Americans are and event people. We love a good event. Some kind of an event that will allow us to get together and celebrate, or witness something amazing together, and certainly something that will give us a reason to eat. The holidays we enjoy throughout the year are perfect times for celebrating, sharing, and eating.
With all of these events and celebrations, many different kinds of foods are cooked, prepared, and eaten. In the United States, one of the most popular foods eaten at celebrations and at the nightly dinner table is chicken. We Americans love ourselves some chicken. We’ve created and developed many different ways to prepare it. We boil it, grill, bake it, you name it. We love our chickens. In 2015, the United States consumed 90.1 pounds of chicken per capita. There’s a National Chicken Counsel, and it predicts that we will up that number in 2016 to 90.8 pounds per capita. That’s a lot of nuggets!
Caterers all across the country count on chicken as a meal that will satisfy just about everybody. Catering is in full bloom in the spring and summer with wedding season each year, and if you’ve ever been to a wedding you were likely faced with the decision between chicken and beef when it came to the reception dinner. But weddings aren’t the only place where caterers serve their most reliable dish. At any Christmas party, retirement dinner, and sports banquet all across our great land you’ll find chicken waiting for you.
Summer holidays like Memorial Day and Labor Day are perfect times for cookouts, and what better time for flaming charbroiled chicken than July 4th? The week leading up to July 4th is an extremely busy time for stores that sell chicken in America. During that week alone, we purchase 700 million pounds of chicken. Even if we choose not to cook for ourselves, we are sure to find restaurants and fast food locations that serve our chicken up right.
Chicken is not just an American specialty either. Many other cultures serve their own versions of the chicken dish. Caterers from all over the country set themselves apart by offering specialty chicken dishes you might find in latin restaurants or other restaurants the specialize in recipes from other places around the world.
The chickens that we consume at restaurants, as well as those we purchase at a local market and cook for ourselves, come from a very large chicken industry. There are over 25,000 family farmers that have production contracts with different companies. On these family farms, about 95% of all of the broiler chickens get their raising. They are hatched, fed, grown, and ultimately prepared for our consumption. The other 5% of the chickens we eat each year come from company farms.
So wherever you are this year during the super bowl, when the fireworks are sparkling on Independence Day, when you’re remembering our troops, or simply whenever you are celebrating something important, know that the chicken is one of the major parts of our celebrating. It is finger liking good, after all.