Whether boiled, grilled, or even deep-fried, chicken is consumed in all sorts of ways in a seemingly infinite amount of dishes the world over.
Who doesn’t love a tasty chicken dish? Whether it’s chicken nuggets, chicken parmesan, or even a classic chicken noodle soup, this lean form of meat has found its way into a number of iconic dishes.
As animals, chickens have been a staple of the human diet for a very long time. Evidence points toward ancient India as the region where junglefowl were first domesticated. From there, chicken-rearing spread west, reaching Greece by the 5th century BC. Nowadays, it’s hard to find a part of the world where chickens are not consumed in some shape or form.
Like other forms of poultry, chicken is a fantastic source of low-fat protein. In fact, chicken breasts often contain 31 grams of protein for every 100 grams consumed, this making it one of the best sources of protein you can get your hands on. Protein, of course, is extremely important for keeping our body in shape and building muscle mass. If you ever wondered why your weight-lifting partner keeps eating chicken after a workout, now you know why.
Chicken isn’t just a great source of protein, however. It’s also rich in a number of B vitamins, many of which can help against skin disorders, as well as boost your immune system and help regulate digestion. Vitamin D is another nutrient that eating chicken delivers into your body, and it helps your bones become stronger.
All in all, unless you’re a vegetarian, chicken is a great way to eat healthily while still satisfying any cravings for meat that may arise.
Back to the roots
Chicken was first domesticated as a meat-producing bird in India. Up until this day, chicken is widely consumed there in a number of different dishes. Large swathes of India, of course, lie on the coast of the aptly named Indian Ocean, meaning that maritime trade was of vital importance for India in the past. But spices weren’t the only thing that ancient Indians brought with them on their voyages—sailors had to eat, and chickens were an easy edible companion to have onboard any trading vessel.
One of India’s ancient trading partners was Malaysia, a nation whose cuisine definitely shows signs of Indian influence both in the presence of chicken in their cuisine as well as a number of important spices. A chicken laksa, for example, is a tasty chicken curry dish that combines Malay, Indian, and Chinese influences into one dish. In addition to the poultry involved in its ingredients list, a wide array of regional flavors are present in this delicious recipe, including fresh cilantro, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and turmeric. This huge variety of flavors help give this dish an unmistakable taste that you’re bound to enjoy.
Pigs in a blanket
If you’re hankering after a juicy, grilled chicken breast after a long day of work but can’t be bothered to fire up the barbeque, then have no fear—there are a number of tasty chicken breast-based dishes that work just as well in a pan. Why not try making a chicken breast wrapped in bacon with shallots? If you’re a fan of chicken, it’s likely that you’re an even bigger fan of bacon. So if you have some in the fridge, get ready to wrap your chicken breast in some porky goodness.
In addition to these two meat-based ingredients, you’ll want to season this dish with some fresh rosemary sprigs. This will really help bring out the flavor of the chicken, as well as add general flavoring to the dish. While your pigs in a blanket are sleeping in the oven, boil up some sweet potatoes. That way, when the chicken is ready, you’ll have some mashed sweet potato to accompany this now complete meal.
How it’s done down south
Have you ever visited New Orleans before? This city is known for its wild parties, amazing parades, and fried chicken. One dish, in particular, has achieved a level of fame stretching far beyond the borders of the state, this being, of course, the chicken po boy. This incredible sandwich makes use of a number of Caribbean ingredients such as cilantro, chili, and mint. Add together some mayonnaise, shredded cabbage, and carrot, and you’ve got yourself a delicious po’ boy sandwich!
Mexican street food in your own kitchen
If you’ve never had a quesadilla in your life, something needs to change. Quesadillas are one of the tastiest Mexican dishes you’ll ever make. But what’s even better is that they don’t require a whole lot of skills in the cooking department. So if you’re a beginner in the kitchen, this dish is for you. This recipe is for a chicken and cheese quesadilla, a classic combination that people go wild over. After combining the titular ingredients together with some fried bell pepper and onion, place your quesadilla mix onto a tortilla in your frying pan. Once you’ve covered this magical mix with a second tortilla, you are now on the road to quesadilla territory. Once both sides of the quesadilla are golden, you’re ready to eat this homemade masterpiece.