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This is meat derived from some domesticated birds such as chicken, duck, turkey and guinea fowl. It can be of two types- white meat from the breast and wings and dark meat from the leg. White meat is more digestible than the dark meat, because black meat is more muscular and is of coarse fibres.

Food values of poultry

  1. Poultry flesh is rich in protein of good quality. It is a first class protein that contains all the essential amino acid.
  2. Poultry has little fat, but the fat lies under the skin and around the giblet, especially fowls and turkeys. It is not embedded between the flbres as in meat.
  3. Poultry have small quantity of the B-Complex vitamins but less nicotinic acid around the legs of the bird than the breast.
  4. The flesh of poultry contains iron and phosphorus.
  5. Poultry meat virtually contains water.

Purchase of Poultry:

When choosing poultry, remember the following:

  1. There should  be plenty of down feathers over the body of the bird. The quills on the wings should not be difficult to remove. There should be no long hairs on the thighs.
  2. The comb and wattles should be small, bright red and attractive in colour.
  3. The legs should be smooth and pliable. The scales of the legs should not be coarse or thick but slightly overlapping.
  4. The feet should be supple, the beak pliable.
  5. The breast should be plump. The prominent bones e.g back bone should be covered with flesh.
  6. The weight of the body should be more than that of the feathers.
  7. There should be no grains of corn in the crop.
  8. The eyes of the bird should be bright and sparkling.
  9. The bird should be lively.

Preparation of Poultry

                Have the bird killed at least one hour before cooking, so as to allow time for hanging until the period of rigor mortis is passed. After killing the bird its carcass becomes stiff, rigid and difficult to bend. This stage is what is known as rigor mortis. After this stage the flesh is then rendered tender. For the flesh to be tender, it should be suspended by the feet in a cool, dry place for about 1-2 hours. During the very cold season the period may be longer but it is not safe in hot weather. As an alternative the bird may be cooked immediately it is killed, plucked and prepare.

  1. Plunge the bird into a pot of boiling water or put the bird into a bowl and pour boiling water over it. This helps to make plucking easy and quick. See that the whole is soaked with the water.
  2. Pluck by removing the feathers quickly first from the legs and wings. Then pluck from the tail towards the head, drawing the feathers without a backward pull and without damaging the skin.
  3. If the bird is very young do not dip in boiling water, pluck it dry, but if the wing feathers are  difficult to remove, dip the tips of the bird in boiling water and they will come off easily.
  4. After all the feathers have been removed, singe over a smokeless fire to remove long hairs.
  5. Cut off the head and feet. If these are required, remove scales from the feet and feathers from the head. Cut off the nails and beak.
  6. Wash the bird well with a clean sponge and some soap, wash twice if necessary and rinse each time after washing. Rinse well to remove any trace of soap.

Cutting into Section

  1. Cut at the joints, cut off the legs and thighs, then the wings and the neck.
  2. Cut down the breast bone and remove the internal organs, put these on a plate.
  3. Cut the body into the number of piece desired.
  4. Carefully remove the gizzard, slit open at the side and remove the inner bag and discard.
  5. Cut off the liver being careful not to burst the gall bladder, remove the heart and discard the rest of the internal organs.

The cut chicken are named as are follows; Leg/wing, Breast, Thigh, drumstick, Winglet, Carcass.

Note; Raw poultry had a very strong flavour. To remove this, squeeze a whole lime or lemon on the cut pieces, rub well or sprinkle some salt on the pieces and rub them well together, rinse. A tablespoon of vinegar may be added to the rinsing water if no lime is used. This helps to remove slime.

Storage of Poultry.

Poultry can be stored in two forms;

  1. Live; The live poultry is the one not yet killed.
  2. Dressed  and frozen; dressed chicken or turkey is the killed and plucked one. This type is usually stored in the freezer and maintained in the frozen condition. To ensure good storage of the dressed poultry, there should be no electricity failure.

Methods of cooking Poultry

There are different methods of cooking poultry flesh depending on the choice of the cook and the purpose for which the poultry is meant. The methods include; boiling, frying, roasting,  grilling, stewing etc.

Poultry Dishes

Roast chicken

Chicken stew

Fried chicken

Grilled chicken etc.