Native and Organic Chicken of the Province

Yesterday was my youngest sister's birthday. Along with the pancit (noodle in soy sauce), I grew up with the family tradition of having at least one live native chicken slaughtered... some sort of offering.. for birthdays.

As the tradition in our province lives on, a native chicken was sacrificed yesterday. I took photos of our free-range chicken and the sacrificial chicken! (Warning: For people who find it gross to see chicken being slaughtered, you can stop viewing right now... Hehehe!)

Our province still boasts of native chicken that are usually organically fed. It is still common to find these types of chicken in the backyards of rural residences in the Philippines. Fed with rice, corn these chicken are also free to roam the backyard and look for their food - insects, earthworms, etc.

These type of chicken are called various names. I remember calling them 'Manok na Tagalog' (Do they speak or crow in tagalog dialect? Hmmm). The rooster is called "labuyo," the real native that has red wings and hackles with black feathers on its tail. The hen is"inahin" for those that already has layed eggs or has chicks. The "dumalaga" is a hen getting ready to be introduced to the roosters - almost similar to a debutante! Referring to colors, we call them bulik for the black-grayish colored with white dots and the talisain for the red and black combination. Now, it is common to hear tha taglish or tagalized version: Neytib na manok.

Native chicken is sought by some people because of its leaner meat and unique flavor most probably brought by the way it is raised. They are not called free range chicken, or backyard chicken for nothing! These chicken are free to roam around the backyard, scratching the soil looking for food and playing around with the rest of the animals. Its eggs, brown in color, is said to have less cholesterol. (When I was young, I remember having nests in our 'silong' or open basement along with gnats or hanip.)

Some folks in the province sells their native chicken and has become an alternative source of livelihood. These chicken are usually sold alive and more importantly priced more expensive than the broiler type. Consumers are willing to pay for the premium of having that distinct flavor and texture of a native chicken meat. Backyard-raised chicken also served as a buffer during lean season. Before harvesting season, farmers who lacks budget can count on their backyard poultry as a source of money and food for their table.

Being away from the Philippines for a couple of years, I really missed the distinct taste of native chicken which is better compared to the commercial broilers we buy in the market. Oh how I miss the mouth-watering sinampalukang manok (Chicken in tamarind broth) and Tinola (Chicken soup with ginger and papaya). I also like the famous adobo (stewed in soy sauce, vinegar and spices) and the lechon manok (roasted whole chicken, soaked or marinated with spices and stuffed with tanglad or lemon grass).

And today for breakfast, with garlic fried rice... I had Adobong Manok left-over from yesterday!


-----The Native Chicken Sacrifice -----

(pre-adobo stage)

Following photos may look gross .. But hey! this is life in the province!
(I have warned you!)


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