How To Buy Chicken
Protein is essential in a healthy diet, so if you don’t already know how, you need to learn how to buy chicken, since it is the foundation of so many delicious meals. You can get creative with marinades, sauces and gravies for your chicken, or keep it simple and just grill it. But first, you must go to the store and purchase your chicken.
Calculate how much chicken you’ll need for the recipe. If you’re serving yourself and one other person, a whole chicken may be too much meat, unless you plan to brownbag the next day. A general rule of thumb is to purchase one to two pieces per person, based on the appetites of the individuals.
- Consider organically grown or free-range chicken. To be certified as organically raised chickens, they must be fed clean, vegetarian diets. If they’re free-range, they must have been raised outside pens and not been contained in cages.
- White or dark meat—choose the parts. If your recipe is specific and calls for breasts or thighs, you’ll want to purchase according to that. However, if it doesn’t matter in the outcome of the dish, find out if your guests prefer white or dark meat.
- Pick the freshest chicken available. Look at the dates on the package. Then check out the color of the chicken and look for a light, creamy yellow skin.
- Chicken should not smell bad. If you catch a whiff of something funky as you pull the pack of drumsticks from the meat shelf, take it over to the butcher and report the culprit. Whatever you do, don’t buy the stinky chicken.
- The chicken should be in a sealed package in the refrigerated section of the meat department. If the package is broken, or the chicken area isn’t cold, you run the risk of salmonella and other yucky diseases that can take a wonderful evening and make it foul.
- After you pay for the chicken, make sure it’s bagged separately from other grocery items. Otherwise, leaking juices may cause cross contamination.
After you figure out how to buy chicken, take it home, fire up the grill, mix up a saucy marinade and toss a couple of potatoes into the oven. You’re an expert chicken picker now, so it’s time to show off your culinary skills!