Updated: November 5th, 2020
Cooking Lab Administrator Eleonora Gafton shares a fantastic recipe this month using silky chicken, also known as black chicken, because the chicken’s skin, flesh, and bones are black. As early as the 13th century, black chickens were reported in China, and have been used in Chinese medicine for well over 1,000 years. Recently popular in American cuisine, the black chicken is now considered a “superfood” because of its high antioxidant levels.

An antioxidant is a molecule that slows down the oxidation of other chemicals in the human body. Although oxidation is essential to human life, antioxidants help to keep the process at a healthy level. The specific antioxidant present in black chickens is carnosine.

These darling little birds have curly feathers and a puff on top of their heads, and they are considered very mild mannered and with a loving personality. These traits transfer in the energetics of eating a source of great protein from a loving and nurturing bird—it’s no wonder that in ancient China this was recognized as bringing balance to a person who was convalescing. Gafton says that she is “very indebted to this small little bird that gives us so much nourishment and shares her loving energy with us as we slowly enjoy every little bit of this nutritious food.”


  • 1 silky chicken (these are small chickens, weighing only about 1 – 2lb on average)
  • 2 golden beets
  • 1 purple or other sweet potato
  • 1 small rutabaga
  • 4 shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seed
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees. In a Dutch oven or a deep skillet with lid place your silky chicken with breast facing down. Season your bird with sea salt, cracked black pepper, and tamari, and sprinkle it with black sesame. Mince the garlic and place it in the cavity of the bird along with salt, pepper, and the rosemary sprig. Scrub your root vegetables, cut them in large chunks, and place them around the bird.

Cover your Dutch oven and place it in the oven and let roast for about 1 hour. Then remove the cover and bring the temperature to 400 and allow crisping for about 5-10 minutes. Check for doneness. It yields a delicious roasted silky chicken with grounding root vegetables that warms and nourishes you. Enjoy!

Where to buy silky chickens:

In MD, DC, VA, PA: MOM’s Organic Market

Online: Eberly Poultry