WIKI

Chicken

Chicken

Chicken is a beloved and tasty protein source. Wild chickens were first domesticated in China in 8,000 BCE. Today, eight billion chickens are consumed each year in the U.S. alone.

The chicken is the closest living relative of the massive and mighty T-rex dinosaur!

Seasonality

Year-Round

Selection & Storage

Select chicken with pink rather than graying flesh in a tightly sealed package with no leaks

Raw or cooked chicken can be stored safely in a refrigerator for up to 3 days. On the other hand, ground poultry or chicken giblets should only be kept in the fridge for up to a day. Longer than this then you should keep it in the freezer (for up to a year!).

The best way to thaw chicken is in the refrigerator, but it’ll take you an entire day for a 4-pound chicken. Smaller pre-cut pieces will take 3-9 hours. If you are in a hurry, microwave unwrapped chicken for 2 min at a time and check progress.

Clever Uses

Chicken fat can replace or compliment butter and oil in many savory dishes.

Make chicken soup in a slow-cooker––it’ll be ready when you get home from work.

Use a beer can to steam chicken (and hold it up) on the BBQ.

Food Science

The color of chicken meat is actually related to how much dark-colored myoglobin it contains. That compound supports the muscles’ ability to transport oxygen, so muscles that are used more intensely have more myoglobin. Chickens don’t use their wings very much, leaving it and the breast whiter in color and the meat on the legs darker.

Cooking Tips

The USDA announced that in reality, rinsing chicken with tap water increases the risk of food poisoning. Rinsing raw chicken will just spread bacteria around your sink. The USDA insists that if the meat is cooked at the right temperature (165 ºF), all the germs and bacteria will be killed anyway. Be sure to use a separate, washable cutting board for raw chicken.

Always make sure your chicken is cooked well done. If using a meat thermometer, the internal temperature should reach 165 ºF, you’ll know when you can easily pierce it with a fork.

The secret to the best roast chicken is pat drying your chicken REALLY well, even on the inside. Clean the cavity and salt liberally.

In a time crunch? Spatchcock your chicken by removing the backbone and flattening it so it roasts faster.

Health Benefits

Even though chicken skin has high amount of fat, it’s worth noting that it’s mostly unsaturated fat. On top of that, it keeps the chicken moist and flavorful while it roasts, so you can use less salt.

Chicken meat contains about two to three times as much polyunsaturated fat than most types of red meat, which can help reduce bad cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.

The eggs of chickens are known to be a good source of lutein. This carotenoid is known for maintaining healthy eyes.

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