If buying a
fresh chicken - one that has not been frozen in any way - the way to
tell its age it to feel the breastbone with your thumb and finger: a
young bird should feel soft and flexible.
is always more expensive than frozen but has a better flavor, and
free-range chicken has the best flavor of all. A fresh bird will keep
for up to 2 days in the refrigerator before cooking, but remove any
tight wrappings, and cover loosely to allow air to circulate. For longer
storage, freeze on the day of purchase. Remove the giblets too, and
store them separately.
The distinction between chicken stock and
chicken broth is practically nonexistent. Traditionally, stock includes bones
and some seasonings, such as celery and parsley, but broth is just the meat and
water. That distinction is all but forgotten, so when buying ready-made chicken
stock for soups, whether in cans, tubs, or resealable boxes, don't worry about
If you don't have a rotisserie or other cooked
chicken, the fastest way to get cooked chicken is to poach it. Put a whole raw
chicken into a large saucepan. Cover it with cold water and bring to a boil over
medium-high heat. Simmer for 30-40 minutes and remove to a plate. Allow to cool
before removing the meat. Boneless chicken breasts cut into strips are
great for stir-fries and they make for terrific and fast chicken fajitas. Designed for poultry, corn and peanut fritters
are superb when serve hot and are especially recommended as an accompaniment
to Chicken Maryland and ready prepared packets of Chicken Kiev or
Chicken Cordon Bleu.
More Chicken Recipes
How to Carve Poultry ?