Chicken is probably the only meat which offers pleasure of eating meat with minimum fat intake. After mutton, it is the one and only option for meat in countries like India, where consuming pork and beef is considered to be a taboo, due to certain religious beliefs.
Millions of people regularly indulge themselves in eating chicken based dishes, but it is rarely known to many that chicken has several kinds of varieties according to their sizes and the purpose for which they are being used. So, here is a brief description about various types of chicken and their cooking methods.
Types Of Chicken — For Various Types Of Cooking
Broiler is the smallest and youngest variety of chicken and this chicken type’s age is between 7-13 weeks and it weighs about 1 ½ to 3 ½ pounds. The texture of this chicken is very smooth and soft and is perfect for any type of cooking like roasting, frying, grilling, or baking.
Roasters are older than the broilers and are normally 3-5 months old. They weigh about 4-6 pounds on an average and therefore produce more meat. Roasters are available as whole in the market and is normally used for baking and roasting. But it definitely tastes good if even used for other forms of cooking.
Capons are male chickens which are under the age of 8 months. They weigh in between 5-9 pounds and are castrated before use. These larger varieties of chickens are more mature and their meat is very tender and rich in flavors. But other than that capons have more white meat as well as fat content than their smaller counterparts. These are perfect for roasting and a single chicken is sufficient to serve more than 6-7 people.
Stewing chickens are even older than capons, but they weigh lesser than the capon variety. Chickens are termed as stewing chicken when they reach an age of at least 10 months. Their meet is flavorful, but a little tougher and fibrous than the other three younger varieties of chickens. Hence, they should be ideally used for soups and stews or for slow cooking methods like braising.
Photo Credit: Blog.divinedinnerparty.com/2009/04/20/crock-pot-recipe-herbed-chicken-soup-with-veggies-and-pearl-barley/
Chickens are broadly classified into 4 varieties, which are mentioned above, but they may also be classified on their raising techniques. So, some of those kinds are:
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The term “organic” can always be related to healthy and pesticide-free organisms. The case is just the same for organic chickens. They are raised on organic foods like soybeans and different types of grains. But their foods are not treated with any pesticides or other harmful chemicals and fertilizers.
Naturally fed chickens are those, who have not been subjected to any chemical treatments, flavor enhancers, or food colorings. They are grown by feeding them normal chicken foods.
The words “free-range” are used to describe a variety of chicken, if farmers grow their chickens by allowing them to roam about freely under the sky. The chicken can feed on itself and hence, develops a more flavorful and tougher meat.
These chickens are raised in captivity and are sometimes treated with growth enhancers and other chemicals. Their meat is not as flavorful as organic or free-range varieties.
Photo Credit: Bonelesschickenrecipe.com/