Hard chicken or Old chicken is fowl or free-range old hen. In Nigeria, hard chickens are often found in rural areas.
While growing up, one of the highlights during our yearly Christmas visit in the village was running after and catching a fowl/cockerel near us for lunch or dinner.
Most homes in the village have fowls that roam the neighborhood all day and they are always very difficult to catch.
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African hard chicken is stronger meat when likened to what you will normally find in the shops. It is more chewy and hard as the bird lives longer than its’ peers’ after she stops laying eggs.
What’s So Special about Hard Chicken?
Have you ever heard the old saying ‘tough old bird?’ it means that as birds get older they get tougher.
The meat has hardly any fat in it, making it a healthier version! A piece of good news indeed for those weight watchers and calorie counter!
Hard chickens also have really hard bones, and kids love to chew the bones
You need to cook it with low heat to get the right feel, which only comes from following the methods as well as the ingredients that go into it.
Below Are the Various Names for Hard Chicken;
- Hard Chicken
- Gam Kukulu mas (in Sinhala)
- Desi chicken (Urdu)
- Galina bird (Spanish)
- Old hen
- Free Range chickens
- Curry Chicken
- Country chickens
- Old backyard chickens
- Nnekwu Okuko Igbo (Igbo language, Nigeria)
Hard chicken Recipe
It’s best to cook hard chickens the old fashioned way which is on the stove. This method brings out its natural flavors and juices!
Using the pressure cooker will soften the chickens quickly and destroy their natural flavors.
Recipe: Zimbabwe Hard Chicken Stew (Huku Yechibhoyi)
Nothing says to your guests you are special like chickens when compared to other meats available in Zimbabwe.
Most Zimbabweans call hard chickens huku yechibhoyi which loosely translates to black people’s meat.
- 2 whole hard chickens (about 2 kg each)
- 6 small tomatoes diced or pureed
- ½ large yellow onion, diced
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 3 cups water/chicken stock
- Salt to taste
- Firstly, cut the chickens into about 10 pieces each, wash thoroughly, and set aside.
- Secondly, in a large pot, heat the vegetable oil on medium heat and sauté the onions until translucent.
- Thirdly, add the tomatoes, water/stock, meat pieces and salt. Then, mix everything up using a large spoon, and bring it to a boil.
- After that, reduce to a lower heat and allow simmering for up to 2 hours. Continue to check on your stew while it’s cooking and add a little more water/stock if necessary.
Lastly, try this dish with your favorite starch, sadza, hot rice, rotis, noodles, pasta, or bread.