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Home » Chicken, Meats

Black Chicken

Submitted by on June 27, 2009 – 7:04 am8 Comments | 21,336 views

Ingredient Name:  Chicken (black), fowl, hen, Silkie
Traditional Chinese Name: 黑雞 (hēi jī)
Black chickens actually look quite scary to me and every time my mother made it, it really scared me to drink the soup.  But as we got older and began to recognize the meats as they are and the beneficial qualities the soup brings, you kind of ignore its foreign colour and begin to enjoy its taste, texture and flavour.  We introduce interesting foods to our children quite early to try and avoid ignorance.  This is not to say that we bombard them with exotics meats, but try to go outside of the usual western scope of foods and ask them to “try” the Asian variety of foods to broaden their young palates. 

What is this?
  • A special breed of chicken that is known for its silky feathers and black skin underneath
  • They are one of the oldest breeds of chickens in the world and is said to have originated from Asia (China)
  • Ironically, due to the silkie’s mild temperment, they are known to be good pets
  • Considered a gourmet meat and is usually used in special soups

How do I prepare it?

  • You will need to clean and then cut the chicken into pieces (quarters will suffice)
  • Some people prefer to skin the chicken and make the soup without the skin and reduce the amount of fat by trimming any fat off the chicken first
  • The Chinese will use the ENTIRE chicken (except the head), including the feet for their soup
  • Put the chicken into boiling water first, drain and then put the cooked chicken into the boiling soup base

Where can I buy this?

  • You can purchase them fresh (or frozen) from Asian supermarkets
  • In Hong Kong, they are available fresh from wet marts

What is the cost?

  • Fresh chickens (meaning they are delivered fresh from China and a few Hong Kong vendors) can be quite expensive
  • Due to their small size, an average silkie can cost you $100 HKD

Any benefits?

  • The black meat of the silkie is said to be curative
  • Using the whole chicken (bones and all) helps with providing collagen
  • Skinless and boiled chicken is a great low-fat protein.  It is lower in calories, fats and saturated fats than most other meats
  • Chicken is extremely dense in nutrients, including protein, zinc, iron, phosphorous, riboflavin, thiamin and niacin 

Any precautions?

  • Wash your hands and cutting utensils thoroughly after handling raw poultry to avoid cross-contamination like salmonella and bird flu (H5N1)
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  • Tracy says:

    It’s scary looking! But I know it’s tasty :)

  • Annaly says:

    You know, the way it’s laying on the place it almost looks like a seafood. Where can you get them already cut up and ready to cook?

  • LadyTong says:

    The wet marts in Hong Kong will definitely cut them up for you. In western supermarkets, I know you can get them frozen and whole (or even fresh) – if you go to Western Asian supermarkets – meaning, the meat is behind the counter, then they are able to cut it for you. I haven’t seen black chicken packaged, pre-cut like white chicken before. Hope this helps.

  • Irene says:

    I have a small farm in the UP of Michigan and am interested in raising black silkies for the Asian markets. Does anyone know where there are concentrations of potential buyers in Michigan or Wisconsin?

  • Rob says:


    I am interested in purchasing black silkies. Can anyone help? thanks.


  • Rob says:

    in large quantities that is.

  • arnel ambat says:

    i have a lot of stocks black checkin who wants to order online u can contact me facebook account or search arnel chua lee 09305490739 – or – 09429121243 or – 09359349900

  • Gwen says:

    Do you have a soup recipe for black chicken?

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