Picking the Right Chicken
for Easy Chicken Recipes

by Alesha Wilson
(Wilmington, NC)

Chicken is an all-around ingredient that is always present in grocery lists. It is inexpensive and easy to cook.

Fried, stewed, steamed, grilled, baked, or roasted to perfection, chicken is a perfectly versatile food for everybody. In fact, each of the international cuisines come up with new chicken recipes every time and never run out of ways to cook it.

The secret lies in choosing a fresh chicken whatever recipe or cooking method is chosen. Since chickens are not raised in the backyards nor bought alive, consumers need skills to detect only the freshest chicken.

Here are some tips:

• Check the color. It should be pink. Turn away from grayish meat, transparent skin, and signs of green under the crevices like thighs and behind wing joints. It should be clean when you peek at the inside of the bird cavity. Examine the skin for any tear, bruise, blemish, or sign of rough handling. Damaged skin and meat tend to deteriorate faster.

• Check the packaging. Plastic wrapper must be clear and tightly secured around the base. Loose packaging allows seepage of microbes indicates several past handlers that should tell you it is old.

• Refrain from bloody chicken. A lot of blood within the package implies rough handling by several people, several freezing and thawing, or both. In all of these cases, the risk of bacterial contamination is increased.

• Press the chicken. It should spring back, feel soft, and have some fat. It should be wet but not slimy or bloated. Dry-plucked chicken must be powdery.

• Smell the chicken. All poultry will smell but it should not be unpleasant or to strong.

Immediately freeze chicken to keep its freshness. Learn the habit of thawing in the refrigerator or microwave rather than in kitchen counters to avoid spoilage.

Alesha Wilson is a staff writer at RockwellNutrition.com. Rockwell Nutrition is a leading online retailer of Pharmax probiotics.

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