Although chicken is not the most popular meat in Crete, it exists in the Cretan diet. There are plentiful of hen houses in the Cretan countryside supplying fresh eggs and of course meat. Very often in Cretan villages you encounter hens running free and returning to their base only to be fed. The health benefits of free range chicken are well known; chicken is a lean meat, being also a great source of protein, B3 (niacin) B6 and B12 vitamins as well as the antioxidant selenium.
Cretans eat chicken barbecued, oven baked (usualy with potatoes) or as a casserole dish accompanied with vegetables. A really delicious Cretan dish is chicken in okra and tomato; a fantastic combination of flavours. Furthermore, chicken often provides stock for delicious risottos. For example, the famous Cretan wedding risotto (“gamopilafo”) oftane contains chicken in addition to the essential lamb.
In addition to hens, nowadays Cretan farmers also breed other types of poultry, such as turkeys, geese, guinea fowls and feasants, thereby enriching the Cretan table.