Silkies, chickens with dark skin, flesh and even bones, and having 'silkie' hair-like feathers, are highly prized in the Orient. Very auspicious ... .
Buying these birds from Bella Bella is as close as I can get to growing them myself. Splendid! Can't recommend them highly enough!
These are jungle fowl--they are small and 'firm' of meat (read: tough by American standards). They lend themselves, therefore, to braising.
My favorite handling is dead simple and so ancient that it predates recorded history.
Wash and dry the silkie. Remove the head and feet if you prefer (these come 'Buddhist Style' with appendages very much in place). Salt and pepper the inside of the bird. Set aside to come to room temperature.
Into a large Dutch oven, pour a pint of half-n-half. Add the separated cloves of a head of garlic, still in their papers. Add a handful of fresh sage leaves--I just clip off a stem, 6-8" tall, from my kitchen garden, and rinse and dry. Cut a lemon in half and press the juice. Both the juice and the lemon halves go right into the Dutch oven too. Finally, settle the silkie on top of it all, and put the lid on.
Watch the Dutch oven carefully for the first half hour or so--you want the milk to just, as the French say, "smile." You do _not_ want a rolling boil at _any_ time!
Allow the silkie to braise like this for at least two hours. Four hours results in a fall-apart tenderness and superb flavor.
Remove the wee birdie, carefully, to a small serving platter. Strain the liquid for the curdled (clabbered) milk and garlic cloves. Ease into a service dish and serve alongside the silkie. The contrast between the white self-sauce and the black bird is striking; the sage-garlic sauce is the perfect accompaniment to the bird.
This one wows the crowd like few others. Hooray for Bella Bella and their silkies!