Heard about Black Chicken and its Health Benefits ?
Heard about Black chicken or have you ever seen them. Not a chicken with ‘Black Feathers’, but one with even flesh, bone and skin in black color. Yes they do exist. It’s just not one breed, but three breeds. Ayam Cemani, a breed found in Indonesia, Kadaknath, a breed found in Madhya Pradesh, India and Silkie, a breed found in China. The best part is these are not only beautiful, but have health benefits. Whole credit for their color goes to melanin pigment.
This chicken variety from Indonesia is completely black, even its heart. Even its blood is blood is darker red than normal. Dutch colonial settlers described about this breed for the first time. The breed was imported in 1998 by Dutch breeder Jan Steverink. This black breed is raised mainly for its flesh and its unusual beauty. Their eggs are small and cream colored and they just lay about two eggs a week. They are also known as “Lamborghini of poultry”.
The Kadaknath or Kali Masi is found in Jhabua and Dhar districts of western Madhya Pradesh in India. This breed is in high demand high demand as its fat content, is 0.73 — 1.03% compared to 13 to 25% in most other chicken breeds and have around 25% protein. It recently earned Geographical Indication (GI) tag. The meat is also rich in Vitamin b1, b2, b6, b12, c and e, niacin, protein, fat, calcium, phosphorus, iron, nicotinic acid. It is used in preparing siddha & homeopathy medicines. This hen lays just around 2-3 eggs a week. The breed attains a body weight of 1.5KGS in 120 -130 days, way less than the body weight of a broiler chicken. This breed can live upto the age of 12 years and will attain a maximum weight of 2 Kgs.
Silkie too have its skin, flesh and bones in black, but unlike other two breeds its feather can be white or black. Its named so because of its fluffy plumage. They even make an excellent pet. It says Silkie dates back as far as the Chinese Han Dynasty, in 206BC. Silkie is called wu-gu-ji – meaning black-boned in China. They have their bones and flesh in black and have oval shaped turquoise blue earlobes and dark colored wattles. They are extensively used in Chinese medicine as it contains carnitine in excess – a component with anti-ageing properties. Their eggs are small and cream colored and they just lay about two eggs a week. The black Silkie chicken can help in improving our immune system. They are extremely good for women as it helps to increase female fertility, nourish a pregnant woman’s developing child, and help to restore vitality in women post birth.
I am sure after reading all about Black chicken you too would be wondering how to cook them. Check out Black-Skinned Chicken Slow-Cooked in Coconut Sauce from NYtimes Cooking or an Indian delicacy from Sify Bawarchi.