Chickens are the most common type of poultry in the world, and were some of the first domesticated animals. They are a major world wide source of eggs and meat called chicken. It is prepared as food in a wide variety of ways, varying by region and culture. The prevalence of chickens is due to their being almost completely edible, and the ease of raising them.
Modern varieties of chicken such as the Cornish Cross, are bred specifically for meat production, with an emphasis placed on the ratio of feed to meat produced by the animal. The most common breeds of chicken consumed in the US are Cornish and White Rock.
Chickens raised specifically for food are called broilers. In the Ukraine, broilers are typically butchered at a young age. Modern Cornish Cross hybrids, for example, are butchered as early as 8 weeks for fryers and 12 weeks for roasting birds.
Capons (castrated cocks) produce more and fattier meat. For this reason, they are considered a delicacy and were particularly popular in the Middle Ages.
• Breast: These are white meat and are relatively dry. • Leg: Comprises two segments: 1. The “drumstick”; this is dark meat and is the lower part of the leg, 2. the “thigh”; also dark meat, this is the upper part of the leg. • Wing: Often served as a light meal or bar food. Buffalo wings are a typical example. Comprises three segments: 1. the “drumette”, shaped like a small drumstick, 2. the middle “flat” segment, containing two bones, and
• Chicken feet: These contain relatively little meat, and are eaten mainly for the skin and cartilage. Although considered exotic in Western cuisine, the feet are common fare in other cuisines, especially in the Caribbean and China. • Giblets: organs such as the heart, gizzards, and liver may be included inside a butchered chicken or sold separately. • Head: Considered a delicacy in China, the head is split down the middle, and the brains and other tissue is eaten. • Kidneys: Normally left in when a broiler carcass is processed, they are found in deep pockets on each side of the vertebral column. • Neck: This is served in various Asian dishes. It is stuffed to make helzel among Ashkenazi Jews. • Oysters: Located on the back, near the thigh, these small, round pieces of dark meat are often considered to be a delicacy. • Pygostyle (chicken’s buttocks) and testicles: These are commonly eaten in East Asia and some parts of South East Asia.
• Blood: Immediately after slaughter, blood may be drained into a receptacle, which is then used in various products. In many Asian countries, the blood is poured into low, cylindrical forms, and left to congeal into disc-like cakes for sale. These are commonly cut into cubes, and used in soup dishes. • Carcase: After the removal of the flesh, this is used for soup stock. • Chicken eggs • Heart and gizzard: in Brazilian churrascos, chicken hearts are an often seen delicacy. • Liver: This is the largest organ of the chicken, and is used in such dishes as Pâté and chopped liver. • Schmaltz: This is produced by rendering the fat, and is used in various dishes.
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