The way chicken used to taste

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Ashphalt
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RE: The way chicken used to taste 2006/08/29 10:38:56 (permalink)
Interesting that in both the cases of Kosher and brined chicken you're talking about meat that's been treated with salt. I don't think of that as being the way chicken used to taste (not to say it's bad, or that I was there). BTW - how do they get those kosher roosters to wear their little yarmulkes?

My parents, children of the Depression, always insisted that chicken was the only thing that was better when I was a kid than when they were. I gather that chicken for them was frequently an old hen that was past her peak and sacrificed for dinner. They especially loved Purdue chickens when they hit the market in the early 70s. Tender, fatty, juicy and almost all white meat.

I also recall getting chickens when we were camping in the Florida Keys in the early 60s. They were locally produced and not from factory henhouses. We called them Pelicans. Tough, gummy, and gamy-tasting.

But I do sometimes buy organic or free-range chicken when it's on sale and there is a discernible difference. Definitely a more pronounced flavor, a bit leaner, frequently a little tougher than the falling-off-the bone Purdues we're used to, and tend to take a bit more cooking for the dark meat. They take brine very well. We like them for a change. We also find the air-chilled (rather than water soaked) chicken, natural or conventional, to be a bit firmer and more flavorful than most store birds.
#31
V960
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RE: The way chicken used to taste 2006/08/31 10:45:20 (permalink)
As a very small hobby farmer (the farm is small, not me) who is a sustainable ag nut I am quite pleased to read this thread. We used to have a CSA group but quit after the new organic laws went through and we had an incident w/ some PETA folks.

Our chickens roam where ever they please all day long. Our pigs are raised in pastures not concrete pens.

Another factor not mentioned is breeds. Todays pigs, chickens and just about everything else (unless you seek heirlom breeds, see website below) are engineered for production NOT taste. My chickens don't raise chicks...it has been bred out of them. In six years, we have had ONE single hen that raised chicks.

http://www.albc-usa.org/

Most pigs are not what was available years ago. Very lean w/ almost no fat. The processors want them delivered at between 220# and 230#...all the equipment is sized for them. Chickens are pretty much the same...standards are the rule. BTW, both pigs and chickens are usually fed antibiotics in their feed from birth to death.

Beef is a bit different. They get a growth hormone implant just after having their goodies removed.

http://www.mindfully.org/Farm/2003/RALGRO-Implant-Advertising28dec03.htm

These steers will weigh an extra 60-80 pounds at slaughter...the difference between profit and loss for a rancher. The markets demanded these changes.

Americans want meat delivered under plastic. "Easy peasey, nice and easy". A steak in a meat counter doesn't relate to a doe eyed steer.

On the flip side my Latino, Oriental and Muslim customers want the animal alive. They want to kill it and clean it. Whole new meaning to fresh meat.



#32
Sundancer7
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RE: The way chicken used to taste 2006/08/31 13:20:20 (permalink)
V960: What makes the chicks infertile??

Another factor not mentioned is breeds. Todays pigs, chickens and just about everything else (unless you seek heirlom breeds, see website below) are engineered for production NOT taste. My chickens don't raise chicks...it has been bred out of them. In six years, we have had ONE single hen that raised chicks.

Why do you buy the infertile chicks?

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
#33
V960
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RE: The way chicken used to taste 2006/09/05 14:23:42 (permalink)
The hens or eggs are not infertile. The hens just won't sit on the eggs.

The eggs are fertile, I incubate them and produce chicks that then either have to be taken care of by a capon or brooded away from the existing flock. If you dump small chicks in w/ the flock 1)its too cold for them and 2) the hens will attack and kill them.

The chickens are not infertile but the mothering instinct has been bred out of almost all of today's breeds. The instinct for sex in the males is still alive and well. Basically none of my hens have any feathers on their backs...the roosters spurs tear them off.
#34
spicoli
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RE: The way chicken used to taste 2006/10/17 13:19:19 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by renfrew

Yep, it is pretty awesome. Only seen it in the NY/CT/MA area though.


Trader Joe's sells it in their CA stores.
#35
lleechef
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RE: The way chicken used to taste 2006/10/17 14:50:58 (permalink)
Since this thread popped up again, I have a recent chicken story. We decided to have chicken fajitas Sunday night for supper so I went to Stater Bros. and got some boneless/skinless chicken breasts. Came home and made the fajitas......tasted pretty good. Of course when you get the spices, onion, pepper, tomato, cheese, etc. all rolled up in a flour tortilla, you could be eating anything. Later in the evening I ate just a piece of the chicken. Something was WRONG. So I checked the label......"enhanced for flavor and juciness with up to 15% water, salt and sodium phosphate". What the f^^^??!! I never asked for "enhanced" chicken! So in order to use up more of this nasty chicken I made gumbo last night. The roux was perfect, I browned the chicken, added the roux with the vegetables, last the okra. I never touched the salt. It was so salty I couldn't finish my bowl of gumbo. The rest of the chicken breasts are going in the trash.
#36
1bbqboy
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RE: The way chicken used to taste 2006/10/17 15:09:20 (permalink)
Well, aside from the fact boneless skinless=no taste, no matter how healthy, (I go with the Bone In Breast Pak Family Size-so I can throw a few in for soup/broth),
I agree with you.
We are lucky in Southern Oregon to get several Organic Brands of Chicken.
Here's One-
http://www.petalumapoultry.com/










0, I agree
#37
lleechef
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RE: The way chicken used to taste 2006/10/17 15:35:38 (permalink)
Hey everyone, bill voss is BACK!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!

I'm going to look at the labels very closely now when I buy any meat or poultry.

When I was the chef at the Trillium Restaurant in Traverse City, MI we bought Petaluma ducks......best duck I ever ate. I'm sure if I do my homework I can find organic chicken here, after all, I am next to Palm Springs, not out in the toolies of Alaska!
#38
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