Chicken, a historic and current mining community, is on the Taylor Highway (better known than Highway 5), which connects Eagle
on the Yukon River
. Chicken lies along the Mosquito Fork of the Fortymile River (a National Wild and Scenic River).
The town was named for its early abundance of Ptarmigan, now Alaska's state bird, which bears resemblance to a chicken. Chicken became incorporated in 1902, the second town in Alaska to do so.