The Rise of the Chicken

Be it in our chicken teriyaki, our spicy chicken, or our chicken katsu, chicken has a significant presence in our Issaquah Japanese restaurant. It’s an important source of meat throughout Japan, as well as the single most common type of poultry across the globe. But where did the common chicken originate from, and how did it win such a strong foothold in so many culinary traditions?

Today’s domestic chicken is related to the red junglefowl, a bird native to the tropics of Southeast Asia. This bird was domesticated in India at some point around 3,000 BC. Ancient Chinese documents suggest that it was first brought to China around 1,400 BC, and it continued to spread throughout Asia from there with many other Chinese traditions. Well loved for its easy availability and neutral taste, the bird was one of the most important proteins throughout the Middle Ages for much of the Eurasian continent, and has remained popular to this day.