When storing uncooked and cooked meats of all kinds in the refrigerator or freezer, place your cooked meats on the upper shelves, with the raw meats on the bottom shelf. This way, if for some reason there is raw meat leakage, you won't contaminate the other foods. Frozen vegetables should also be placed above the cooked meats and raw meats.
If you should discover leakage, thoroughly clean the shelf before replacing/placing any other foods there. Re-wrap the leaking package, cook or re-refrigerate.
Little Known Facts About Chickens
- According to the National Broiler Council, the national association for the chicken industry: if you don't eat the skin, you'll skip half the fat -- or more! Ouch!
- There are more chickens in the world than any other domesticated bird. More than one chicken for every human.
- Chickens and turkeys have been known to cross-breed, known as "Turkins".
- The closest living relative to the t-rex dinosaur is the chicken.
- The chicken was once considered a sacred animal symbolizing the sun. Breeds were developed to provide plumage for ceremonial costumes.
- Two whole chicken breasts (1 1/2 pounds with skin and bone) or 3/4 pound chicken breast (boned, skinned) yield about 2 cups.
- Substitute three 5-ounce cans of boned chicken for 2 cups of cubed cooked chicken.
- Most deli roasted chickens weigh 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 pounds. Smaller birds provide 2 1/2 to 3 cups of cut-up chicken, larger ones supply 4 to 4 1/2 cups.
- Figure 2 cups of cut-up chicken for four people when making sandwiches, stir-fries, casseroles, soups and salads.
How to Handle Chicken Safely
Chicken is kept cold during distribution to retail stores to prevent the growth of bacteria and to increase its shelf life. Chicken should feel cold to the touch when purchased. Select fresh chicken just before checking out at the register. Put packages of chicken in disposable plastic bags (if available) to contain any leakage which could cross-contaminate cooked foods or produce. Make the grocery your last stop before going home.
At home, immediately place chicken in a refrigerator that maintains 40 °F, and use within 1 or 2 days, or freeze at 0 °F. If kept frozen continuously, it will be safe indefinitely.
Chicken may be frozen in its original packaging or repackaged. If freezing longer than two months, over wrap the porous store plastic packages with airtight heavy-duty foil, plastic wrap or freezer paper, or place the package inside a freezer bag. Use these materials or airtight freezer containers to repackage family packs into smaller amounts or freeze the chicken from opened packages.
Proper wrapping prevents "freezer burn," which appears as grayish-brown leathery spots and is caused by air reaching the surface of food. Cut freezer-burned portions away either before or after cooking the chicken. Heavily freezer-burned products may have to be discarded because they might be too dry or tasteless.
When purchasing fully cooked rotisserie or fast food chicken, be sure it is hot at time of purchase. Use it within two hours or cut it into several pieces and refrigerate in shallow, covered containers. Eat within 3 to 4 days, either cold or reheated to 165 °F (hot and steaming). It is safe to freeze ready-prepared chicken. For best quality, flavor and texture, use within 4 months.
FSIS recommends three ways to defrost chicken: in the refrigerator, in cold water and in the microwave. Never defrost chicken on the counter or in other locations. It's best to plan ahead for slow, safe thawing in the refrigerator. Boneless chicken breasts will usually defrost overnight. Bone-in parts and whole chickens may take 1 to 2 days or longer. Once the raw chicken defrosts, it can be kept in the refrigerator an additional day or two before cooking. During this time, if chicken defrosted in the refrigerator is not used, it can safely be refrozen without cooking first.
Chicken may be defrosted in cold water in its airtight packaging or in a leak proof bag. Submerge the bird or cut-up parts in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes to be sure it stays cold. A whole (3 to 4-pound) broiler fryer or package of parts should defrost in 2 to 3 hours. A 1-pound package of boneless breasts will defrost in an hour or less.
Chicken defrosted in the microwave should be cooked immediately after thawing because some areas of the food may become warm and begin to cook during microwaving. Holding partially cooked food is not recommended because any bacteria present wouldn't have been destroyed. Foods defrosted in the microwave or by the cold water method should be cooked before refreezing.
Do not cook frozen chicken in the microwave or in a slow cooker. However, chicken can be cooked from the frozen state in the oven or on the stove. The cooking time may be about 50% longer.
WASH HANDS, UTENSILS, SINK AND EVERYTHING THAT HAS BEEN IN CONTACT WITH RAW CHICKEN. Sanitize the counter, sinks and any containers or trays that have been used. Use a solution of 1 teaspoon of unscented chlorine bleach in 1 quart of water, and let dry completely.
Practice Food Safety and reduce the possibility of food contamination and illness.
Why did the Chicken cross the road?
Did the chicken cross the road?
Did he cross it with a toad?
Yes! the chicken crossed the road,
but why it crossed, I've not been told!
"In my day, we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Someone told us that the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough for us."
Why did the chicken cross the road halfway?
She wanted to lay it on the line.
Why did the Roman chicken cross the road?
She was afraid someone would caesar!
A man was driving along a freeway when he noticed a chicken running alongside his car. He was amazed to see the chicken keeping up with him, as he was doing 50 mph. He accelerated to 60, and the chicken stayed right next to him. He sped up to 75 mph, and the chicken passed him. The man noticed that the chicken had three legs. So he followed the chicken down a road and ended up at a farm. He got out of his car and saw that all the chickens had three legs. He asked the farmer, "What's up with these chickens?" The farmer said "Well, everybody likes chicken legs, so I bred a three-legged bird. I'm going to be a millionaire." The man asked him how they tasted. The farmer said, "Don't know, haven't caught one yet." (Molly - Ohio/USA)