Foul Fowl

Studies by the National Academy of Science, in the 1990’s, showed that 48 percent of food poisonings are caused by contaminated chicken.

This affects approximately one in 50 persons in the U.S. annually.

Use the following tips, helpers and suggestions to keep your poultry safe and cook it better than ever!

Fowl Food Facts

Chicken Facts

  • A 3 pound chicken will yield about 2-1/2 to 3 cups of cut-up chicken.
  • Before wrapping chicken for the freezer, spray sheets of aluminum foil with nonstick cooking spray. When you unwrap it later, the foil comes right off without sticking or tearing.
  • A 5 ounce can of boned chicken will yield about one-half cup of cut-up chicken.
  • A lower to moderate cooking temperature will produce a juicier chicken, since more fat and moisture are retained.
  • To tenderize chicken and give it a unique flavor, try basting it with a small amount of white wine as it cooks.
  • Freeze leftover chicken broth in ice cube trays, then keep the cubes in a plastic bag in the freezer. When a recipe calls for chicken bouillon cubes, thaw out in the defrost cycle in the microwave.
  • Whether chicken is fresh or defrosted never leave it in the refrigerator for more than two days. The same applies to hamburger.
  • To save dollars, purchase whole chickens and cut them up. Freeze the sections that you want together.
  • To thaw frozen chicken, place it in a pan of cold water with at least one-quarter cup of salt added. You will notice the improved flavor and have a cleaner chicken.
  • When you buy large chickens they are older birds and will usually be tougher. Try slow cooking to make them more tender.
  • Never buy a chicken on a Monday. It is likely you will get one that was not purchased over the weekend.
  • Defrost a chicken by soaking it in cold water. This will draw out any blood residues and will leave the breast very white.
  • After flouring a chicken, chill for one hour. The coating will adhere better during frying.
  • If you add a few slices of lemon to stewing chickens they will be more tender.
  • Try baking your chicken instead of frying it. Bread as you normally would then baste with orange juice to keep it moist and enhance your normal seasonings.
  • Chickens should bear a shield shaped grade mark carrying the designation U.S. Grade A, U.S. Grade B or U.S. Grade C.
  • If the U.S. Grade stamp does not appear on the chicken, it is probably labeled by the supermarket as Premium or Superior and is in all actuality U.S. Grade B or C.
  • U.S. Grade A chickens are sold as fresh in supermarkets. U.S. Grade B and C are used for frozen dinners and canned products since they are more blemished.
  • One large chicken slaughtering plant may use up to 100 million gallons of water daily. This is equal to a city of 25,000 people.
  • Broilers and fryers come to market 7 to 10 weeks after they hatch.
  • Have you ever wondered how the restaurants serve a very tender, moist chicken breast all the time? They submerge the breast in buttermilk for 3 to 4 hours under refrigeration before cooking.
  • If you must baste a chicken, never use butter. Just place a few bacon strips across the breast. This works great, but of course, does add fat. Turkey bacon could be a good substitute.
  • A 3 pound chicken will provide approximately 1 pound 5 ounces of edible meat. IT may be more expensive to purchase a whole chicken than the parts.
  • The USDA reports that chickens today are getting fatter. In fact, today’s poultry is bred to reach market weight in six to eight weeks. This is half the time it previously took! This, however, has resulted in a disproportionate increase in body fat.
  • The poultry skin and the fat just under the skin have the highest percentage of total fat and cholesterol.
  • Remove all chicken fat globules that are visible inside the chicken.
  • A yellow chicken does not necessarily mean a healthier more nutritious chicken when compared to a pale one. Yellow skin results in the amount of yellow corn found in chicken feed. Some suppliers of feed also add substances which contain yellow pigment. Marigold petals are known to give chickens a healthy sheen.
  • An order of chicken wings (buffalo wings) may supply as much as 30 grams of fat, more than half the fat you should be consuming in an 1800 calorie daily intake.
  • Chicken will keep longer if re-wrapped in wax paper instead of the plastic wrap used by the markets.
  • If the odor of a fresh chicken is offensive, try giving the bird a massage with the juice of one-half lemon and one-quarter teaspoon of salt. This will totally remove the odor.
  • Thirty-eight million chickens are processed in the United States in one day, according to the National Broiler Council.
  • A free-range chicken has approximately 11 to 24 percent fat compared to a standard supermarket bird at 15 to 18 percent.
  • Fast food outlets deep fry 4.9 billion pounds of chicken each year.
  • Almost one-third of the nation’s meat consumption is chicken.
  • Ninety-five percent of chickens sold in the U.S. are broilers or fryers, different name, same chicken.

Turkey Facts

  • Compare nutrition labels when purchasing ground turkey. You may find that some brands have almost as much fat as lean beef.
  • When stuffing your holiday turkey, try placing a piece of cheesecloth inside the cavity before adding the stuffing. When you remove the cloth, all the stuffing will come out at one time. Markets are now selling a stuffing sac; one sac costs more than enough cheesecloth purchased in bulk to do ten birds.
  • Turkey is eaten at dinner time over 50 percent of the time.
  • Turkey is usually a better buy than chicken, less bone and waste in proportion to its size.
  • Turkeys should be left out of the oven 20 to 30 minutes covered with tin foil before carving. Hot birds are too difficult to cut properly. If you must, then use an electric knife or a very sharp bread knife.
  • If you rub the skin of a turkey or other fowl with white vermouth it will make the skin a glossy brown color.
  • Do not buy birds that are injected with a basting solution. You are just paying for extra fat.
  • If turkey salad is made, wait until fowl is fully cooked before adding any type of salad dressing.
  • Dark meat turkey has a higher fat percentage; 4 grams of fat or more per 3-1/2 ounces.
  • Never stuff a turkey or other fowl with warm stuffing and leave overnight, even if refrigerated. Always keep the stuffing separate and stuff before cooking.
  • Never leave gravy, stuffing or cooked turkey at room temperature for more than 30 to 45 minutes before refrigerating.
  • A 3-1/2 ounce serving of white meat turkey without the skin contains only 115 calories and one gram of fat, which is approximately 10 percent less than white meat chicken.
  • Turkeys reach maturity in 14 to 22 weeks. They are more tender than chickens and have proportionally more breast meat.
  • When stuffing a turkey, try sealing the opening with a small raw potato.
  • To keep white meat on a turkey from drying out, try cooking the turkey breast-side down, then turn it right side up for the last hour. Juices will not buildup in this period of time and the bird will be easy to turn, especially if you use a V-rack.

All Poultry

  • Ground poultry in supermarkets usually contain dark meat, skin and a high amount of fat.
  • Ground poultry should be labeled 98-percent fat free by weight.
  • Dental floss makes an excellent truss for fowl.
  • Cook all poultry to a center temperature of 185 degrees.
  • Use poultry shears to de-bone a fowl, it’s better than hacking it to pieces.
  • A significant number of the poultry labeled fresh has been frozen and defrosted. This may affect the quality of he product.
  • After working with raw poultry, wash your hands, the utensils used and the surface before placing any other food on it. Poultry can be contaminated with a number of bacteria.
  • One of the easiest ways to singe a fowl is to saturate a wad of cotton with rubbing alcohol. Place it on the end of a short wire, and light it. This will never leave any black marks.
  • A quick way to stuff small poultry is to use salad tongs to insert the stuffing.
  • Use white cotton gloves to remove fat from inside chickens and turkeys, however, if you use your hands they are more easily washed for reuse.
  • Breast meat on migratory fowls is dark. The reason it’s white on the supermarket birds is that they do not fly and exercise.

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