Food prices may have shot up this festive season, but poultry prices are holding steady compared to other seafood and vegetables. This is good news for home cooks who want to serve chicken to usher in the Year of the Rooster.
Festive theme aside, chicken is the most popular choice of meat here. In 2015, each person in Singapore consumed an average of 32kg of chicken, according to figures from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore. This is higher than the 18kg of pork, 16kg of fish, 1kg of beef and 2kg of mutton consumed per capita. The amount of chicken consumed has not varied much in the last decade. It was 31kg in 2007, peaking at 33kg in 2011 and 2012.
Chicken is a meat which lends itself to a wide variety of cooking methods. But for those who cook often and regularly, it is all too easy to fall back on familiar tried and tested recipes. Challenge yourself and change your culinary routine this year.
Here are eight recipes from the archives to help you strut your stuff and rule the roost.
1. Chicken bak bao
Take the classic kong bak bao and replace the pork belly with chicken. Chicken takes a shorter time to cook, and braised in a thick luscious gravy, it is pleasure with less guilt - especially if you load up the mantou with more greens.
2. Soy sauce chicken noodles
Whip up this hawker classic at home. Your dinner guests will thank you, especially with the hawker stalls closed for the festive season. This is a one-dish meal that is easy to prepare and won't have you cooped up in the kitchen all day.
3. Har cheong gai
No time to jostle for fresh chicken at the wet market? Don't worry. Frozen chicken wings will do just fine. Just remember to give the wings time to soak up the marinade. The smell of prawn paste may stink up your kitchen, but these fried wings are worth the initial assault on your nose.
4. Pandan leaf chicken
Don't chicken out and scratch this recipe off the list just because you think it takes too much effort. Get your family or friends involved in the prep work for this Thai dish. Think of it as investing quality time in a tastier dinner. It is not that difficult to wrap pieces of chicken in pandan leaves once you get the hang of it. Besides, it will give you something to crow about at the dinner table.
5. Spicy chicken with belimbing asam
This dish could inspire you to pick up gardening. Spicy chicken dishes are aplenty, but belimbing asam gives it a tantalisingly tart kick. The downside is the sour fruit is not easily available, so how about trying your hand at growing a belimbing asam plant?
6. Roasted assam chicken
This roasted version of Nonya ayam sioh is so easy to whip up, you have little reason not to try it at least once. Assam gives the chicken meat an aromatic tang that whets the appetite - even if you are feeling overwhelmed from all the festive feasting.
7. Butter chicken
This richly spiced dish with a tomato base is said to have been invented to repurpose dried out tandoori chicken. Recreate this popular classic in the comfort of your own home. Imagine, sinking your teeth into tender morsels of aromatic grilled chicken soaked in a sweet but tangy sauce. Shake a tail feather and start cooking.
8. Sichuan pepper chicken
Excite your taste buds with a hit of Sichuan pepper for that tingling numbing sensation. Unlike white or black pepper, Sichuan pepper has a characteristic aromatic fragrance. Combined with hot chillies, the result is a distinctive "ma-la" (numbing and spicy) taste of Sichuan cuisine. Up the spiciness if you want a squawking good time.