If you’ve ever purchased chicken from a grocery store, butcher shop, market, or farm stand, you’ve probably been daunted by the selection. Not only must you choose amongst the many cuts of chicken, but you must also select a brand and type of chicken.
Choosing what to buy and where to get it might be difficult. You want the freshest, highest-quality chicken possible, but you also don’t want to waste your hard-earned cash on costly meat. So, how do you decide where to begin? If you’re looking for some chicken purchasing guidance, keep reading as these chicken gurus break it all down. This article will teach you all you need to know about purchasing chicken.
Chicken Nutrition Fact
9 Things To Consider When Buying Chicken
Knowing what goes into goods is the first step in being an informed shopper, which isn’t always easy to do with fresh chicken. You must not only interpret the stamps, emblems, and labels, but you must also evaluate aesthetic freshness signs.
1. Outer Appearance And Aroma
The hue of fresh chicken should be pinkish. Avoid visual flaws like bruises or tears in the skin, which can compromise the flavor and freshness of the chicken. Chicken should also be plump, with relatively resilient messed against it, returning its shape after a few seconds. A clean, neutral fragrance can also determine freshness.
2. Liquid Packaging
Chicken with excess liquid accumulating in the package should be avoided. The water immersion procedure, often used to cool chickens to a safe temperature, usually results in excess liquid. When the chicken is placed in the tray, it expels these fluids, diluting the flavor and creating a soggy texture.
3. Process Of Chilling
The superior alternative to water immersion chilling is air chilling. Chickens are circulated through a succession of chill chambers cooled with purified cold air in a 100 percent USDA Verified Pure air chilling technique, never exposed to chemicals throughout the chilling process. As a result, the chicken has a fresh, unadulterated flavor, cooks more evenly, and stays juicy. The skin crisps up to a beautiful golden color because it isn’t soggy.
Follow strict food safety procedures to avoid contaminating kitchen surfaces and equipment while trimming and deboning chicken at home. So you don’t have to worry about it; go for chicken already trimmed.
5. No Antibiotics Were Used In Their Raising
Because chicken might be labeled as antibiotic-free or reared without antibiotics, interpret label jargon for antibiotic use. The USDA requires that the producer follow a withdrawal or waiting period to guarantee that antibiotics are no longer present before labeling chicken as antibiotic-free. Consumers can rest assured that chickens raised without antibiotics have never been given antibiotics.
6. Organic Certification
Organic certification necessitates the implementation and continuing observance of stringent requirements and practices. The National Organic Program of the United States Department of Agriculture is the most commonly utilized and recognized organic program. Top-tier organic farmers take a step further by earning the HFAC (Humane Farm Animal Care) accreditation, which enforces humane handling rules at every stage of the process.
This word refers to the chicken being injected with or soaked in a solution during processing. Some processors inject a flavoring solution, such as saltwater or chicken broth, into the chicken. These additives can include nitrates, nitrites, and MSG, boosting salt levels and masking the chicken’s natural flavor.
8. Vegetable-Fed Children’s
Chicken that has been designated as vegetable-fed has never been fed animal by-products. Producers that want to save money and accelerate development rates might feed their chickens a diet that includes animal by-products.
9. Verified Non-Gmo Project
This seal appears on chicken that has been reared and fed on a certified organic, non-GMO diet that meets Non-GMO Project guidelines. The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization that provides non-GMO food and product verification and labeling. Non-GMO grains are a requirement for organic certification.
What Is The Best Way To Buy, Store, And Freeze Chicken?
Pick up your raw chicken last in the grocery store, just before the check-out line. Have the checker wrap the chicken in a plastic bag if the package spills.
A whole cooked chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for three days, whereas cut-up cooked chicken can be kept for two days.
It’s never a good idea to leave the raw or frozen chicken out at room temperature because bacteria like salmonella and listeria thrive there. Cooked chicken should not be kept out for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
Any chicken that won’t be used right away should be frozen. If you plan on storing it for more than two months, unwrap the chicken and rewrap it in heavy-duty aluminum foil and a plastic freezer bag.
How Do You Defrost Chicken?
Slowly and safely thaw frozen chicken. Never leave the frozen chicken out at room temperature to thaw.
A whole chicken can take anywhere from 24 hours to two days to thaw in the refrigerator.
Frozen chicken parts will take 2 to 9 hours to thaw (boneless pieces take less time than bone-in pieces).
You can thaw frozen chicken faster by pouring a continuous stream of cold water over it while it’s wrapped in plastic or by using your microwave’s defrost cycle.
Is It Necessary To Rinse Chicken Before Cooking It?
The general agreement on rinsing raw chicken or other poultry is to avoid it. The US Department of Agriculture has made this proposal. The reason for this is that rinsing raw chicken does nothing to remove harmful germs; instead, it’s more likely to splatter bacteria around the sink and onto worktops, where it can spread all over the place and put you at risk of foodborne disease.
As long as the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, the cooking process will kill the germs in a separate chopping board for working with chicken. After handling raw poultry, thoroughly clean all surfaces, utensils, cutting boards, knives, and hands with hot soapy water for 20 seconds to prevent cross-contamination. Before handling raw poultry, the USDA suggests preparing any food not being cooked, such as vegetables or salads. According to a recent USDA research, 26% of persons who washed raw poultry transferred pathogens to their salad greens.
Chicken is consistently at the top of the list of most-searched recipes , and with good reason. Chicken is a popular and adaptable component used in various savory dishes and cooking ways. We’ll go through our best chicken-buying, storing, freezing, thawing, preparation, and cooking strategies, as well as answer your most common queries.
Fresh chicken has never had an internal temperature lower than 26 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the freezing point for poultry. Food texture can be altered by freezing and thawing, and chicken is no exception. “A lot of grocery store chicken is frozen during shipping and then thawed before hitting the shelves,” said Brian Smith, co-owner of The Butchery. “Chicken eats differently after it has been frozen, and it can usually only be frozen/thawed once. The texture and water content are both affected noticeably.