kake: The word "菜單" (Chinese for "menu") in various shades of purple. (菜單)
[personal profile] kake

I mentioned 雞 (jī) in my very first ever character post, on 肉 (ròu/meat). As I pointed out there, when you see 肉 on a menu with no further qualification, it almost always means pork, since pork is the default meat in most Chinese cuisines. One exception to this, as mentioned on Monday, is Xinjiang food — 肉 on a Xinjiang menu may well mean lamb, which elsewhere is specified as 羊肉 (yáng ròu).

I'm not aware, however, of any Chinese cuisine in which the default meat is chicken. In my experience, the use of chicken is always signalled explicitly with the character 雞 (jī), which may appear either alone or in combination with 肉 as 雞肉 (jī ròu). Note however that as [identity profile] sung points out in comments, 雞肉 appears very rarely on menus — you normally just see 雞 alone.

You might also see 雞 in combination with 蛋 (dàn/egg), so remember that 雞蛋 is not the meat of a chicken, but the egg of a chicken. As [personal profile] pulchritude mentions in the comments on my 肉 post, 雞蛋 is used instead of 蛋 in situations where 蛋 alone would sound unbalanced.

Finally, note that 田雞 (tían jī), literally "field chicken", is not a chicken, but a frog. You may also see this on menus as 田雞腿 (tián jī tuǐ), or frogs' legs, but often the 腿 is omitted since it's understood that the only part of the frog you generally eat is its legs.

Here are some common chicken dishes:

口水雞kǒu shuǐ jī"mouthwatering chicken", a cold dish of chicken in a spicy sauce
宮保雞丁gōng bǎo jī dīngKung Po chicken (which may come in the original Sichuan style, or a Westernised version)
辣子雞là zi jīfried chicken with chillies; this may also appear as 飄香辣子雞 (piāo xiāng là zi jī/"drifting-fragrance chicken") or 辣子雞丁 (là zi jī dīng), or other variations
糯米雞nuò mǐ jīrice in lotus leaf/lo mai gai, a dim sum dish
怪味雞guài wèi jī"strange-flavour chicken", another cold dish
叫花雞jiào huā jībeggar's chicken — chicken baked whole in a clay (or sometimes dough) coating
醬油滷雞jiàng yóu lǔ jīchicken poached in soy sauce (see 3 Hungry Tummies' recipe)
豉油雞chǐ yóu jīthe Cantonese term for 醬油滷雞 (note that although I give the pinyin here for consistency, the Cantonese would actually be something like si yau gai, or si jau gai)

雞: radical 172 (隹) Cantodict MandarinTools YellowBridge Zhongwen

Date: 2010-11-17 07:04 pm (UTC)
pulchritude: Manuel Neuer comforting Benedikt Höwedes (10)
From: [personal profile] pulchritude
it's understood that the only part of the frog you generally eat is its legs.

That's...interesting to me, as I've always eaten the body as well. Granted, we'd also be buying live frogs to kill in the kitchen, so it's a different situation than restaurants overseas.

(Tangent: I saw some live frogs on sale at a Chinese supermarket in the US and really wanted to buy a bag! Alas I've never killed any myself, I still weep at the lost opportunity :()

Date: 2010-11-17 11:45 pm (UTC)
pulchritude: (14)
From: [personal profile] pulchritude
Well, the hind legs are the meatiest parts...I actually used to um, purposefully not pick the body for this reason....

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