Did you know that there is more than one variety of chicken in the world? In fact, there are several different breeds of Asian chicken alone. To serve a growing ethnic market, British Columbia farmers provide specialty breeds of Asian chicken such as Silkie and Taiwanese chicken. Although observably different to the standard breeds of chicken commonly raised and retailed in BC, there are real health benefits in consuming Asian Chicken. With both the Silkie and Taiwanese breeds of specialty Asian chicken hatched, grown and processed in BC, they are worth the trip to the local marketplace. To help better educate consumers on these different breeds, BC Chicken answers some of the most commonly asked questions below.
One of the most distinctive differences between specialty Asian chicken and other chicken more common to BC how it is sold, its flavor and texture, and its leanness. Specialty Asian chicken tends to have a more distinctive “chicken flavor”, making it a favourite base for soups, stews and hot pots. Specialty Asian chicken has a slightly more chewy texture than conventional chicken and has less breast meat than a conventional broiler.
The Silkie chicken is known for its a black/purple coloured skin that makes them almost unrecognizable as a type of chicken. The Silkie chicken gets its name from its fluffy plumage which has a silk-like resemblance. Unlike most other chickens, the Silkie breed have blue earlobes and five toes as opposed to four. Both Silkie and Taiwanese chicken are sold in the marketplace with their feet and head attached.
The Silkie breed of chicken is often recommended to patients by traditional Chinese medicine practitioners because of its renowned health benefits which include improved organ functionality, blood circulation, a strengthening of the immune system and much more. Chicken soup made from the Silkie breed of chicken is sometimes recommended for women during and after pregnancy. Not only does the Silkie chicken have extensive health benefits, it is a better source of antioxidants and less fatty than regular chicken.
Specialty Asian chicken can be purchased from ethnic supermarkets, specialty meat shops in the lower mainland. When purchasing, be sure to look for WingTat, Fraser Valley Specialty Poultry, FarmFed or the Rossdown label to ensure that it is specialty Asian chicken that has been raised in BC.
For cooking videos and recipes, check out BC Chicken Marketing Board’s specialty Asian chicken page.
For more information, contact the British Columbia Chicken Marketing Board at 604-859-2811 or through our website. We are a non-profit organization tasked with monitoring and regulating the production and marketing of BC chicken. We are committed to educating consumers about the source, production and health benefits of local raised chicken in BC. For educational purposes, please visit our kids and education page and check out our Poultry in Motion program.