What, exactly, is Amish chicken?

Recently, I taught a class called “Chicken Dance” at EQ at the Party Source. We discussed the differences between “natural” and organic, free range , cruelty free and more. Bonnie Bray asked me about Amish chicken. I said I thought it was just a pretty name but that I’d research it for her. Well Bonnie, my money’s still on organic for the best choice in chicken. Here’s the scoop on Amish chicken from  the NY Times

What exactly does ”Amish” mean, in a culinary context?
”It’s a marketing ploy,” said Ariane Daguin, co-owner of D’Artagnan, a Newark-based supplier of Amish chicken to New York restaurants and markets. ”It doesn’t mean anything.”
The mystique of the Amish label, Ms. Daguin said, comes from its ”aura of naturalness,” though chickens raised on Amish farms do not always eat vegetarian feed. Nor are they free-range or free roaming.
Bruce Aidells, co-author with Denis Kelly of ”The Complete Meat Cookbook,” is a devotee of Amish meat products. ”I don’t know if it has more fat in it or what,” he said of Amish pork he ate in Bern, Ind. ”But it has a wonderful taste, a real nice pork flavor.”  Asked to describe that flavor, Mr. Aidells offered the word ”porkiness.” He also recalls fondly the Amish chicken at the now-closed David Ruggerio restaurant, which had a taste that he called ”chickeny.”
Mr. Tardi of Follonico agrees that the virtues of Amish chickens are hard to pin down. ”There’s all this talk about free-range and organic, and this isn’t that,” he said. ”But it is minimally processed, with no hormones. It’s a chicken with morals.”
Not necessarily. Phyllis Pellman Good, the author of ”The Best of Amish Cooking” (Good Books, 1988), who is a Mennonite (the sect from which the Amish broke in the 17th century), says that Amish chickens, contrary to popular belief, are not free-range.”They lead pretty confined lives,” she said. How about hormone injections? ”There’s a range from quite cautious to full participation in that type of technology,” she said. ”They’re way beyond little nests in quaint barns.”
Regarding the origin of Follonico’s ”Amish” chicken, Mr. Tardi acknowledged, ”I can’t vouch for the fact that it was produced by Amish people in black hats and no buttons.”

^ Back to Top

Search & Browse

View AllMost RecentIngredients

Cabernet Sea Salt
Alana Chernila's Preserved Lemons from The Homemade Kitchen
Homemade Ricotta

Coconut Truffles from Chocopologie by Fritz Knipschildt
Whet your whistle with Whiskey with female Master Distiller Melissa Heim
J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works

Sweet and Spicy Pecans
Homemade vanilla extract
Three ways with Turkey Brine

Turkey Rubs
Blueberry Waffles from Danielle Walker's Against All Grain
Basil Oil

Overstuffed Portobello Mushrooms from HELLO TASTE, GOODBYE GUILT!
Preserving the Harvest & Putting your Herbs to Bed with Rita Heikenfeld
Broiled Fresh Figs with Blue Cheese, Honey and Walnuts

Cinnamon Girl
Feelin' Hot, Hot, Hot!
Want to add a little spice to your life? Try a racy rub!

Posh Pantry: Luxurious flavor boosters that are ideal for every day
Hot Pistachio Cereal with Greek Yogurt and Honey from Quinoa Revolution with Patricia Green
Spring Mix with Goat Cheese Toast and Pomegranate Dressing

Claire Robinson from the Food Network makes a Flourless Chocolate Cake
Laena McCarthy's 3’s Company Triple-Berry Jam
Fun French Wine list from The Party Source

Brown Sugar Apple Pie
Made-over Mai Tai
Classic Rhubarb Pie

Hazelnut Boston Cream Cupcakes
Banana Hazelnut Breakfast Panini
Grilled Pork and Pineapple Kebabs with Spinach Salad

Dulce De Leche Banana Trifle
Say Cheese!
Katie Workman's One-Skillet Cheesy Beef and Macaroni

Inspired Idea: Ice Cream Balls
Peperonata with Ricotta Crostoni from Jon's Wine Bar
Simple Asian Meals: Tofu Noodle Salad with a Spicy Tahini Dressing

The future of flavor: Vanilla Shrimp Crostini
More of this, less of that
Roasted Salmon with Pernod Sauce from Wini Moranville

Raspberry-Chipotle Brownies with Chocolate Ganache
Peanut Butter Granola
Sesame Noodle Chicken Salad

Kung Pao Chicken
Truffle Butter
French Fries

Everything really is better with bacon!
O is for Oatmeal
Cinnamon Rolls

Turkey 101
The Winemaker Cooks: A chat with Chris Hanna
Jeni Briton of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

Pie Crust tips and favorite Pumpkin Pie recipes
Grilled Chiles Rellenos stuffed with Queso Oaxaca, Mushrooms, and Sweet Potato
Homemade Gyros

7 Steps to Sensational Stew
Lentil Soup with Ham and Spinach
Take Time to Chill: Freezing Tips with Certified Angus Beef

Peanut Butter Trail Bars
Chicken Spring Rolls
Prime Rib on the Grill

Warm Apple Salad with Apple Cider Peanut Dressing
Mushrooms Stuffed with Field Greens, Bacon and Cheese
Anna Boiardi's Leaving-home Penne Rigate with Broccoli

Rita Heikenfeld's Gremolata
Budget Friendly Foods
Black Bean with Bacon Soup

Add color to your diet
Grilling for a crowd with Chef Michael Ollier
Apple Facts

In Season: Apple Recipes
Tagliata al Rosmarino (Steak with Rosemary)
Creamy Lemon Cherry Cheesecake

Pairing steak and wine
Susie Middleton's Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy
10 ways with Pesto with Susie Middleton

Corn on the Cob
Lemon Grass and Lime Cocktail
Porterhouse for Two

Mark Schatzker's Steak: One Man's Search for the World's Tastiest Piece of Beef
Lemony Grilled Halibut
Peaches in Wine

Classic Italian Pasta Salad
Robin Mather's Whole Strawberries in Balsamic-Black Pepper Syrup
Raspberry-Peach Crisp

Bluefish with Creamed Corn and Croutons from For Cod and Country by Chef Barton Seaver
Braised Beef Brisket

Asian Pantry
Lean Cuts of Beef

How to toast nuts
Heart Healthy Foods
Quick Bread 101

Marinade 101
Rose's Green Salsa
Freezing 101

Mulling Spices
Apple 101
Inspired Idea: "Blue Ice"

Herb 101
Buttermilk Coconut Pie
Beef Wellington

Chinese New Year Tradition: Dumplings and Whole Chicken
Raspberry Vinegar
Double Decadence Chocolate Cake

Oven dried Cherry Tomatoes
Brewing Tea
What, exactly, is Amish chicken?

Low Salt Seasoning Ideas
Mexican Chocolate Mousse
Cinnamon Girl
^ Back to Top

Leave a Comment

^ Back to Top


  • Recipe to Share?

    Got a special recipe you can't keep under your chef's hat? It's OK, your secret is safe with us — and all our readers.
    Share With Us  
  • Don't Be A Stranger

    Amy is all about being social. Take this opportunity to connect with her on Facebook, share ideas and enjoy free tips.
    Connect With Amy >
  • Where's Amy?

    Wondering what Amy is up to? Take a look at her calendar for all upcoming events.
    View Her Calendar >
  • Dole Spring Mix 167 x 334

  • Gold Star Chili