Why Did the Chicken Cross the Globe?

Chicken is a big part of Japanese dining. At Flo’s Japanese restaurant in Bellevue, you can find it in the form of our grilled chicken breast teriyaki, as classic a bit of Japanese chicken as you could find. But where did chicken as we know it come from, and how did it come to be the most common poultry throughout the world?

Our domestic chicken traces its ancestry all the way back to around 3,000 BC, when people in India first began to breed a bird known as the red junglefowl. The meat of this bird became hugely popular for its particularly neutral taste, and the easy availability of the bird allowed it to spread around the world. Ancient Chinese writing tells us that chicken was introduced to Chinese diner tables around 1,400 BC, from which it would spread to Japan along with much of the rest of China’s dining practices.