There was a lot of chicken eaten in my house growing up. I have fond memories of my grandmother standing at the kitchen counter coating chicken legs in flour and seasonings before plopping the pieces into the sizzling and popping grease heating on the stove top. I remember one family vacation where my younger brother ate a chicken sandwich every single day for lunch and dinner for a week straight. When he ordered the same meal for the 15th time, my parents finally intervened and asked if he would please switch it up a bit. He very calmly turned to the server and said, “Make it no mayo on the chicken sandwich this time.”
My great aunt once asked my sister if she’d like to learn how to prepare a chicken from start to finish. She didn’t realize until too late that Aunt Kitty’s “start” didn’t mean the Kroger meat section. This summer, I caught my nephew dipping chicken nuggets into the baby pool. Apparently my family occasionally likes their chicken with a side of chlorine.
Given my allegiance to the meat over the years, it seemed only fitting I share a few chicken facts in honor of September being National Chicken Month. And after you’ve read the facts, get on to the important part: the delicious chicken recipes.
• There are at least two hundred breeds and variations of domestic chickens on record, most though are extinct or rare.
• Our modern domesticated chickens are all descendants of the red jungle fowl of India and Southeast Asia. They have been domesticated for at least 4,000 years.
• If you have a fear of chickens you may be Alektorophobic.
• It is thought that the nearest relative of the Tyrannosaurus Rex is a chicken.
• There are more chickens than people in the world.
• The average American eats over 80 pounds of chicken each year.
• In 2009, 95 percent of commercial restaurants had chicken on the menu.
• In 1950, approximately 80% of chickens were ‘free range’, by 1980 only 1% were ‘free range.’ Today it is back up to 12%.
• In 2009, 32.2 billion pounds of chicken was produced in the U.S.