Learn About Poultry

Author: Chef Toby

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What is poultry?

Poultry is a category of domestic or wild birds used for food. Common types of poultry include chicken, turkey, duck, and cornish game hens. When purchased ready for cooking, raw poultry meat is somewhat slippery, firm, and pale pink in color. When cooked, poultry turns white or tan, depending on the cut of the meat. 

Whole Roasted Duck

What does poultry taste like?

Depending on the bird type, all poultry meat has a similar, meaty flavor with slight variations. Chicken is mild, with some richness coming from the skin and fat. Turkey has a bit stronger flavor, and duck meat is juicier and more flavorful due to its higher fat content.

What are some ways to eat poultry?

You can eat poultry by boiling, roasting, frying, grilling, and searing. Chicken soup is a common dish made with a whole chicken, vegetables, and sometimes pasta. Roasted turkey is a common holiday food that many enjoy during Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other major holidays. Buffalo chicken wings are a popular food enjoyed at restaurants and are made with fried chicken wings and hot sauce. Poultry is a great protein source and is often served as the main part of the meal with vegetables, pasta, or grains. 

Marinated and grilled chicken legs.

Where can you buy poultry?

Chicken, the most common type of poultry, can be purchased at all supermarkets year-round. Find it behind the butcher’s counter, or in the refrigerated meats section. You can purchase it whole, or broken up into pieces, like breasts, thighs, and legs. Turkey can also be purchased year-round but is easier to find during the holiday season, from November through January. Cooked and thinly sliced chicken and turkey are also available in the deli section of the grocery store.

How do you store poultry?

Like other meats, poultry is susceptible to spreading bacteria when raw, so it must be stored and handled properly. Keep poultry stored in a plastic bag or its packaging in the refrigerator or freezer. Freezing poultry before the expiration date will keep it safe to eat for up to a few months. 

Fun Fact About Poultry

There are more chickens on the planet than there are people. There are about 25 billion chickens on earth.

Did you know?

The modern consumption of poultry is tied to the ancient sport of chicken fights. In ancient China, chickens were kept in captivity and bread, which led to the modern domestication of chickens. 

Recipes Using Poultry

Roasted Chicken 

In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, olive oil, smoked paprika, mustard, and stir to make a paste. Using a spoon, lift the chicken’s skin from the meat to make room for the rub. Put the rub under the skin and massage it to spread. Add the rub on the skin of the chicken as well and rub to coat. Roast the chicken in a dutch oven until the chicken until juicy. 

Turkey Pesto Sandwich

On your favorite sandwich bread, spread pesto sauce on both slices of bread. With the pesto side up on one slice of bread, top with deli-sliced turkey breast, sliced tomato, fresh mozzarella cheese, and balsamic vinegar glaze. Top with the other slice of bread and eat as is or heat the sandwich on a skillet with butter until the bread is crispy. 

Orange Chicken

Make a healthier version of this takeout favorite that is just as tasty. Using a frying pan, cook bite-sized pieces of chicken thighs, and set them aside. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, grated ginger, grated garlic, brown sugar, rice vinegar, orange juice, and zest. In your frying pan, add this mixture and bring to a simmer. Using another small bowl, combine corn starch with water and add to the sauce. As the sauce thickens and comes to a boil, add in the pieces of chicken and toss to coat them in the sticky sauce. Serve the chicken with steamed jasmine rice and vegetables with carrots and broccoli for a complete dinner.

Breaded Chicken

To make this dish, start by using a meat tenderizer to even out the thickness of chicken breast tenders. Coat the chicken in flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs, and fry them in a frying pan with olive oil.


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