Tips to Consider Before You Buy Chicken
Chicken cuts are a highly popular meat nowadays. This holds especially true in South Africa, where it is widely considered to be the staple meat. But, before you buy a chicken cut or any kind of poultry meat, it pays to be careful!
You need to take the right precautions if you want to make sure you buy chicken of good quality. Once bought, that quality chicken also needs both adequate storage and cooking. Here, we’ll examine the best ways to do all these things before eating your next meal.Chicken cuts are a highly popular meat nowadays. This holds especially true in South Africa, where it is widely considered to be the staple meat. But, before you buy a chicken cut or any kind of poultry meat, it pays to be careful!
Ensure You Buy Quality Chicken Cuts
When buying chicken cuts, or the whole chicken, there are a few precautions to be aware of. These will be a long way towards ensuring that you get the best chicken cut for your money.
When buying poultry meat, be sure to smell it. You can typically smell if it’s “off” or not, as good quality chicken will have very little or no smell at all.
Before you buy the chicken, also be sure to check the skin, flesh, and bones. Ideally, they should have no damage. Damaged chicken or chicken cuts may be a sign of mishandling.
A specific chicken cut will have different visual characteristics from another one. Keep an eye out for these on the poultry meat you’re considering. Chicken breasts, for example, should be plump with pale-pink flesh and very little fat. Chicken thighs, though, have darker meat. They also have dark pink flesh, and a small amount of white fat.
Whole Chicken and Chicken Cut Storage
After you buy chicken, it’s usually best to store it in its original packaging or container. Otherwise, you can store it in a shallow container, but be sure to keep it completely covered. This allows your quality chicken to remain such while refridgerating or freezing it.
If refridgerating, store the chicken or chicken cuts in the coldest part of your fridge for 2 days at the most. If freezing, be sure to keep the chicken or chicken cut in its original packaging, for up to 2 months at the most.
Precautions for Cooking Poultry Meat
Before you cook poultry meat, there are several precautions that you should follow. Quality chicken only remains that way if following the due diligence required.
After you buy chicken, store it, and prepare to cook it, thaw it completely before cooking. To defrost frozen chicken cuts, place them on a large plate in their packaging. Put the plate in the fridge to defrost, this will take anywhere from 10-12 hours.
Be sure not to refreeze the chicken after it has thawed. A whole chicken or chicken cut can degrade in quality due to lost moisture this way. You can tell if a chicken is completely thawed by ensuring that it contains no ice crystals. The legs and thighs of your poultry meat should also be flexible.
Wait for your chicken to be completely defrosted. Then, be sure to cook it according to your chosen recipe as soon as possible.