The Zambian Chicken or Village Chicken, Which?

The Zambian Chicken is one of the special delicacies that you can enjoy at any function, be it at a wedding, at a home meal or at any special occasion.  


It is the most popular side dish that goes down well with “Nshima”, Zambia’s staple food. And if you are served “Nshima” with Chicken, it a sign of being very welcome indeed!

Raising Chickens

Zambian Chicken

In Zambia, Chickens are raised on big or small farm holdings, and backyards. The chickens are raised for meat and eggs which are later sold. This has become a thriving small scale business for urban residents. 

Raising chickens has become one way of earning a living for many people especially in urban areas. Most of these chickens are free rangers; they roam freely scavenging for food during the day and return home in the evening for the night. 

Some of the chicken breeds that are found in Zambia are the Orpington, Speckled Sussex, Gray jungle foul, White Leghorn and the Polish

Chicken Dish

If you happen to visit any restaurant in Zambia, you are assured of finding the Zambian chicken on the menu. In fact, the chicken is found at many events. Incidentally restaurants in Zambia use another for the chicken – the village chicken - in order to differentiate it from the broiler chicken, the commercially bred chicken.

Zambian Chicken Preparation

Today in Zambia, a chicken can be prepared in many ways. It can be fried, grilled, broiled, roasted, stewed or braised. 

But traditionally, the chicken is prepared in a very simple way with no additives added. The most common method is stewing and roasting.

Most Zambian restaurants prepare the chicken in the same simple method, with no additives added.    

The Chicken Beliefs

The Chicken in Zambia is also used in cultural events and traditional practices such as weddings, bereavements and many other ceremonies. Traditionally, the chicken carries with it many local beliefs depending on the occasion. Some of the common beliefs are given below… 

  • It was forbidden for women (females) to eat the gizzard or “Inondo” in Bemba. But these days, these beliefs are dying out especially in urban areas. However, in some communities, they are strictly followed and it’s wise to adhere to local customs. 
  • Some witch finders (witchdoctors) usually demand or request for a white chicken (white leghorn) before they can attend to ones problems, although the use of money is slowly replacing the use of a white chicken these days.

That’s it! Would you like now to know more about the Zambian menu? Click here for the Zambian dish!

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