Poultry in Asian Cuisine
Chicken was first linked to cuisine when the wild red jungle fowl Gallus gallus was domesticated in Southwest Asia about 2000 B.C.
Deemed early on as a sacred bird used in prophecy and the divination of omens, and still the lord of the folk oracle, the chicken is now also one of the most popular ingredients in Asian cookery.
Of all the edible fowls known to man, it is perhaps the chicken that Asian cooks love most to prepare in a variety of ways. The white
meat is particularly valued for its ability to absorb and blend with so many other flavors.
The preparation of chicken generally takes one of two forms: full-flavored and subtle-flavored. Either way, the cooking of chicken may be either complex or incredibly simple. The simplest manner is to skewer and roast the chicken with a marinade made from soy sauce or fish sauce and spiked with lemon and a bit of garlic. Whether broiled, roasted, steamed, baked, fried, boiled, fricasseed, stuffed, barbecued, or ground into pies or soups, chicken is superb, as it combines excellently with all other ingredients.
Because it is within the reach of any kitchen, and even raised in the backyard, the chicken is considered, as the Chinese poet Xuan
Mei put it, one of the heroes of the Chinese table.
Other poultry known in Asian cuisines include the duck, which is a symbol of fidelity and happiness; the goose, a true gastronomic delight; the pigeon or squab, which stands for filial devotion and longevity; and the pheasant and quail, loved for their subtle flavors and exquisitely delicate taste.
Turkey, a New World native, is occasionally served as a festive dish in the Philippines, a nation that was under the direct influence of the United States for several decades. It is served at Christmas and on Thanksgiving, particularly by American residents.