Chicken – Interesting Facts

Chicken is one of the most popular varieties of meat. The breast, the thighs and the wings are the most common cuts of the animal and there are countless ways to prepare them. The white meat is a good source of protein. When fried, the skin is deliciously crispy but contains a large amount of fat – 100g of chicken with skin contains 155 calories, whereas the same amount of chicken without skin contains just 110 calories. However, when grilled or steamed, chicken is ideal for a low-calorie diet and easy to digest.

Food Facts Food Facts

Chicken (raw breast with skin)

Class

gallus

Calories

110-155 kcal per 100 g

Nutrients

0 g carbohydrates, 0 g fibre, 1 g fat, 24,6 g protein per 100 g

Season

available year-round

Storage

refrigerate at 4°C or freeze

Shelf life

1-2 days in refrigerator

Chicken – On the Menu Worldwide

The direct ancestor of the modern broiler chicken is the Southeast Asian red junglefowl. Findings show that it was domesticated 8,000 years ago. The junglefowl had to be kept in cages because they were still able to fly. The ancient Romans established the practice of breeding chicken in Central Europe and kept them in great numbers for their meat and eggs. In Switzerland, people began to keep chickens around the 4th or 5th century. Today, they are bred worldwide and chicken is one of the most consumed meats in the world.

Chicken can be bought fresh at the meat counter; packaged, and sometimes already seasoned, in the refrigerated section; or in the frozen goods section. Chicken can be bought both whole – which makes for an excellent feast – or as a variety of cuts. If animal welfare is important to you, make sure to buy free-range, organic chicken.

Chicken – Lots of Variety and Easy to Prepare

When preparing chicken, if it is fried for too long or at too high a heat, the meat can become dry and tough due to the fast loss of liquid. To avoid this, fry chicken at a medium temperature so that it retains some of its liquid. Frying makes the temperature more difficult to regulate, so roasting the chicken in the oven is a good alternative. Remember, chicken must always be cooked through.

A particularly healthy way to prepare chicken is by fully submerging the meat in simmering water. To give it more flavour, add some white wine, vegetable stock, garlic and fresh herbs into the water. Roasting chicken can also be quite a healthy alternative – in order to retain the tenderness, place the meat in an oven bag with herbs and spices, or marinade it and wrap it in aluminium foil. The advantage of this method is that only a small amount of butter or oil is required to make the meat juicy.

Poultry can be combined with lots of other ingredients to make a tasty dish. For a balanced meal, try steamed chicken with some steamed vegetables. Tasty dishes include breaded chicken and Cordon Bleu. Alone, chicken has quite a subtle taste, meaning it goes well with many sauces, spices and herbs, and a suitable ingredient for all types of cuisine.

From stews or casseroles, to Indian or Thai curries, to a variety of salads, or even in Middle Eastern dishes with honey or fruit, chicken is an extremely versatile meat.

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