Monday, October 4, 2010

The Silky Chicken or Black Chicken

THE ELUSIVE BLACK CHICKEN
aka THE SILKY

this is a rare bird indeed!
well, on my hunt for the "out-of-the-ordinary" i came across this lovely(?) looking creature...YIKES! can i just say YIKES again.  i must say.......this one finally stumped me.  stymied...as you might know i'm pretty adventurous with foods.  i'm no Andrew Zimmer, but i like to go for the strange stuff.  i find a good challenge and give it a go...this one got me.  i still ask myself why?...it's just a chicken, right?...well...not so much.

#1...always remember to read the fine print on the package..."head and feet intact" AND it has FIVE TOES instead of four!. i missed that part. as the thing thawed and started to unfold, and i DO mean unfold...this small little wrapped up bird was over 2 feet stretched out. AND IT"S BLUE !!!!!...you can imagine what i was thinking. i can handle alot of things, but this one was definitely high on the scale of "what the heck am i gonna do with this?" and "what was i thinking?" BUT, curiosity still had the best of me.

#2...investigate and research what your strange product is all about. i found a few sites with recipes for soup...i thought great! a new twist on an old favorite, chicken soup. not so much. as i read further, after purchase, i found that the black chicken is most used for Chinese medicinal purposes...mainly for sick people, pregnant women or just after giving birth. it's a very lean bird, does not necessarily produce a tasty unforgettable unctuous broth...and i don't really fall into one of the needy categories.

#3...keep your game face on. anyone walking in on you dismantling this black (blue) bird will think you are in need of some help...serious help...i don't mean with the soup...

so what do i do ?...i decided to wing it, of course...(again, sorry about the bad pun).
the easiest recipe i found was HERE at  eating club Vancouver by fellow bloggers ts & js.  they call it Mama's Silkie Chicken or "Dyong Kwe".  this recipe seemed easiest to tackle due to the short list of ingredients.  please visit their site for an easy and quick step by step (with photos) to see how Mama does it.
i didn't have a few of the ingredients so i just went with the recipe i use for Duck Soup found HERE.  it sounded pretty similar with Asian style flavors and such.  i thought if the flavors were basic and normal i might be able to salvage a meal or at least a good stock out of this deal....not so my friend.  after thawing, washing and the obvious photo session...i was not so enthused about the out come.  still i went ahead and threw everything in the pot and hoped for the best.  the best never came...the blue skin turned an unappealing limpy blackish grey and the flesh was unlike any chicken i had ever seen.  hmmmmm...not so good.
next, i thought to myself... get the photo of the finished product, make it look pretty and appealing and maybe it will seem more appetizing.  not so my friend...my "Mama" always warned me that looks can be deceiving...definitly correct when it comes to food photography.  the photo looked great and i was ready to give it a try, but like i said...this one stumped me. i removed the blackish grey skin that i just knew i was not going to be able to eat, to unveil the tough, lean flesh that was streaked with black...and i mean weirdly streaked with black.  at this point (hours from the start of this little journey) i had to give up for the day...throw in the towel...raise the white flag.   i strained the broth and threw everything into a tupperware for a second chance at it some other time. 
that second chance hasn't come up yet...it's in the freezer right now.  i didn't have the heart to toss it. 
i can't let this one get me.  I WILL EAT THE BLACK CHICKEN.  not today, not tomorrow...but...
I WILL NOT LET THIS BIRD WIN !!! 

28 comments:

bigFATcook said...

hey, I've never seen that before, looks interesting indeed!! Is it a lot different from a normal chicken??

Greets from BFC

TOEKNEEYUH!! said...

hello! where does one go about finding a black chicken?

Anonymous said...

One goes to an Asian grocery store.. where else?

souperior said...

That bird looks insane....like a science project from Mars!

Elizabeth said...

Silkies...we are going to get some for our backyard chicken coop soon. They are adorable with their feathers on.

I have seen these in China Town in the freezer section but have never tried it. Now I think I may take a pass!

Lisa said...

I have never seen a black chicken before. It looks unreal.

Anonymous said...

that is very sad... silkies are very docile sweet chickens, more like pets than for eating

Cindy said...

I usually try to watch my language on other people's blogs, but I just have to tell you I repeated "Oh, my fucking god" about ten times reading this.

But I would like to know: What color is the broth??

Jules and Ruby said...

Cindy...i was saying the same thing over and over in my head. what the "heck" was i thinkin'?...the broth was regular looking. i cooked it with a bit of soy, so it looks a bit darker than normal. by the way...it's still in the freezer.

morning health said...

Hmmm. yummmi
great post

Anonymous said...

Okay I got hip to the Silkie while watching an episode of Chopped on the Food Network. I just want to know where can I go to buy a whole Silkie. I'm curious about experimenting with cooking it and would very much like to know how I can buy a whole bird. Thank you and appreciate the help.

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Anonymous...i found mine in an Asian store called 99 Ranch Market here in So. Cal. ask around. ask your butcher... i sure hope you find one somewhere. check the frozen sections. good luck and thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

Just to let you know, thai chicken will alway be rough whether it is black or white. Don't let the quickly grown drugged tender golden plump chicken fool you into thinking all chicken are like what you get at the grocery store. That black chicken is organic and is not engineered to fit your taste buds like at golden plump. Here's what you do to make a basic meal. A pot full of water, put in a stem or 2 of lemon grass, chop the chicken into piece, and add salt. This meal is healthy, organic, and will only taste good with these rough meat type of chicken as you all call it.

Emma said...

That is a Chinese soup chicken. It is meant to be used for broth and soups, and not considered valuable at all for its actual meat (in fact, it's said the skin and meat absorb the toxins in the soups, so you aren't supposed to eat the chicken, but strain it out).

These are all over the grocery stores in China, they are definitely industrially-raised to meet high demand and are likely as drugged as the "golden plump chickens" Anonymous mentioned.

Anonymous said...

i enjoy your blog alot! and was impressed with your endeaver with the silkies. I have drank the broth numberous of time, and it is true that it is not much different from other chicken broth besides all the chinese herbs that go with the silkie broth.
In the traditional recipe,dried red date and wolf berry add the sweetness to the broth on top of other ingredients. If it is cooked long enough(or pressure cooked) the meat eventually falls off the bone and is decent like anyother pressure cooked meat. Hope you will give it another chance =)

shanyag said...

Just came across your blog while looking at the bacon caramels. Oddly enough I raise chickens and have had a few silkies in my yard that have gone on to be great black chicken soup. I personally do not like the taste but the soup is known to be able to cure a mean cold. It's purported to be great for your respiratory system and I still have a bag or two of frozen soup somewhere in my freezer. So give it a try when your feeling a little ill and see what it does for you.

Kevin @ www.justedible.com said...

Have you eaten this yet? I almost bought one to try last week, but they had defrosted in the grocery store freezer, so I left it.
Love some of your more unusual posts.

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Kevin...yes, i did finally eat SOME of the chicken. It's not all that great...very lean. nothing to run out and buy for it's delicious-ness factor. i did, however feel a little righteous after eating the soup made from the silky...with all it's medicinal properties and all. if your interested i DO think you should give it a try just for the experience alone. don't forget the WHOLE chicken is in that neat little frozen package..."beak to claw"
hope i hear back from you...jules

Ally Jane said...

Wow, your soup looks beautiful. Here's my attempt at silke chicken!

http://allyjanegrossan.com/2012/10/24/black-chicken-or-simmered-silke-chicken/

Jules and Ruby said...

Ally Jane...wow, i saw your black chicken soup...looks fabulous. thanks for checking mine out and sharing your blog

Rudras Breeders said...

In India too there is a black meat breed called kadaknath. We are rearing it for more than 3 years. www.kadaknath.blogspot.com

JacquelineC said...

This is not a chicken for eating! Ths Silkie is used to make a fragrant, healing soup stock with intensely concentrated flavor. The meat is (and skin and bones) are discarded entirely. It's quite stringy and sparse with a gamey taste. BUT the broth is wonderful. Glad you are adventurous, and hope you'll try again. I'm working on a post of my own Silkie stock and just came across this post. Bookmark my site for a recipe!

Coffeekittie said...

I came across your appetizing and inspirational website this morning via Pinterest. Wow!

I raise Silkies, the chicken you are describing. If you look at BackYardChicken, you'll most likely find plenty of sources of these chickens near your own home to buy. You might have to do the butchering yourself, but they are no different in that respect than any other chicken.
Feel free to ask me any questions, but seriously, you CAN use Silkie meat in place of other chickens in any recipe...it might look icky though! lol :)
parker

Coffeekittie said...

I want to add:

JaquelineC is right that the silkie is generally a slightly built, bony and small bird. But that said, it is still just a chicken. With feathers, most of you wouldn't think twice about it. :)

Parker

Jules and Ruby said...

hey Coffeekittie...thanks for the info. interesting that you raise them. do you eat them? or raise them for other reasons? a RARE bird indeed. i might try it again, but maybe not too soon...thanks for stopping by...J

Sarah Reid said...

The only time I ever ate black chicken it was roasted-broiled, rubbed with pepper and orange juice and served with plum sauce and noodles. It was delicious that way... but I totally get the weirdness of cooking one!

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Sarah. yours sounds delicious. i bet covered with all those flavors it was not so ugly. interesting that it was roasted instead of in a soup. i wonder if i'll ever come across one of these again. i'll be sure to order it.

Shanny said...

Came across your blog while browsing for a long lost recipe :honeycomb cake and saw the black chicken! Lol.. Yes its like a neon light flashing for attention... ;)

If you have a slowcooker, this chicken can brew really good Chinese herbal chicken soup. I'd normally pop everything in with warm water overnight in the slowcooker on slow for the entire night. Next morning, herbal tonic b'fast! The Chinese believe that having herbal tonic in the morning on an empty stomach will absorp the benefits. Don't give in to the chicken yet! ;)

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