Organic Chickens


 

Greg in Utah

TVWBB Pro
I’m 55, and for at least 54 years I’ve really liked chicken. This year however, when I cooked a whole chicken I ended up giving most of the white meat to the dogs. Brining helps, and I’m not overcooking the meat. At first, I figured it was me, and that my sense of taste had changed. The texture seemed off as well. I remember thinking “this could be tofu”, which is not a compliment .

Recently, a friend who has never liked chicken (he does like Turkey) came back from Peru and talked about how much better the chickens tasted down there.

This made me decide to try different chickens than the usual grocery store brands. I’ve tried the following in the last month:

Trader Joe’s Heirloom Chicken - Interesting bird. Seemed to have larger wings and legs, and proportionally smaller breasts. Meatier texture. Good flavor, especially the dark meat.

Trader Joe’s Organic, Free Range - I didn’t like paying 14 bucks for a chicken but this was an experiment. I liked it. This bird also had a meatier texture and the flavor was good . It tasted like chicken 😂 with some Turkeyish notes. I posted the pics of this one in the photo section.

Costco Organic - Nothing stated about “free range” on the package. 22 dollars for 2 birds. I froze one and roasted the other i the oven. Bird was cut into quarters , salted, rested in the fridge for 5 hours.
HdP and black pepper added and roasted at 400 degrees . I liked it. The texture of the meat on all 3 of these birds was better.

I still have some “normal“ chickens in my freezers. I intend to try one the next time I feel like chicken.
At this point , I have to wonder if the regular old $5 grocery store yardbirds are what has changed ?

Maybe there are some brands that don’t have mushy, tasteless (tofu) white meat ?

I’d be curious if anyone else has experienced anything like this .
 

LMichaels

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Try getting one of the air chilled organic birds. One of the companies is Smart Chicken. They're from here in Illinois and a little hard to find. So unsure of where they distribute
 

Rich Dahl

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I agree chicken has changed over the past few years. Safeway had BSCBs on sale so we picked up a large amount at $.99 Lb. First thing I noticed was that they were huge, almost like a small turkey breast. I weighed a few and most were in the 1 1/2lb. range. I've cooked a few and they are on the tuff side and not much flavor.
I tried grilling, slow cooker (soup) and the instant pot, all about the same results. Going forward I think I'll stick to thighs for my chicken.
 

LMichaels

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
Most likely. The water bath is a heavily chlorinated solution. Basically salty diluted bleach
 

Steve Petrone

TVWBB Diamond Member
The sad truth is that 'corp' manufactured food is NOT the same food we ate decades ago, much less what previous generations ate. I am not a food scientist-the mere term should raise concern about what is offered for sale. Sorry to be a negative here. I hope you find good food that is both safe and nutritious.
 

BobH-SCW

TVWBB Fan
We've found that the green package organics seem to taste better than the low priced store variety. CU's chicken review a few years ago convinced me.My wife won't go near thighs-too fatty.
 

Mark Foreman

TVWBB All-Star
I am fortunate. I live in Sonoma county CA and we get unfrozen, organic, free range chickens. I am spoiled and am more than willing to pay the extra money. We get them from Petaluma Poultry or several CSAs.

History note... there was a time when Petaluma was the chicken capital of the world.
 

Chuck G

TVWBB Member
I’ve heard several times they grow chickens so fast it makes the breast meat stringy.
after trying a few free-range birds, I tend to agree,
 

Ron De Hoogh

TVWBB Pro
I just did some leg quarters from a butcher near me, good flavor and texture and minimally processed and no "solution" as far as I can tell
 

Karl Quist

TVWBB Pro
Alex, what's my price?
That made me snort laugh. :)

I recently started buying the Costco Organic packs. They do seem to be better than the stuff on sale at the grocery store.

Of all the many things I have bought at Trader Joe's, I have never tried their chicken. Maybe I should. :unsure:
 

John K BBQ

TVWBB All-Star
I’m 55, and for at least 54 years I’ve really liked chicken. This year however, when I cooked a whole chicken I ended up giving most of the white meat to the dogs. Brining helps, and I’m not overcooking the meat. At first, I figured it was me, and that my sense of taste had changed. The texture seemed off as well. I remember thinking “this could be tofu”, which is not a compliment .

Recently, a friend who has never liked chicken (he does like Turkey) came back from Peru and talked about how much better the chickens tasted down there.
I had a similar experience as your friend had, when I had the privilege of visiting Costa-Rica. The chicken there was WAY better than the typical grocery story birds we buy in the St. Louis area, where the flavor and texture of breast meat on the lower cost poultry is hit and miss IMO. I agree that the free range/organic birds seem over priced but possibly worth it. I would say especially worth it if you are executing a new/special recipe or for a special occasion.
 

LMichaels

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
I don't think the term "organic" on the package changes the taste or texture of store bought chickens. They're all processed the same way and grown the same way (FAST). That is the reason for lack of taste and weird texture along with how they're treated after being "dispatched". The thing to find would be pastured birds. They will be outside, scratching for food, eating what comes along, and in general being what they truly were meant to be descendants of dinosaurs :D
 

russ olin

TVWBB Platinum Member
A few years back we tried the Smart brand chickens from our local speciality food store. After that we were hooked. Chicken taste like chicken.
Its all we buy & its worth the extra bucks per bird. Store bought chicken always had a funny taste near the bone when we used to eat it. Not so with Smart chickens, its good fromtop to bottom. Highly recommended if you can find the birds.
 

LMichaels

TVWBB 1-Star Olympian
The trouble with Smart Brand ones is they're VERY fragile in how they're stored at the grocer. If you get a good one they're great BUT from personal experience I have had some really awful experiences with them on many occasions. We have one place that sells them here Vaili's. They're very careless and on more occasions than I care for I have opened a package of Smart Chicken I had bought for that night's supper only to be greeted by the most horrific stench you could imagine. The first time, I threw it away and sent a note off to Smart. They promptly got in touch with me and sent me coupons for free packages. Which I redeemed and again on multiple occasions was greeted with the stench from hell after opening. I took them back to Valli and they were scared to open them.
I tried a few more times. The manager at Valli came out to me and said they would be sure to take extra special care with the product. But I got burned a few more times. Got sick of nearly puking when I would come home with it so I just quit buying it and for the most part I won't even shop at the store any more unless I am looking for an imported specialty product
 

Greg in Utah

TVWBB Pro
I don't think the term "organic" on the package changes the taste or texture of store bought chickens. They're all processed the same way and grown the same way (FAST). That is the reason for lack of taste and weird texture along with how they're treated after being "dispatched". The thing to find would be pastured birds. They will be outside, scratching for food, eating what comes along, and in general being what they truly were meant to be descendants of dinosaurs :D

The three types I listed were all better in terms of taste and texture . Only 2 claimed to be organic.
 

russ olin

TVWBB Platinum Member
The trouble with Smart Brand ones is they're VERY fragile in how they're stored at the grocer. If you get a good one they're great BUT from personal experience I have had some really awful experiences with them on many occasions. We have one place that sells them here Vaili's. They're very careless and on more occasions than I care for I have opened a package of Smart Chicken I had bought for that night's supper only to be greeted by the most horrific stench you could imagine. The first time, I threw it away and sent a note off to Smart. They promptly got in touch with me and sent me coupons for free packages. Which I redeemed and again on multiple occasions was greeted with the stench from hell after opening. I took them back to Valli and they were scared to open them.
I tried a few more times. The manager at Valli came out to me and said they would be sure to take extra special care with the product. But I got burned a few more times. Got sick of nearly puking when I would come home with it so I just quit buying it and for the most part I won't even shop at the store any more unless I am looking for an imported specialty product
At the store that we buy the Smart birds from most of the time the birds have been opened & cut up. So if there any bad birds they would be thrown out. We usually buy a few qts, legs ect ect at a time. When we do buy a whole bird & open it we have not gotten a bad one yet. Knock on wood. But, if the store is not taking care of the product, I dont blame the product. A few months ago at the same store they sell great baby backs.
We ended up getting several in a row that when opened reaked because they were rotten. After complaining to the store as several other customers did. Come to find out their whole shipment had spoiled somewhere along the line. So it can happen. Next shipment they replaced all the ribs at no charge. And even gave us some ribs to make up for it. So all is guud.
We did notice that one guy who was working there at the time is no longer there. Maybe he did it. lol
 

timothy

TVWBB Olympian
I get what is labeled as Yellow Chicken from my local Latina market. It does have more flavor then the pale skinned ones I get from other SM's
Price is a little bit higher than the pale ones ( they have both) So I did a little research .
We have a turkey farm not far from us that raise free range turkeys, chickens, duck and goose. I usually splurge around the holidays.
 

 

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