"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > Recipes & Ingredients > Chicken, Turkey & other Fowl
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-18-2010, 07:23 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 38
Buying local chicken vs store

Recently, I purchased two different locally raised chickens from two different local farms. I probably should have prepared them the same way, but I didn't. I was trying to do a taste and quality comparison.

Chicken A - Was a bit smaller, and less meaty. I grilled it and it was nice and juicy, had a delicious flavor, but was almost chewy. Both the white and dark meat were tough, with the dark being more tough than the white. I did not marinate or brine it. Just cooked it in pieces.

Chicken B - A big bigger, and had a meatier breast. It wasn't like an oven stuffer roaster or anything, but definitely had more meat on it. This one I roasted whole - 1 1/2 hours in the oven. The result was close to the same, but just a little more on the tender side. The flavor was still delicious, and again, the breast more tender than the dark meat.

Ok - I probably should have cooked them the same way, but hubby wanted something different, having two chicken dinners so close together.

These are both farm raised chickens, that are raised similarly, outside on pasture, with no antibiotics, hormones, or other medications. They are processed onsite, in almost the same way, but by different farms. I was invited to visit and watch their processing methods, which I accepted. It's nice to see where what you eat comes from.

Chicken in the store is so tender, but has a different taste. It's almost like these local birds had a cleaner taste, for lack of a better term. Is this difference due to all the 'stuff' they give the chickens on production farms? Or is it the "up to a 10% solution added" part that affects the taste of the store chickens? It costs so much more to buy a chicken raised locally than one in the store, but there's that part of me that likes the idea that it's not been force fed, or fed all kinds of nasty stuff. I've been buying my beef local, and we process our own venison, so we've cut out a lot on that end. But we do eat a lot of chicken. So I'm trying to decide if it's worth it to pay twice as much for a tastier but tougher natural chicken. Can anyone chime in here?

Thanks!
SOB

__________________

__________________
SillyOldBear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2010, 10:07 PM   #2
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 17,053
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
My guess would be that the difference in flavour is due to the "10% solution and the difference in feed. I imagine that running around outdoors makes the muscles less tender and tastier, than sitting in a cage and pecking at the cagemates as the only exercise.
__________________

__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2010, 10:09 PM   #3
Ogress Supreme
 
PrincessFiona60's Avatar
Site Administrator
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Montana
Posts: 34,444
I buy local, natural chickens. I think it's worth it and we eat alot of chicken.
__________________
If a messy kitchen is a happy kitchen, then this kitchen is delirious.

PrincessFiona60 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2010, 10:21 PM   #4
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 37,451
This decision is one each person has to make. Only you and your husband can decide if you like the local chicken better overall.

Is it worth eating tough chicken to get better flavor? Or does the toughness outweigh the flavor?

Then there is the price factor. Is it really worth paying twice as much for chicken that you aren't sure you like better?

Commercially raised chickens are fed standardized feed that nourishes them and keeps them healthy. The 10% solution is basically a brine to keep the chicken from drying out due to overcooking.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2010, 08:37 AM   #5
Head Chef
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Richmond, Va
Posts: 1,091
I buy local organic whenever I can find it. At double the price it is still less than two bucks a pound, and you are not paying for that 10% water. A little tougher, but far tastier.
__________________
Bigjim68 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2010, 09:08 AM   #6
Head Chef
 
sparrowgrass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Highest point in Missouri
Posts: 1,706
I raise my own chickens--put 22 of them in the freezer this summer. The texture is definitely different, but I wouldn't call them tough. They have actual muscles, unlike battery raised (even cage free) chickens. Commercial chickens have almost no room to move, so their flesh is fat and flabby. My little roosters, who spent their short lives running, chasing bugs and hens, have much firmer flesh.

I do cook them a bit differently. They are excellent fried or cooked in a sauce, but I don't care for them grilled or broiled--they don't have enough fat on them to keep them moist.

To me, the work and mess of doing it myself is worth it--I know what they have eaten, and I know they have had a pretty good life. I have been around commercial chicken operations, and that is no life for an animal.
__________________
I just haven't been the same
since that house fell on my sister.
sparrowgrass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2010, 09:24 AM   #7
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 17,053
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigjim68 View Post
I buy local organic whenever I can find it. At double the price it is still less than two bucks a pound, and you are not paying for that 10% water. A little tougher, but far tastier.
I'm envious. Around here, $2/lb for chicken is when it's on special, and that's not for the organic stuff, or even the grain fed stuff
__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2010, 09:50 AM   #8
Ogress Supreme
 
PrincessFiona60's Avatar
Site Administrator
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Montana
Posts: 34,444
Quote:
Originally Posted by sparrowgrass View Post
I raise my own chickens--put 22 of them in the freezer this summer. The texture is definitely different, but I wouldn't call them tough. They have actual muscles, unlike battery raised (even cage free) chickens. Commercial chickens have almost no room to move, so their flesh is fat and flabby. My little roosters, who spent their short lives running, chasing bugs and hens, have much firmer flesh.

I do cook them a bit differently. They are excellent fried or cooked in a sauce, but I don't care for them grilled or broiled--they don't have enough fat on them to keep them moist.

To me, the work and mess of doing it myself is worth it--I know what they have eaten, and I know they have had a pretty good life. I have been around commercial chicken operations, and that is no life for an animal.
I'm with sparrowgrass, I don't see the chicken as tougher, but you do have to chew it...it has a pleasing texture and mouthfeel.
__________________
If a messy kitchen is a happy kitchen, then this kitchen is delirious.

PrincessFiona60 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2010, 09:51 AM   #9
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 38
I wish the local birds were only $2 a lb! I paid $3.50 a pound for each one. It's hard to swallow paying $13-15 for a chicken. I dont even like paying that much for a turkey once a year. You're right thought - we do have to decide. I did like the flavor - and wasn't sure if that was from the pasture, or from the running around free. These chickens are free during the day and pulled into a penned area at night for more protection from the foxes. So they do get a fair bit of running around. I hadn't thought about that. Sparrowgrass - you called the flesh firm. I think that's more like it - firm. I wish I had the knowhow and time to do it myself. We raise ours for eggs, but I am not opposed to eating them too, if someone else would do the processing. We tried it once and the meat was awful. We threw the whole dish out because the meat was so gamey. That's why I was hesitant to even try a local chicken.

Thanks for the opinions and information. We have some thinking to do.

Thanks again!
SOB
__________________
SillyOldBear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2010, 09:58 AM   #10
Senior Cook
 
snickerdoodle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Quad Cities, Midwest
Posts: 440
I'll have to check the prices around here again on the organic whole chickens. Whole chickens intimidate me, cooking wise, but I need to get over it so I can start saving some money on the higher quality birds. We eat a lot of chicken. I make stock with the commercial leg quarters I buy (cheap) but sometimes it just tastes off and I wonder if it's because of the hormones and junk.

I think I would be willing to put up with slightly tougher meat as long as I wasn't paying too much more for it. I'd sure feel better knowing it was organic.
__________________

__________________
snickerdoodle is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
None

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

RV & Travel Trailer Communities

Our RV & Travel Trailer sites encompasses virtually all types of Recreational Vehicles, from brand-specific to general RV communities.

» More about our RV Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:06 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Cooking News & Tips Straight to your Email!

Stay up-to-date with Cooking info to your inbox!

unsusbcribe at anytime with one click

Close [X]