You’ve been buying chicken wrong your whole life

Did you know there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about buying chicken? Seriously, if you really want to get paranoid about it, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do absolutely everything. And chances are you’re not doing absolutely everything perfectly. Unless, of course, you’re Martha Stewart, who even turned a jail sentence into a good thing.

If you’re an ordinary mortal instead of a domestic goddess, don’t look on your no-doubt lengthy list of “wrong ways” as proof that you’re messing up in life, just look at them as opportunities to improve yourself one quick, easy step at a time. Today’s step, selecting a better cut of chicken at the supermarket, couldn’t be any simpler: pass on boneless, skinless cuts in favor of bone-in and skin-on. Not only are these much cheaper since they require less processing on the butcher’s end, but the bones actually impart more flavor, per Bon Appetit. Plus, Eat This, Not That! notes that the fat from chicken skin keeps your meat moist and delicious.

Advanced tips for buying chicken

If you’re already buying bone-in, it’s time to up your game to pro-level chicken buyer. The first thing you should be doing is checking the color of the chicken you’re buying (which is a little more difficult, though not impossible, to do with skin-on chicken). The flesh of the chicken should be a healthy, fleshy pink. Claudia Sidoti, head chef at Hello Fresh, explained to Eat This, Not That!, “As [chicken] starts to go bad, the color fades to a shade of grey. If the color starts to look duller, you should use it immediately.”

Should funds permit, you may also wish to look for pasture-raised chicken. Although the concept may sound kind of gross in that pasture-raised chickens, being chickens, are going to be feeding on a lot of bugs, as well as whatever vegetation they can forage, bugs equal high-quality protein. The Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative says that the meat from pasture-raised chickens has higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fat than does that from factory-farmed hens, and yet its overall level of saturated fat is 30 percent lower. You could also look for locally-sourced chicken if you aspire to be an ethical carnivore. As nutrition expert Katie Boyd points out on her blog, knowing where your meat comes from “is so important to make sure the quality and the ethical treatment of the animals is high.”

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