Poultry - not just chicken

There are literally hundreds of different breeds of poultry around the world. For thousands of years, chickens have been domesticated for a variety of reasons, whether for their eggs, meat or feather – some even for fighting! But many other birds are harvested for their eggs, meat and other produce, including duck, goose, turkey, ostrich, rhea, Indian peafowl, pigeon, pheasant and guinea fowl.

Chicken

A chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) is a kind of domesticated bird. It is raised in many places for its meat and eggs. They are usually kept by humans as livestock. ... Like other female birds, hens lay eggs.

HOW TO COOK CHICKEN

First, rub the chicken with a little olive oil (1 teaspoon should do the trick for a pound or so), salt and pepper.

Heat another teaspoon of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, place chicken breasts in and cook until edges are opaque, about 10 minutes.

Flip to the other side, then cover the pan, lower the heat and cook for another 10 minutes.

Finally (and this is important) let the chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before you cut it or all the juice you made the effort to keep in will come running right out, resulting in a flavorless, rubbery mass. When it comes to a juicy chicken breast, patience is a virtue.

Corn-fed chicken 

Usually the same breed as all other chicken, but bred on corn, which produces are appetizing color and taste. The taste is also found in the layer of fat under the skin ,don’t remove it.

HOW TO COOK CORN-FED CHICKEN

To achieve a perfect result and beautiful, crispy skin, always dry the chicken carefully before preparation. The dryer, the better. The skin of the chicken can take large amounts of salt.

Don’t complicate things, a corn chicken is already full of mild, fine tastes. Grill or whole roast in the oven. Be generous with taste enhancers when you roast a whole chicken – most of it drips away. A good idea is to insert salt, black pepper, garlic and other spices under the skin.

A disadvantage with a whole roast chicken is that the different parts are ready at different times. The meat on the chicken breast will be turning dry at 65°C, while the chicken legs can take up to 70°C.

Spring chicken 

A portion size chicken that is available in the spring.

HOW TO COOK SPRING CHICKEN

Smaller than a common chicken, a spring chicken is usually found in stores in... spring.

Allow for the spring chicken to become one of a few, unadulterated tastes, which all are allowed to shine on the plate. It is portion size and becomes a beautiful part of the composition. You can stuff this small chicken with chicken mince, nuts, spices, gravy, celery, cream, etc, before you cook it.

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Chicken wings 

A piece of the chicken that deserves more attention than what it gets in many countries.

HOW TO COOK CHICKEN WINGS

Due to its shape and size crispy, crunchy chicken wings are preferred as “finger food”. Fry, grill or deep fry to achieve an appetizing, golden surface. Do not hold back on salt and spices.

 

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Whole Chicken Legs

Chicken Legs are where most of the dark meat on a chicken comes from — the legs are all dark meat. Many people avoid dark meat because it has a higher fat content than white meat.

HOW TO COOK CHICKEN LEGS

Preheat oven to 325°. Place chicken in an 13x9" baking dish and season generously all over with salt. Add garlic, lemon, chile, bay leaves, and a few grinds of pepper. Pour in oil and toss everything to coat. Turn garlic heads cut side down so they are in contact with the baking dish (this will help them brown).

Roast chicken, rotating pan once, until meat is almost falling off the bone, 75–90 minutes. Let chicken cool in pan 10 minutes, then serve with bread.

Free Range Eggs

Free-range eggs are eggs produced from birds that may be permitted outdoors. The term "free-range" may be used differently depending on the country and the relevant laws, and is not regulated in many areas.

HOW TO COOK FREE RANGE EGGS

During its relatively long lifetime a hen has had opportunity to develop deep flavors. The meat needs to be boiled for a long time, any other cooking method is hard to consider.

A grown up bird must boil for one and a half to two hours. If possible, let it simmer gently. This way the meat will turn out more moist and tender.

Add a few root vegetables, which you sieve off at the end of the cooking. Keep the broth. It can be even tastier than chicken broth and can form the basis for soups, casseroles and sauces. Freeze it if you want it to keep for long.

After slow boiling you can pick the meat from the bones with your fingers. You can pull it apart – a bit like pulled pork – and use it in any number of dishes. Mild flavors and juicy and/or added fat is recommended.

Chicken DrumSticks

Chicken Drumsticks are located at the lower joint of the leg of a chicken.

HOW TO COOK DRUMSTICKS

In a medium bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, soy or Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, pepper, and paprika. Add the chicken drumsticks to a large zip-top bag and pour the marinade over the chicken.

 

 

Chicken Breast

The largest piece – and the most tender and whitest part of the chicken.

HOW TO COOK CHICKEN BREAST

The strength of chicken is that it is mild and – literally – absorbs all the tastes in the world. Vary chicken breast by fetching inspiration and spices from one or more of the world’s different kitchens.

Add fat to the tasty but lean fillet meat, by wrapping in air-dried ham, for example. Or cut open and fill with a tasty – preferably fatty and juicy – filling.

The meat on the breast is more sensitive to high temperatures than the meat on the legs.

Don't try to grill/fry chicken breast all the way to completion, because then the temperature will climb so high that everything except the absolute core will turn dry. A better idea is to brown it on high heat and then to let it cock in an oven at a more modest temperature. This gives the breast time to cook through without turning the outer layers into a dry, rubbery mass.

For food safety reasons the recommended temperature for chicken is 71°, but breast of chicken is cooked and ready to eat already at 65° (the legs can take 70°). Don't wing it, use a thermometer.

It is less tricky to cook the breast separately from other parts of the chicken – and preferably with some sort of added fat.

 

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Chicken thigh fillet 

The upper thigh muscle without the bone. A juicy, dark meat that suits most purposes.

HOW TO COOK CHICKEN THIGH FILLET

This is the most tender and tasty meat on the entire chicken. It is also more forgiving than the fillet. For example, it works better as portioned meat for the wok. The shape is also perfect for wrapping a filling.

The meat from the thigh can take 70°C, while the lean, white meat on the breast starts turning dry at 65°C.

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Bresse Chicken

In France considered as the most delicious of all chickens. It lives a relatively long and free life and has time to develop an extraordinary character and taste. Some people would say it resembles game.

HOW TO COOK BRESSE CHICKEN

This is a big animal with powerful muscles. The challenge lies in not cooking the meat too far, which will make it turn dry and tough (even when you get it just right, the meat is tougher than on your every day chicken).

This is an unbeatable raw material that should not be eclipsed by other ingredients and spices. After you have emptied a Bresse chicken, the inside should be rubbed with lemon to remove any taste left by the intestines.

 

 

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Chicken Liver

An undervalued part of the chicken that is delicious and easy to cook.

HOW TO COOK CHICKEN LIVER

Chicken liver has a milder taste than liver from larger animals, but it thrives in the same sour and savory tastes as other offal. And, with marjoram, soya and sour crème fraiche.

The liver must be cooked through – but not too long or it will turn dry and "grainy".

Finely chopped chicken liver and celery can be used as flavoring in sauce Bolognese.

 

 

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Chicken Gizzard

The gizzard, also referred to as the ventriculus, gastric mill, and gigerium, is an organ found in the digestive tract of some animals, including archosaurs, earthworms, some gastropods, some fish, and some crustaceans.

HOW TO COOK HEN

After thoroughly washing the chicken gizzards, place the gizzards in a pot with onions celery, bay leaves, thyme and smashed garlic and then salt to taste.

Add enough water  to cover the gizzards by 1 inch. Bring the gizzards to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until tender, about 1 ½ – 2 hours  or more depending on preference. You may have to add more water, if needed, to keep the gizzards covered.

Drain gizzards in a colander, pick out or remove celery, bay leaves and onion.  Reserve the broth or freeze for later use. Then on a large bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, herbs and white pepper.

When ready to fry, dredge the gizzards in the egg mixture, then on the flour mixture, shaking any excess flour. You may use a ziplock bag for this process. Set aside for about 15 minutes.

Heat oil in a deep fryer or cast iron skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Temperature will drop once you add gizzards .

Chicken Neck

Chicken necks with muscle meat. Contains relatively soft bone and is therefore suitable for low experienced BARF eating pets.

HOW TO COOK NECKS

Chicken Necks can be roasted right in the pan with the bird, making sure they sure they are whole. Or, they can be roasted separately in an inch or two (3 to 6 cm) of water. When the water is gone, add some more, cook a bit more, then pour that water off into the pot in which you will eventually make the gravy. Then deglaze the pan you roasted the neck in and add that deglazing liquid to the gravy pot. Discard the necks afterward.

You can also just boil the neck in a separate pot of water, then discard the neck and use that stock for your gravy. Strain the stock through a very fine sieve first before using.

Chicken Bones 

The leftovers when other pieces have been removed and served up.

HOW TO COOK CHICKEN BONES

Obviously, you are not actually preparing the bones for eating, but some of the most delicious soups in world kitchens are based on broth boiled from this "cut".

Help the flavors develop with appropriate vegetables for soup – such as leeks and carrots – and mild seasoning. The water should boil  but not violently. A good idea is to leave the lid on and let the broth cool and develop overnight. Strain and reduce the following day.

If you don't have the time for this procedure it is perfectly all right to freeze the bones. Use as much as possible of this raw material to get as much flavor as possible.

 

 

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Chicken Feet

Chicken Feet. The foot of the bird contains only part of the ankle bones. No bird has more than four toes except chickens of the Dorking, Faverolle, Houden, Sultan, and Non-bearded Silkie Bantams, all of which have five toes.

HOW TO COOK CHICKEN FEET

Start by clipping the nails off of the feet.

To a large bowl, add the feet, and rinse them thoroughly in cold water.

Next, add the feet to a medium sized pot, add the soy sauce, garlic, salt, and cover them with water.

Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for about 2 1/2 hours. Remove the feet to another bowl, let cool, and place in the refrigerator overnight.

The following day, remove the feet, and pour out any excess water.

To a medium sized pot, on low heat, add in the oil. Then after a few minutes add in the chicken feet. Slow cook them for about 15 minutes on low heat to continue to cook them. After about 15 minutes, remove them with a slotted spoon or spider, to a paper towel lined sheet pan to let any excess oil drain off.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

To a sheet pan, add the parchment paper to cover. Add the chicken feet and sprinkle your favorite barbecue seasoning all over the feet. Stir around so that all of the chicken feet are covered with seasoning.

Place them into the oven, and slow roast until they are nice and crispy, about 45 minutes to a hour. Every oven is a bit different so keep an eye on them until they are nice and dark golden brown and crispy.

All Done.

Cockerel 

A bit older and tastier than regular chicken. Most commonly found in higher end restaurants.

HOW TO COOK COCKEREL

A cockerel has had a little more time to grow and to develop meat with more flavor and character than ordinary chicken.

The meat is mild and can be combined with spices from all over the world, but raw material of this caliber deserves more gentle treatment. Highlight the chicken’s own characteristics with more subtle spices, tarragon for example.

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Rooster

Not always available in stores, partly because of modern chicken breeding, but also due to low demand.

HOW TO COOK ROOSTER

Rooster and hen are suitable for the same sort of casseroles. All cuts on these grown birds are larger than on a chicken and therefore you must cook them until the meat falls of the bone. It should take about 2 hours. Reduce and use the tasty broth left in the pot. You should also make a tasty and useful broth from the bones you may have separated from the meat.

Use the same kind of wine – but not necessarily the same price tag – in the pot and in the glasses. A Pinot Noir from Burgundy or a Cote du Rhone is a good bet. Blue grapes, for example Shiraz/Syrah, will result in a less attractive color.

Avoid oaked wines (in all cooking). They tend to turn bitter after boiling. Excessive tannines (for example in a young Cabernet Sauvignon) can result in unwanted, sharp flavors.

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Turkey

A bird with excellent, lean meat, but which is more often than not filled with a rich stuffing and allowed to cook dry in the oven.

HOW TO COOK TURKEY

If you stuff an entire turkey and cook it in the oven it will, inevitably, be a dry affair when cooked through. The trick is NOT to fill the entire cavity with stuffing, allowing heat from the oven to cook the bird from the inside.

The meat on the turkey breast starts turning dry at 65°C/150°F, the legs can take a lot more, up to 80°C/175°F.

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Turkey fillet 

Fine, lean and tender meat that can be used for most purposes. However, overcooking will result in dry, dull meat.

HOW TO COOK TURKEY BREAST FILLET

This lean and tender meat is done – and will immediately start turning dry – at a temperature of only 65°C. If you are cooking this cut in the oven, don't forget that the inner temperature will keep on rising even after you have removed it from the heat.

The breast fillet of the turkey works well in a wok – not the least because the frying oil and the tasty juices in the wok are a good match for the dryness in the meat.

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Duck

A fatty bird with an abundance of taste. It has a ‘party special’ appeal that chicken lacks – but it is easy to get the cooking wrong.

HOW TO COOK DUCK

To increase your chances for a tasty, crispy skin, the duck should be completely dry when you start cooking. Preferably let it stay uncovered on a grid in the refrigerator to make the skin dry out a little.

For the right, crispy result the fat has to met away during cooking, for example by having the duck on a spit or on a grill. Keep the tasty fat for frying and preserving other foods.

The inner temperature at the thickest section should not rise above 60° centigrade. Leave the duck to rest for a while so that the heat has time to cook the bones.

 

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Duck Leg Confit

Duck confit is considered one of the finest French dishes. While it is made across France, it is seen as a specialty of Gascony. The confit is prepared in a centuries-old process of preservation that consists of salt curing a piece of meat (generally goose, duck, or pork) and then cooking it in its own fat.

HOW TO COOK DUCK LEG CONFIT

Melt duck fat in a wide large heavy pot over low heat, then cook garlic head and duck legs, uncovered, over low heat until fat registers approximately 190°F, about 1 hour. Continue to cook duck, maintaining a temperature of 190 to 210°F, until a wooden pick slides easily into thighs, 2 to 3 hours more.

Duck Breast

The finest cut on the duck. They are delicious if correctly prepared , as well as beautiful on the plate.

HOW TO COOK DUCK BREAST

Duck breast loses its juiciness if you cook it past medium rare. The inner temperature should reach no more than 60°C after it has been taken from the heat and left to rest.

The key to a perfect duck breast is to achieve a crispy skin. Cut a decorative square pattern on the skin side so that salt and spices can penetrate. Fry the duck breast with the skin side downwards in a hot pan without fat. The fat from the duck itself will immediately trickle out. Flip the fillets just before putting them in the oven for the final stage of cooking. The end result will be a crispy and beautiful skin.

 

 

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Smoked Duck Breast

Duck has a thicker skin, higher fat content and a stronger, meatier flavour than chicken. The breasts are covered in a thick layer of fat, which needs to be melted (rendered) during cooking to ensure the skin crisps up.

HOW TO COOK DUCK BREAST

Place in the fridge and let the duck marinate for 4 hours. Set the smoker to 250F using Cherry, Pecan, Maple or other wood chips. Place the duck breast on a smoker rack. Smoke the duck for around 2 1/2 - 3 hours or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 150F.

Ostrich fillet 

A solid piece of meat, which resembles fillet of beef, but is considerably leaner.

HOW TO COOK OSTRICH

The tasty, tender, lean meat requires careful handling and added fat in order not to become dull during preparation.

Aim for an inner temperature of about 58°C.

 

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Goose

A big bird that weighs many kilos. It deserves more attention and a more widespread reputation than it has today.

HOW TO COOK GOOSE

The legs and wings on a goose are wiry and tough. The meat becomes more appetizing if cut into smaller pieces and slices.

There is a considerable difference in the time taken for breast and wings to cook through. Aim for 70°C for the legs and 65°C for breasts. It is important to give the bird plenty of time to rest after cooking. Don't forget that the inner temperature will continue to rise corresponding to about 4% of the oven temperature.

Goose is a fatty food, but you can balance this on the plate by avoiding greasy, fried accompaniments.

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