It is not very often that I find foodstuffs that are completely new to me but two days ago, as I was walking through the market in Shanghai, I saw black chickens for sale. This wouldn’t have come as such a surprise if I had paid attention to my friend Elaine’s article which she wrote in 2007!
Well, I hadn’t and knowing nothing about them, I couldn’t believe the chickens’ colour was natural. I asked our charming guide, Leo, from Les Suites Orients, the lovely hotel on the Bund where we were staying, if they hadn’t been dyed. Silly question I know, but it was such an unfamiliar sight, at least for me. Anyhow, he assured me the colour was absolutely natural and he took me to where they sold live chickens to show me the white feathered creatures that are black underneath. I had to get one. And of course with my taste for gore, buying it live and having it killed for me added to the excitement. I filmed a clip of the whole action but I have to wait until I get to a more social media friendly place to upload it.
Leo negotiated the purchase and slaughter of the poor chicken and we took it back to the chef at the hotel who cooked it for us that evening. The whole adventure had been organised for us by our super charming hotel manager, Joseph, although I don’t expect he thought we would return with a black chicken.
Here it is cooked. Half was served steamed and the other half in a delicious soup with ginko nuts. As you can see from the picture below, the flesh is also black. The bones too. The verdict on the taste? Well, I can’t say it was amazingly different from a regular chicken. Possibly a firmer texture but it is said to be excellent for women’s health, especially those who are expecting. Not my case, but for those of you who are, it is highly recommended!