of existing recipes.
The chicken is one of the oldest domesticated birds. You can still see birds in the wild in India, where domestication took place thousands of years ago. Chicken breeding is practiced in the Old World everywhere: from Japan to Scandinavia. Although in the Middle Ages it was considered costly to keep poultry or livestock for slaughter, even peasants tried to get a chicken in order to get fresh eggs. Poultry meat itself remained a dish that only wealthy people could afford.
In Russia, chickens have been bred since ancient times. According to the mythology of the ancient Slavs, in order to defeat enemies in battle, it was necessary to sacrifice to Perun, the supreme god and patron of the squad, a rooster.
Certain traditions were associated with this bird in the Christian period. Chicken was one of the must-haves for weddings. The newlyweds were treated to a special pie with baked eggs – kurnik – decorated with a dough figurine in the form of a chicken head. The cake symbolized the ability of the new family to bear children.
The birthplace of many chicken recipes is the United States. Some have remained a feature of the local cuisine. For example, chicken with waffles, a dish from the southern states: fried chicken breast topped with maple syrup is placed on Belgian waffles. Other dishes have gained international prominence. For example, a variety of Caesar salad garnished with slices of fried chicken. The original Mexican recipe, invented by Caesar Cardini, included only vegetables and herbs.
Having come up with fast food, Americans have found a way to diversify the chicken menu. In the middle of the XX century. restaurateur Harland Sanders came up with a recipe for chicken wings, fried using a special technology. Not only this Kentucky dish has become popular, but also fried chicken legs and nuggets, the pride of various chain restaurants.
100 g of boiled chicken meat contains:
- Proteins – 19.1 g
- Fat – 7.4 g
- Carbohydrates – 0.5 g
- Energy value – 145 kcal
The benefits of chicken
The beneficial properties of chicken meat are due to both the composition of the diet of the chickens themselves, and the general method of growing them. That is why domestic chickens raised in spacious open-air cages and on a varied diet are much more preferable than factory broilers, stuffed with compound feed and growth stimulants. The beneficial properties of chicken meat produced from those very domestic chickens simply cannot be overestimated:
- an abundance of complete animal protein. Chicken meat contains all the essential amino acids, a set of cartilage proteins and building materials for our own tissues. By the way, the proteins collagen and elastin contained in chicken legs are especially useful for those who suffer from joint diseases.
- high digestibility and dieteticity. Meat from poultry sternum is especially famous for it – the famous chicken breast. The composition of chicken breast is dietary – it has very little fat and cholesterol, so it is especially useful for those who are overweight or suffering from vascular problems.
- a large amount of vitamins. Basically, the chemical composition of chicken meat is rich in B vitamins, which are found in the greatest amount in the legs and wings. In addition to them, the composition of chicken contains vitamins A and E, which are extremely necessary for us to maintain visual acuity and strength of immunity.
- mineral filling, which is part of chicken meat and provides support for the circulatory, cardiovascular and nervous systems.
- low cholesterol and fat content, making the chicken a real salvation for those who are on a diet or suffer from vascular problems. It is almost impossible to gain weight from chicken meat, but at the same time it saturates well.
In addition, the benefits of chicken meat are manifested on a global scale. Chicken farms and specialty farms, with the same volume of production, take up less space and do not affect the environment as badly as farms that raise cattle. Therefore, everyone who cares about the environment can be advised to often replace beef or pork with chicken.
Speaking about the benefits and harms of chicken meat objectively, one cannot but touch on some of its shortcomings. The harmful properties of chicken are primarily associated with its skin. It is known that chicken skin is the fattest part of the whole carcass. The same fat also contains a fair amount of cholesterol, so it is undesirable to use it for those who are losing weight.
One cannot ignore the fact that most chicken foods on the market today are produced on farms where chickens are raised on synthetic feed and without access to sunlight. The composition of chicken raised in such conditions contains significantly less nutrients, but much more various chemicals. Therefore, if you think about health, then it is better to prefer homemade chicken.
It is also important that when grilling chicken, some substances in the skin itself turn into strong carcinogens. Therefore, it is better to prefer such fried chicken legs, boiled in broth or stewed in pots. Moreover, with such cooking methods, the final dish tastes no worse than the famous grill.
But at the same time, there is a benefit of chicken, even cooked with the skin – the abundance of fat in the skin turns into advantages when the broth is cooked, which is used to feed seriously ill patients. Due to the fat content of the skin, this broth is very nutritious, giving the patient strength and promoting his speedy recovery.
And of course, like any other product, chicken is good in moderation. Excessive enthusiasm for it, if it does not harm, it will not bring much benefit, but a variety of its diet along with other types of meat will make your diet more balanced, complete and of high quality. Eat right!
How to choose a chicken
- The chicken should not be slippery or sticky, and the meat should be firm enough. Try to put your finger on the carcass: if the chicken immediately regains its volume, then it is fresh. And if the dent remains for a long time, then the chicken is stale. If the carcass is completely hard, then most likely it was pumped with water, and you buy water, not meat.
- The chicken skin must be intact. Be sure to check the integrity of the skin under the legs and wings.
- The chicken should be pink in color. If the chicken has blue spots, then either the bird died from the disease, or it was improperly processed. In any case, you can’t eat it.
- A yellow chicken is likely too old and tough and tasteless. The age of a chicken can also be determined by the tip of the breastbone. In an old bird, it is ossified and practically does not bend, in a young bird it is elastic and flexible.
- Fresh chicken is virtually odorless. Don’t buy meat marinated with spices. Spices interrupt the smell of rotting, so most often in stores they pickle chickens that are stale and not suitable for sale.
- If you buy chicken in a store, be sure to pay attention to the fact that the package is intact.
- Do not buy frozen chicken meat, as its quality is almost impossible to determine.
- It is best to cook chicken meat right away and not refrigerate. If you did buy chicken for future use, store it in the freezer and defrost it on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.
Chicken meat in cooking
Chicken meat can be safely called the standard of the ideal combination of price and quality, which made it an irreplaceable and very popular food product for absolutely all categories of the population. It is tasty and tender, easy to prepare, combined with most foods known to man, and is affordable. Thanks to this, there are countless recipes that allow you to prepare both everyday and holiday dishes.
Chicken meat can be subjected to all types of heat treatment. It is boiled, stewed, fried, smoked and baked. It can be used both as an independent dish and as part of broths, soups, borscht, mashed potatoes, aspic, goulash, meatballs, cutlets, meatballs, pâtés, snacks, and salads. Moreover, in salads, it is combined with other types of meat, and with vegetables, and even fruits.
Oven-baked chicken, grilled chicken and chicken chop have become symbols of the era. They have not been tried except by an alien who has not been on Earth. And all kinds of salads, in which chicken meat can be combined with any food, dressing and sauces, have long become indispensable attributes of the festive table.
The first or second course, cold or hot appetizer – everything can include chicken meat, with the only difference that there are several secrets to its use.
• The meat of adult chickens is best used for making broth.
• Old chicken is perfect for minced meat and for making meatballs, cutlets, meatballs and meatballs.
• It is better to fry “middle-aged” and fatty chicken.
• Smoke, bake and stew is best for young chickens.
• Any chicken meat is suitable for salads and appetizers.
Well, in order not to be mistaken with the “age” of the bird and choose the right meat for your dish, you need to remember a simple rule – a young chicken has light and delicate skin, on which veins are clearly visible, and an older bird is covered with rough skin, with a yellowish tint.
And let pundits still puzzle over the paradox of the egg and chicken, questioning the primacy of one or the other. But there is no doubt that a person’s love for chicken meat and its recognition for it.
- Chicken breast 4 pieces
- Onion 2 pieces
- Sweet pepper 3 pieces
- Garlic 3 cloves
- Tomatoes 4 pieces
- Vegetable bouillon cube 1 piece
- Cheese 100 g
- Mixture of Italian herbs 1 tablespoon
- Water ½ cup
- Cream ½ cup
- Olive oil 2 tablespoons
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Salt to taste
- Butter 1 tablespoon
- Ground black pepper to taste
Cut the bell pepper into rings (it is better to choose three different colors – it looks more colorful), after removing the seeds. Cut the onion into half rings, finely grate the garlic.
- Salt and pepper the chicken breasts. In combination, 2 tablespoons of olive and 1 tablespoon of butter, fry the breasts until golden brown. Transfer to an oven dish.
- In the same frying pan, fry the onions until golden brown, transfer to the chicken dish.
- Time for bell peppers – lightly fry the rings until they are tender – and to the chicken.
- Place the grated garlic in a frying pan, sauté for 30 seconds, then add water, add chopped tomatoes (the skin can be removed beforehand), mix well. Add Italian herbs, vegetable bouillon cube, salt, pepper, a pinch of nutmeg. Pour in half a glass of cream, stir.
- Simmer the sauce for 5 minutes over low heat. Pour the chicken and vegetables over them. Cover with foil, send to the oven at 200 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Remove, sprinkle with grated cheese, place the chicken back in the oven, but without foil, for another 15 minutes, until the cheese melts.