By: Kelly Atyeo, B.A.Sc., M.H.Sc., P.H.Ec.
Chicken is the #1 choice of protein for Canadians – and for many others around the world! In Canada, there are over 2,700 farmers that produce fresh, high-quality chicken for our families.1
Canadian chicken provides high quality nutrition from complete protein, B-vitamins, zinc, iron and more. Beyond nutrition, creating chicken recipes inspired by other cultures can bring you a whole new world of flavour and allow you to learn about different cooking traditions.
Come on a culinary chicken adventure and learn about some regions in the world that use distinct flavour combinations in their cooking.
Big trip to Asia!
When cooking Asian-inspired meals – you will definitely be adding bold flavours and spices to your recipes. Tamari and soy sauce are often used to provide the savoury “umami” taste.
Some other common ingredients used in Asian cooking include2:
- Chili peppers
- Coconut milk
- Fish sauce
- Garam masala
- Chili Paste
Because chicken has a mild taste, it allows the flavours of India, China and Japan to shine in the below recipes.
Nutrition Tip! Some tamari, teriyaki and soy sauces are loaded with sodium, so look for low-sodium options in your grocery store. They’re becoming more readily available.
Crossing to the Mediterranean
The countries that line the coast of the Mediterranean Sea are where you will find Mediterranean cooking, including Italy, Greece, Malta, Spain, Morocco and Lebanon.3 All these places have different styles of cooking – however, the similarities include staying true to creating recipes with fresh and simple ingredients.
Some common ingredients to the Mediterranean include: olives, olive oil, fresh vegetables, tomatoes, parsley, basil, eggplant, dried fruit, cheeses, bread, rosemary, dill, mint, fennel, and oregano.4
Nutrition Tip! Eating a Mediterranean diet may benefit heart health. Please see this article for more information on the Mediterranean diet.
Heading towards the South
Latin America isn’t just about fun in the sun. It’s about fun with food and trying new flavours. If you want to see how to make your chicken do the cha-cha – make it with some Caribbean flare!
What’s the key to Latin American inspired cooking? SPICE!
Some common ingredients used in Latin American cooking include: tomatillo, cilantro, avocado, tamarind, jicama, chipotle chilli pepper, lime and garlic.5
Nutrition Tip! Remove the excess fat from chicken legs and thighs. Also, make your own jerk rubs so that you control the seasoning that goes into the recipe.
There’s no place like home!
Our Canadian food culture is expressed as a mosaic of flavours. Since we have such a multicultural country, we’re able to taste foods and be inspired by so many countries. We also have some ingredients native to Canada that can be used in Canadian chicken recipes.
These include: Quebec Maple Syrup, Saskatoon Blueberries, Ontario Apples, Manitoba Wild Rice, Peameal Bacon, Canola Oil
Nutrition Tip! When berries are in season, freeze them so you can have them year round. Also, if you want to cook with maple syrup, but are concerned about the sugar, use less and blend it with other bold flavours like Dijon mustard or balsamic vinegar. You’ll get a nice flavour combination and keep the sugar in check!
No matter what country or culture is inspiring you – be sure to look for chicken Raised by a Canadian Farmer to ensure you’re purchasing the highest quality chicken.
To learn more about the Raised by a Canadian Farmer logo, please visit here:
- Chicken Farmers of Canada. Who are we. Retrieved July 3, 2016, from http://www.chickenfarmers.ca/who-we-are/our-people/staff/
- Asian Fusion Girl. (2016). Ingredients. Retrieved July 3, 2016, from http://asian-fusion.com/ingredients/
- Briney, A. (2016). Countries of the Mediterranean Region. Retrieved July 3, 2016, from http://geography.about.com/od/lists/a/Mediterranean-Countries.htm
- Forte, E. & Forte, E. (2015). The Mediterranean cuisine beginner’s guide to cooking and eating. Retrieved July 3, 2016, from http://www.mediterraneanbook.com/2009/07/21/mediterranean-cuisine-beginners-guide-cooking-eating/
- Smith, S. (2010). 10 Latin Ingredients You Should Know By Sight. Retrieved July 3, 2016, from http://www.thekitchn.com/10-latin-ingredients-you-shoul-127339