Chicken is good for those who are looking for low-fat meat alternatives, and it is very easy to get any cut of chicken in the supermarket. When buying fresh chicken, you are already aware of the signs that the chicken is good and fresh, but sometimes you might see some red spots on the meat. We've researched what are the red spots on chicken to get an answer for you.
Generally speaking, the red spots you see on the surface of raw chicken meat are blood spots. These blood spots are caused by poor handling and processing of the meat, therefore causing the blood to show up. While it may look quite alarming, blood spots on the chicken are safe as long as you cook the meat properly.
It is easy to worry about the things we see on raw chicken, especially since spots can be a cause of concern. Fortunately, we've looked into the reasons for these red spots and how you can deal with them in this article. Keep on reading to learn more about how to spot good chicken meat and other tips for cooking them.
What Are The Red Spots On Chicken?
When shopping for ingredients, it is very important to check their quality. This is particularly important for raw meats, especially raw chicken because it is prone to contamination by bacteria like Salmonella or Clostridium perfringens. Eating bad quality chicken can be dangerous because it can cause severe food poisoning.
If you've shopped around for raw chicken meat in the supermarkets, you might sometimes find that some of them have red spots. These red spots on the meat of the chicken are usually blood spots on the surface of the meat. These spots appear when chickens are not well handled after being butchered.
The blood spot that you see on the surface of the chicken meat is usually from the blood that should've been drained from the packaging plant. Typically, these blood spots are seen on chicken parts that still have the bone in. These meats with blood spots are safe to eat.
If you find blood spots on your chicken meat, you can soak the chicken in cold water for a few minutes to remove most of the blood that is on the surface before you cook it. Alternatively, you can also remove the blood spots on the chicken by blanching it quickly in boiling water for a few minutes until the blood seeps out from the meat.
How Do You Get Chicken Without Red Spots?
Now that we know that blood spots on chicken meat aren't dangerous, you may be wondering if there are ways to get chicken meat that won't cause you to worry unnecessarily. As discussed earlier, blood spots are often caused by poor handling of the chickens after they are butchered.
The blood is simply the excess of what should've been drained before it was packaged.
You can get chicken without red spots by buying organic or certified humane chickens. Chickens raised on these farms are generally treated better and are raised in much better conditions.
These chickens are also free from hormones and antibiotics, making them a better, healthier choice for your meals.
If you find that organic chicken might be a little too expensive, you should still be able to buy good, quality chicken from the supermarket. You might have to buy multiple brands for this option but look for ones that have a good record of handling and packing their chickens well. You should be able to find one that will provide you with the best, freshest raw chicken for cooking.
What Should You Consider When Buying Raw Chicken?
When buying raw chicken, one should always be aware of the qualities that show its freshness. Having the best, freshest chicken available will ensure that your food will taste good and it will not cause any harm to those who will eat it.
Before setting out to buy chicken for your next meal, you should consider these things before buying:
Appearance and Aroma
Fresh chicken should always be pink. It should not look gray or dull, because this means that the chicken has been hanging out in the store for a while. You should also check on the crevices of the wings and thighs to see if the skin or meat has tears—if they do, don't buy it! This usually means that the chicken will go bad quicker.
Remember to also look at the fat of your chicken. Fresh chicken meat will always have white or deep yellow fat, and it should not look gray.
The aroma of your chicken should also be clean. It should not have a funky smell, and the appearance of the meat should go together with how it smells. Also, check the packaging for excess liquid. If you find that it has too much liquid, that means that the chicken has purged out the water ,and it often leads to soggy textured meat.
When shopping for fresh chicken, you should press on it to see the firmness of the meat. Fresh chicken meat will spring back when you press down on it. If it sinks or it feels hard, it's a sign that the chicken has been sitting around for quite some time.
You should also check if the chicken feels a little "bloated"—this usually indicates that the chicken has been injected with water to add weight to the meat.
If you are buying a whole bird, look for plump breasts. Your chicken should also have more breast meat than leg meat, and look for chickens that are young and tender.
A lot of people are unaware that chicken meat is also graded. The USDA also uses an A-B-C grading system for poultry meat, with class A being the best quality out of the three.
You should also look into buying chicken that is antibiotic-free because these chickens were raised without hormones or antibiotics. Avoid chickens that are also "enhanced" because these chickens are typically injected or soaked in a solution before packaging. It can greatly alter the taste and feel of your chicken.
How Long Can You Freeze Chicken?
Sometimes, we just don't have the time to buy fresh chicken every time we want to prepare a meal for the family. For the purpose of convenience, a lot of people prefer to freeze their meat. You can also do the same for chicken, but how long can it stay frozen?
According to the USDA, there are different timelines for storing raw chicken in the freezer. A whole fresh chicken can be frozen for up to a year, and chopped chicken parts can be kept in the freezer for nine months.
Keeping the raw chicken at its freshest quality can be a little difficult if you are planning to freeze it. The USDA suggests that you should overwrap the original packaging with aluminum foil to prolong it in storage. You can also transfer your fresh chicken to a freezer bag, making sure to take out as much air as you can before storing it.
The best method, however, is by vacuum-sealing your fresh chicken. This will give your chicken meat a prolonged storage life in the freezer.
How Do You Thaw Frozen Chicken?
Just like handling the chicken before freezing, you should also thaw your chicken safely to prevent bacteria from growing in your meat. Aside from proper cooking, the frozen chicken should be thawed properly and in its proper packaging.
You can thaw frozen chicken inside the refrigerator for about one to two days. Another option would be to submerge the leak-proof plastic packaging in cold water for a few hours, changing the water every 30 minutes to make sure that the water stays cold.
Chicken is one of the most versatile meats that you can get for your meals. Buying it in its freshest form is one the best ways to get that delicious meal, but there are certain factors that you might worry about when purchasing raw meat. As long are you are aware of the considerations for buying raw chicken, you should be able to get the best quality without the worrisome red spots.
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