Tag Archives: chicken


Photo By Royale Photography (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
 The Ameraucana is an American breed developed in the 1970’s.  It was derived from the Araucana breed from Chile and was bred to produce blue egg color.  This breed was added to the American Standard of Perfection in 1984, and is recognized in 8 colors.  The Ameraucana typically starts laying at around 5 months of age and produces approximately 250 eggs per year of various shades.

Source Wikipedia



When cooking your chicken, here are some general guidelines to help prepare it safely:
Cleanliness–Make sure everything is prepared and cleaned to prevent bacteria from getting on the food. It is important to wash your hands before and after handling the food. Also make sure that all of the cooking dishes you use are clean.
Separate–You want to avoid cross-contamination with other foods. It is important to keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs separate. Before preparing your raw chicken, you should not rinse it in your sink. The bacteria can easily be spread from your sink to your countertops and onto the other food you are preparing. The only way to kill this bacterium is to cook it to a safe internal temperature. It is recommended to have at least 2 cutting boards as well (one for fresh produce, one for raw meats).
Cooking–When cooking poultry you want to make sure that is cooked thoroughly. Poultry should always be cooked to 165 degrees internal temperature. You can use a meat thermometer to make sure this is done accurately, and it is not recommended to just judge the poultry by the “color test”. Just because it isn’t pink or odd colored anymore doesn’t mean that it has been cooked thoroughly.
Chilling—it is best to select the poultry items you wish to purchase from the store as one of your last items in the cart as to keep it cold longer. Once you get it home it should immediately go into the refrigerator or the freezer. Your refrigerator should maintain a temperature of about 40 degrees (F). You should thaw the frozen poultry in the refrigerator instead of on the countertop or in cold water. This helps prevent the spread of bacteria. It is recommended to refrigerate leftovers within an hour or two after cooking; they will then be safe to eat for the next two-three days.

Source: http://www.nationalchickencouncil.org/ncc-partnership-food-safety-education-remind-consumers-safe-handling-cooking-practices-prevent-illness/

Compiled by Cory Johnson

Chicken labeling definitions.

The Food industry uses many different terms on it’s label to advertise it’s products. These terms can be a bit confusing trying to figure out what makes them different from each other. Here are a few definitions from the National Chicken Council to hopefully help clear up some of the confusion.

Free Range
There’s no precise federal government definition of “free range,” so the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approves these label claims on a case-by-case basis. USDA generally permits the term to be used if chickens have access to the outdoors for at least some part of the day, whether the chickens choose to go outside or not. In practice, most chickens stay close to water and feed, which is usually located within the chicken house. Chicken labeled as “organic” must also be “free-range,” but not all “free-range” chicken is also “organic.” Less than 1% of chickens nationwide are raised as “free range,” according to the National Chicken Council (NCC).

All chickens are raised on farms. So any chicken could be labeled “farm-raised.” When this term is used on restaurant menus and the like, it usually refers to chickens raised on a local farm.

Under USDA regulations, a “natural” product has no artificial ingredients, coloring ingredients, or chemical preservatives, and is minimally processed, just enough to get it ready to be cooked. Most ready-to-cook chicken can be labeled “natural,” if processors choose to do so.

The USDA has a very specific rule to define “organic” production and prohibits the use of the term “organic” on packaging of any food product not produced in accordance with its rule. According to USDA, the organic label does not indicate that the product has safety, quality or nutritional attributes that are any higher than conventionally raised product.

No Hormones Added
Despite what you may hear, no artificial or added hormones are used in the production of any poultry in the United States. Regulations of the Food & Drug Administration prohibit the use of such hormones. No such hormones are used. So any brand of chicken can be labeled “Raised without hormones” or something like that. However, any package of chicken with that type of label must also have a statement that no hormones are used in the production of any poultry.

“Raised without Antibiotics” or “Antibiotic-Free”
“Raised without Antibiotics” on a package of chicken indicates that the flock was raised without the use of products classified as antibiotics for animal health maintenance, disease prevention or treatment of disease. Animal health products not classified as antibiotics (such as some coccidiostats, which control protozoal parasites) may still be used. “Antibiotic free” is not allowed to be used on a label but may be found in marketing materials not regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It means the same thing as “Raised without Antibiotics.” All chicken is “antibiotic-free” in the sense that no antibiotic residues are present in the meat due to the withdrawal periods and other precautions required by the government and observed by the chicken companies

Enhanced Chicken Products
Some fresh (raw and uncooked) chicken products are enhanced with chicken broth or a similar solution. The presence and percentage of the broth or other solution must be stated clearly and the actual ingredients listed on the label. Both enhanced and non-enhanced products are currently available in the marketplace.

Sodium is used in the broth or solution of some enhanced products, usually at very low levels. The presence of salt or sodium is noted on the label.

“Retained Water”
A “retained water” statement, such as “May contain up to 6% retained water” or “Less than 4% retained water,” is often found on packages of fresh poultry. USDA prohibits retention of moisture in meat and poultry except for the amount that results from essential safety procedures, such as chilling processed chickens in ice-cold water to reduce their temperature and retard the growth of spoilage bacteria and other microorganisms. If any moisture is retained by the product after this procedure, it must be stated on the label.

All-Vegetable Diet
Poultry feed is made primarily from corn and soybean meal. Poultry feed sometimes includes some processed protein and fats and oils from meat and poultry by-products. The composition of all animal feed ingredients used in the United States is regulated by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). If the chicken company chooses not to use these ingredients, the feed would contain no ingredients derived from animals and could be described as “all vegetable.”

Chickens: Made in the USA
Nearly all the chickens and chicken products sold in the United States come from chickens hatched, raised and processed in the United States. The only exception is a small amount imported from Canada, which has food safety and quality standards equal to our own.

Top 10 Ways Chicken Contributes to a Healthy Diet.

The information below comes from the National Chicken Council’s website. As you are probably aware, chicken is one of the best sources for lean protein around. Read below to see why!

WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 14, 2014 – According to health professionals and nutritionists, protein is the cornerstone of a healthy and balanced diet. Chicken is one of the best sources of what nutritionists call “high-quality” protein. The body uses it to create new cells, repair existing ones and produce the enzymes necessary to boost metabolism and promote healthy digestion.

To read more about the importance of protein in your diet, see this article by the National Chicken Council.

There are a number of benefits to gain, simply by incorporating chicken into your diet. Read on to learn more and eat your way to a healthier 2014!

1. Only 4 grams of total fat in a skinless chicken breast serving—only 6 percent of the daily recommended intake.
2. 5 to 7 ounces of protein should be eaten by Americans on a daily basis, according to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines. A 3.5 ounce serving of chicken has half the daily recommendation of protein. Chicken is a high quality protein because it contains all of the essential amino acids and has a great nutrient per calorie ratio. The American Heart Association also promotes chicken as one of the best ways to keep cholesterol levels down naturally.
3. Only 9 grams of fat in a 3.5 ounce serving of dark meat. Though dark meat is slightly higher in fat than white meat, it’s still lower than most cuts of red meat and a great (and flavorful) source of iron and other nutrients. Don’t fear the legs and thighs!
4. 2014 Dietary Trends all incorporate chicken, including Paleo, DASH, MyPlate, Weight Watchers and the Dukan Diet, famously employed by Kate Middleton in the months leading up to the Royal Wedding.
5. Affordable – Chicken is not only the best protein option for your waistline, it’s the best option for your wallet. You can even take the money you save on chicken and put it towards a gym membership!
6. Natural – There are no artificial or added hormones used in the production of any U.S. chicken. In fact, the use of such hormones is expressly forbidden by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Labels that read: “Raised without hormones” are redundant and must also include a statement saying that no hormones are used in the production of any poultry raised in the United States.
7. Nutrient-Rich – Chicken is a great source of iron and zinc, as well as Vitamins B3, B6, B7 and B12, helping boost metabolism and the immune system, while also lowering cholesterol and promoting normal function of the brain and nervous system.
8. Weight Loss – Chicken can help you lose weight because protein helps regulate appetite and cravings by making you feel fuller longer. Our protein needs are determined by lean body mass, not calories, so as calories are decreased on a weight loss plan, protein intake should stay the same, or even increase if you want to preserve muscle.
9. Versatile – Chicken is the little black dress of protein—it’s always in style and goes with everything. Use it for “planned-overs,” not leftovers. Use grilled or baked chicken throughout the week to make simple, healthy dinners, served over a salad of mixed greens, or mixed with peppers and onions for fajitas.
10. Winter blues getting to you? Chicken is high in an amino acid called tryptophan. If you’re feeling seasonal depression kick in eating chicken will increase the serotonin levels in your brain, which will help to improve your mood and kick stress to the curb.

“Chicken is my go-to food for nutrition, taste and easy prep,” says Sheah Rarback, a registered dietician, nutrition columnist for the Miami Herald and faculty member of the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami. “It is multi-cultural and tastes terrific in Italian, Spanish, Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine as well as the classic American chicken salad. A neat 4 ounce portion is less than 200 calories and provides 36 muscle-building grams of protein.”

For chicken recipes, visit www.chickeneverymonth.com and www.eatchicken.com.