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Eating Silkie Chickens

Silkie Chicken for DInner

Silkie Chicken for DInner

Black Chicken Meat

Silkie Chickens are a popular breed to raise for eggs and pets, but in many Asian countries they are eaten as a sort of health food.

They have black skin, black meat, and even black bones, and it's thought that the darkness of their meat makes it more nutritious.

In some areas they are considered a delicacy, in others a staple. Many visitors to China have probably seen them displayed for sale in the meat booths.

Other Names for Silkie Meat

Silkie chickens are an ancient breed that are spread all over China, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Korea, and the Philippines. Because they have existed for so long and are so well-used in so many different areas with different languages there are many different names used for them.

The breed of chicken is specifically called the Japanese Bantam Silkie or the Chinese Silkie, also spelled Silky in some places.

Most people seem to call them the black chicken since they are so distinct with their black skin, black meat, and black bones. They even have black feathers sometimes.

In Chinese they are called wu ji (black chicken).

They are often called the Taihe chicken or Black-Boned Silky Fowl.

Ulikba means dark meat or black-skinned and is used to describe the meat sometimes.

Bantam Japanese Silkies

Silkies are an interesting chicken breed. Not only do they have the black skin, but they have 5 toes unlike most chicken breeds, and they're a smaller type of chicken, called a bantam or mini.

The most unusual thing about Silkies though is that they look like they have fur instead of feathers because their feathers lack something called a barbell to keep them neat and smooth like other feathers.

They are very sweet and friendly, so most people raise them as pets or egg-layers, not for meat birds.

It can be hard to tell the roosters from the hens until they are older though and when sold as chicks half with be male and half female, so it is easier to find surplus roosters of Silkies than most other breeds.

A White Silkie Rooster

Black Silkie Rooster

  • Silkies: The Furry Chickens
    Silkies are a very unusual bred of chicken that have feathers that resemble fur. They almost look like they are some sort of rabbit or other animal. This is one chicken you wouldn't mind cuddling.

Silkie Hen

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The Nutritional Benefits of Black Chicken

Chinese medicine considers the flesh of Silkies to be powerful medicine, helping diabetics, prevent Alzheimer's, increase immunity, and prevent or help with numerous other diseases, basically that it's good for whatever ails you.

Why is Silkie meat considered healthier than regular chicken meat? It has to do with the darkness of the meat and bones and skin. Silkie's have fibromelanosis, which basically means a lot more pigment cells than normal or hyperpigmentation. They also are supposed to have unusually high levels of carnosine, a peptide people get for a dietary supplement to increase muscle mass and help prevent the signs of aging.

So whether you've got kidney troubles or liver issues, maybe Silkie meat can help you. Well-raised chicken meat is really good for all sorts of things, so eating specifically the Silkie breed can't hurt.

Traditionally, Silkie meat is considered woman's medicine since it is supposed to build the blood and help with women's troubles. Women are supposed to regularly eat Silkie meat, especially right after giving birth.

Maybe if making homemade chicken noodle soup is good for you, making homemade chicken soup from Silkies is probably really good for you.

  • Black-Bone Silky Fowl on ScienceDaily
    The Silky, which is revered in traditional Chinese medicine, has been found to have unusually high levels of carnosine which may help to establish a scientific basis for long-standing beliefs about their healthful value of their meat.

A Tradition of Soup: Flavors from China's Pearl River Delta

Korean Chicken and Ginseng Soup

Korean chicken and ginseng soup made with a black silkie chicken. Also called Samgyetang 삼계탕

Korean chicken and ginseng soup made with a black silkie chicken. Also called Samgyetang 삼계탕

Cooking the Ginseng Chicken Soup in the Picture Above

Cooking Korean Food with Maangchi

Black Chicken Chinese Medicinal Soup

Sick? Heal Your Cold- Chinese Medicinal Black Chicken Soup

Shredded Black Chicken

Black Chicken Soup Ingredients

  • 1 Silkie Chicken
  • 5 Black, Smoked Jujubes
  • 15 Goji Berries
  • 1 Small Piece of Licorice
  • 6 Slices of Ginger
  • 1/2 Onion, chopped
  • 60 ml Shaoxing Rice Wine
  • 1 liter Chickenstock (or water, enough to submerge the chicken)
  • 1 t Salt
  • 3 Green Onions
  • 1 Tb Coriander


  1. Add all ingredients to a crockpot. Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat then let cook until done, about 3 hours on high or 5 hours on low.
  3. Take the meat off the bone.
  4. Strain the broth.
  5. Add chicken back to broth with a little green onion and coriander and serve.

Black Chicken Soup

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Black-Skinned Chicken Slow-Cooked in Dark Soy Sauce

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Black chicken (silky chicken) at The Square Supermarket in Rosemead, California

Black chicken (silky chicken / 烏骨雞 / wu gu ji) for sale - also known as hēi jī (黑雞) black chicken is known for its nutritious healing qualities and is often made into soup, along with medicinal herbs. In Korean, black chicken is: 오골계 / ogolgye.

Black chicken (silky chicken / 烏骨雞 / wu gu ji) for sale - also known as hēi jī (黑雞) black chicken is known for its nutritious healing qualities and is often made into soup, along with medicinal herbs. In Korean, black chicken is: 오골계 / ogolgye.

Buying Silkie Meat

Silkie meat is not readily available, but it can be found with a little searching. Be prepared, since it's considered more of an ethnic food it is usually sold with head and feet still attached.

The first place to look for Silkies are at Asian markets. They may have them in stock or be able to order them for you. Even regular supermarkets near high Asian populations such as Chinatown may stock them.

There are a few places online that will ship them to you.

Many people raise Silkies and getting rid of the extra roosters is always a problem, so ask on Craigslist if there is anyone around that will sell them to you for dinner. Though in that case you'll likely have to butcher them yourself or find someone willing to do so.

Wu Ji Chicken

Frozen Silkie Chicken

Buy Silkie Chicken Meat

Get a Silkie Chicken for Dinner Tonight

© 2014 Alisha Vargas

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