Chester is clearly not a Portuguese word, and if you ask Brazilians what a Chester is (and we have), the answer usually is something like "Well, it's a Chester." Because of the visibility of Chesters at this time of year, clearly a bit of gastronomic sleuthing was in order. Flavors of Brazil has decided to get to the bottom of the whole Chester mystery because most of the Brazilian public doesn't seem to know what one really is.
Perdigão launched the Chester nationally in Brazil. They chose the name Chester, apparently, because the marketing department wanted to emphasize the large amount of breast meat (or chest meat if you will) that the bird delivered, and probably decided that Chester sounded better than Breaster. The Chester brand was an immediate success, and is today still one of Perdigão's most prestigious brands.
Because the genetic line of the bird is patented in the USA and Perdigão has exclusive rights to it in Brazil, all Chesters raised in Brazil are delivered to Perdigão for marketing and sales. In order to protect their investment in the Chester, sale or distribution of eggs is prohibited.
All Chesters are raised on a 100% natural grain diet, principally corn and soya. They are fed no animal byproducts. They are non-medicated; that is, they are not given antibiotics, growth hormones or steroids to increase the speed of their growth or to increase their weight. Their larger size is strictly due to genetics.
Christmas is by far the largest season for Chester sales in Brazil, just as it is for turkey. But Chesters are available year-round, frozen. In addition to the Brazilian market, Perdigão now exports Chesters to 25 countries around the world.
We've eaten Chester and liked it, and have roasted it at home. It's medium size makes it more practicable than roasting a large turkey in a small Brazilian oven, and if properly roasted the bird is juicy, flavorful and tender. And Chesters do seem to be particularly "busty" - there's a lot of breast meat in comparison to other parts of the bird. If we were to market the Chester in the USA, we wouldn't call it a Chester at all - it would be a Dolly. Named after Dolly Parton, of course.