Blue Foot Chicken
|Blue Foot Chicken|
|Other names||California Blue Foot (California Poulet Bleu )|
|Country of origin||Canada|
|Weight||Male: 6 to 7 lbs at 18 weeks|
Gallus gallus domesticus
The breed is attributed to Canadian breeder Peter Thiessen of British Columbia and was later marketed in the United States by California farm manager Bob Shipley. The Blue Foot Chicken was originally conceived as an alternative to the French Bresse Bleu, availability of which is tightly regulated by French law, with export expressly forbidden. It was bred by Thiessen over a period of 15 years starting in the 1980s. The breed was almost lost in 2004 when avian flu control measures during an outbreak in Canada led to the Canadian government ordering the destruction of vast numbers of fowl, including all the chickens at Thiessen's farm. However, one week before this decision was made, several breeders had been relocated to California, allowing the breed to survive and flourish in the United States.
Blue Foot Chicken is characterized by a Single Comb, white feathers, and steel-blue shanks, which give the breed its name. This trait is so admired that the feet are usually left on for presentation when the bird is being prepared for consumption. Blue Foot are typically slaughtered much later than chickens generally used for meat production, being left to grow longer. They require 12 to 14 weeks to reach market size. After slaughter, the chickens may be air-chilled, rather than undergoing commercial water-chilling, leaving the meat dense and rich in flavor, as no water is absorbed into the meat during the chilling process.
Blue Foot Chicken was cooked as the Secret Ingredient in an episode of the Food Network television show Iron Chef America (Season 5 Episode 1), aired 7/29/2007.
- http://www.punbb-hosting.com/forums/Albertachickensetc/viewtopic.php?id=11456, AlbertaChickensEtc, Retrieved February 21, 2011.
- http://www.cpif.org/index.php?Itemid=89&id=277&option=com_content&task=view, Official Website of the California Poultry Federation, 'Magic' blue-footed chicken makes the grade, Retrieved February 21, 2011.
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