CHICKEN FACTS

CHICKEN FACTS and SAFETY TIPS

CHICKEN FACTS and SAFETY TIPS

A CHICKEN BY ANY OTHER NAME

Cornish hens (very young chickens) go to market at 28 days, weigh less than 2 lb (1 kg) each and are usually sold frozen.

Broilers (sometimes called fryers) go to market at 39 to 42 days, usually weighing less than 4 lb (2 kg). Broilers are by far the most common size available and are the ones purchased by the food service industry for use in restaurants and fast food chicken outlets. The majority of chicken parts in the supermarket also come from broilers.

Roasters go to market after 50 days and typically weigh more than 4 lb (2 kg).

SHOPPING AND STORING Chicken

Select packages of meat and chicken that are cold and tightly wrapped without any tears or holes in the wrap. Only buy chicken marked “previously frozen” if you intend to cook it within one to three days.

Always check the label for the “best before” date or the “packaged on” date.

Pick up any meat or poultry (along with refrigerated and frozen foods) last.

Ask the cashier to pack chicken and meat separately from other items.

As soon as you get home, place packages on a tray and store in the coldest part of your refrigerator. Immediately freeze any chicken you do not intend to use within one to three days (see chart below) by enclosing the packages in plastic freezer bags or overwrapping them with heavy-duty foil.

AIR CHILLING VERSUS WATER CHILLING

Ever found yourself at the poultry section in your grocery store and wondered about the difference between water-chilled chicken and the chicken marketed as air-chilled? Well, the answer is simple enough. Air chilling is a process imported from Europe in which a scalded defeathered chicken is cooled using blasts of cold air. Air-chilled chicken tends to have a creamier colour and its skin often has a somewhat yellowish tinge, the result of an extra layer of skin being left on. Water chilling, as the name suggests, uses cold water to cool the chicken. Water-chilled chicken is usually whiter in colour. The different processing methods have no effect on the nutritional value of the meat nor the cooking time required.

PROPER COLD STORAGE OF CHICKEN

Refrigerator (40°F/4°C)

  • Whole chicken 2 to 3 days
  • Chicken pieces 2 to 3 days
  • Cooked chicken 3 to 4 days
  • Ground chicken 1 day

Freezer (0°F/-18°C)

  • Whole chicken 12 months
  • Chicken pieces 6 months
  • Cooked chicken 2 to 3 months
  • Ground chicken 2 to 3 months

SAFETY SMARTS For Chicken

SAFETY SMARTS For ChickenWash hands with soap and water before and after handling raw chicken.

After preparing raw chicken, wash all utensils and surfaces with hot, soapy water, then sanitize with a solution of one part bleach to four parts water. Leave on the surface for 45 seconds; rinse well with cold water.

Use separate plates, containers and utensils for raw and cooked chicken.

Do not let raw or cooked chicken stand at room temperature for longer than one hour; refrigerate.

Prevent cross-contamination by ensuring that juices and marinades from meat and poultry do not drip onto other foods.

When storing leftovers from a roast chicken, remove meat from bones and remove any stuffing from cavity.

NUTRITIONAL COMPARISON OF A CHICKEN BREAST & LEG

              
Chicken breast (based on a 100g serving, meat only, roasted -- about half a breast% Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)
Chicken breast (100g)Chicken leg (100g),
with back attached
Calories 159 caloriesIron7%10%
Protein33 gPhosphorous21%16%
Carbohydrates0 gMagnesium12%9%
Fat2.1 gZinc11%31%
Chicken leg, with back attached (based on a 100g serving meat only, roasted -- about half a leg)Vitamin B633%20%
Vitamin B1217%16%
Riboflavin7%14%
Calories 170 caloriesNiacin86%28%
Protein25 gThiamine5%6%
Carbohydrates0 gPantothenic
Fat6.9 gAcid14%17%

COOKING GUIDELINES FOR CHICKEN

The very best way to judge doneness is to use a meat thermometer. Invest in a reliable brand and always keep it handy

COOKING GUIDELINES FOR CHICKEN
CUTINTERNAL TEMPERATUREMAXIMUM GRILLING TIME (medium heat with lid down)MAXIMUM SKILLET COOKING TIME (medium-high heat)MAXIMUM ROASTING TIME (uncovered in 350°F/180°C oven)
Boneless skinless breast
● small (120 g)
● large (170 g)
170°F (77°C)10 minutes per side
15 minutes per side
9 minutes per side
14 minutes per side
Boneless skinless thigh
● small (120 g)
● large (170 g
170°F (77°C)9 minutes per side
12 minutes per side
Bone-in breast
● small (170 g)
● large (224 g)
170°F (77°C)11 minutes per side
14 minutes per side
Bone-in leg
● small (170 g)
● large (224 g)
170°F (77°C)28 minutes per side
36 minutes per side
Ground chicken patties (120 g)175°F (80°C)9 minutes per side8 minutes per side
Whole Chicken (1.5 kg), stuffed180°F (83°C)Not recommended2 hours & 20 minutes
Whole Chicken (1.5 kg), unstuffed180°F (83°C)1 hour2 hours & 20 minutes

In addition to checking for internal temperature, check for these visual clues: Wings, thighs and whole chicken are done when juices run clear when chicken is pierced. Breast pieces are done when no longer pink inside.

Ground chicken must always be cooked to well-done or until no longer pink and juices run clear.

TIPS

ALWAYS keep hot foods hot (above 140°F/60°C) and cold foods cold (below 40°F/4°C).

ALWAYS marinate (at any time of the year) in the refrigerator.

BEFORE immersing poultry in a marinade that can also be used as a dipping sauce, reserve between ¼ cup (50 mL) and ½ cup (125 mL) to use later as a condiment. Or boil any leftover marinade for 5 minutes to use as a sauce.

About Pat Tate

Always a very busy person Pat has been interested in cooking and collecting recipes. In an effort to sort out a mound of favorite recipes and to be able to pass them on to the next generation she started this site Family, Foods, and Friends. Again she invites people to join her and to share their cooking adventures.

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