Edible birds have always taken an important role on on festive tables. Roast turkey appears at Christmas dinner or roast chicken, because sometimes people tends to eat chicken because they can’t afford turkey or they love chicken more. At parties, one is commonly served with chicken in rice stew, or in Jollof rice. Occasionally, chicken is cooked in vegetable and egusi soup. Although in Nigeria, chicken is not commonly eaten because it is expensive or due to the rate of poverty in Nigeria.
Chicken flesh/meat is more superior in flavour and more tender than beef. Hen is usually of a better flavour than cock of the same age, and the older the bird, the tougher it’s flesh/meat becomes.
Choice of Chicken
It is difficult to know the true value of a living bird for the fearthers may be heavier in proportion to the weight of the flesh. Besides, going by the weight of the bird is most unreliable and deceptive, for many sellers feed their hens very heavily on cheap heavy foods few days before they are sold or brought to the market. This adds considerably to their weight. One usually finds an unusually large undigested gritty and heavy amount of food inside them when they are being prepared. It is a good plan to buy a fowl a week or two before it is to be killed to home feed it.
Preparing the Chicken
Leave the bird for a short time after it is killed before you prepare it. ( Birds are not left to hang for days as weather does not permit this).
- Plunge the bird into a pot of boiling water or leave it in a basin and pour boiling water in it from a kettle or pot.
- Pluck, that’s remove the feathers quickly towards the head without damaging the skin. Nothing is more unsightly than a prepared bird with skin torn here and there. Trim the tail end. If the head is wanted, trim the beak of the bird and remove the thick outer covering of the tongue.
- When the bird is clean, completely freed of all feathers, the down included, singe over smokeless fire.
- Wash well with a sponge but not one used for washing up.
- Remove the head and the neck together, leaving a large opening below the neck.
- Cut down the breast bone and remove the internal organs carefully.
- Cut off the limbs from the joints, cut the body into pieces as desired
- Dispose off the intestines, being careful not to burst the gall bladder. If this burst, it makes the meat of the fowl if it touch it very bitter, no matter how u wash it. Keep the kidney, liver and heart and the gizzard.
- CHICKEN STEWLime helps to soften the meat, so after washing, use lime to soften it by rubbing it with a piece of lime and leave it for a short while. Then sprinkle with salt, put in a pot, cover and cook without adding any water, as the chicken will give enough water and steam to cook itself. When tender but not in pieces, remove and fry in hot oil. Add the ground ingredients, flavouring as desired, and fry them in oil until they bind, and become fairly brown and free of moisture. Serve with rice.
- To cook tough fowlFirst cut the fowl into sections, and wash. Wrap up in pawpaw leaves, or rub well with cut lime. Leave for about an hour or more. Cook by Simmering until tender. If it is to be roasted, it is best to half boil it before roasting as by direct roasting it will not be tender.
- Roast fowlAfter preparing the fowl for roasting as described, put in a baking tin and add small quantity of hot oil as for roast meat. Put in the oven and roast in a moderately hot oven for about half an hour, baste occasionally throughout the cooking to keep the skin moist. Reduce the heat, and finish roasting gently until it is tender.
- Chicken and beef rollUse remains of cooked chicken flesh and beef . Use whatever meat can be scraped off the small cooked bones and the edible internal organs after serving the main parts. Beat these up with the beef, and ground pepper, and onions. Flavour with thyme or patminger or Ginger. Add breadcrumbs and bind all with sufficient egg to mould it. Put in a well greased tin and steam or bake. Un mould and serve in slices as meat roll.