Chicken in Africa
Chicken is eaten all over Africa. This is because both Muslims and
Christians are allowed to eat this delicious poultry. Furthermore chickens are relatively easy to breed and keep and are therefore kept as poultry all over the continent for both their meat and eggs. Of course there are many different breeds kept in Africa of which some are native to the continent. Among small farmers in rural communities, especially in southern Africa its common to raise the following breeds: Naked Neck, Venda, Ovambo and Potchefstroom Koekoek. These species are real hard and are well adapted to live in many African countries and are used for both meat and egg production. Bigger farms use breeds like Ross and Cobb for meat and Hi-line and Lohmann for egg production. Both also many other European, Asian or American breeds can be found all across the continent.
How to pick your African chicken in your local store
Many African chicken species are smaller than the ones common in Europe or the States therefore you can only find ‘real’ African chicken in your local ethnic store or (halal) butchery. However supermarkets can sometimes also have good chicken alternatives. It’s not common for stores to have on the label what kind of breed chicken it is, but mostly they are labelled as one of the following: broiler-fryers, Roasters, Capons or stewing hens. Broiler-fryers are chickens of only 8 weeks old and weigh around 1 – 3 pounds. They are best for broiling and frying as the names imply. Roasters are slightly older chickens which are best used in dishes of roasted chicken or rotisserie. Capons are fatty roosters which have a rich flavor and contain more meat. Stewing hens are old adult chickens which can weigh up to 8 pound, but have though meat. They are however great for dishes which require boiling the chicken like stews or soups . When picking your chicken make sure that the coloration is a nice white to deep yellow. Never buy chicken which looks grey or pasty. Also make sure that the chicken doesn’t smell bad; this could imply it’s not good anymore.
Storing and using your African chicken
Chicken can stay good in your refrigerator up to two days. If you’re planning to use it later than that make sure to store it in your freezer. You can store it up to two months in your freezer before using it. While cooking with chicken always be aware of salmonella. Make sure that the raw chicken doesn’t come in contact with too many kitchen utensils and make sure to clean and wash them properly after using them.