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Old 11-30-2005, 05:28 PM   #11
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My husband uses a meat thermometer...I do what my grandma did, and grab ahold of the leg and see if the thigh wiggles. If it does, it's done. There are those who say that when the thigh wiggles away from the bird, it's overdone, but don't believe it. That's when it's just right.
I also do something she didn't do...I roast all my birds breast down, so the fat from the back can run down on the breast and keep it moist. My first MIL taught me that, and it's foolproof.

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Old 11-30-2005, 05:35 PM   #12
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I've always been taught to put the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the bird, which would be the thigh/leg area, however, the popup timer is in the breast. My husbands says the breast is the thickest part, I disagree, and obviously so does the pop up timer in your case. I would have eaten the breast, and cooked the legs a bit longer in the oven the next day.

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Old 11-30-2005, 07:44 PM   #13
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I agree with the twist but always use a thermometer. I've had many many failures with the pop ups both under-done and over done! They are not trustworthy!
Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon or not at all. Oregon native transplanted to Chicago....
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Old 12-01-2005, 10:14 AM   #14
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The breast may be thicker but it cooks more quickly than the thigh. That's why you need to insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. If that's done, then the breast will almost always be done.

Or overdone.

To address that, America's Test Kitchen has you rotate the chicken every 15 min as you cook it. But that's a lot of work. Breast down is good for this problem, but then you don't get dry crispy skin on the breast.

I have found that a brined chicken or turkey's breat meat is pretty forgiving on being overcooked. But then I am a proselytizer for brining.
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Old 12-01-2005, 11:56 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by In the Kitchen
Thanks. This is always one souce of knowledge for me. You all could write a cookbook in my opinion. I did buy these on sale and will do as you all agree to ignore the thermometer. It really kind of bothered me to see that it still was pink. But maybe from the bird being frozen that this happened. I wrote the company before I did you and I got such quick responses from all of you and I know you are not trying to mislead me. I just wish I knew where to get the brand of chickens you all like. I will try to look it up. Never heard of them. They must be outstanding from the way you talk. Thank you all for your time. I surely will take the thermometer out before I do anything. I do know when I make soup from these chickens it does get gelatin. Other birds don't have it anymore. My mother always said if you get gelatin that is best part. her opinion
All chickens will give gelatine when boiled. The gelatine is a cousin to protien and is called collagen. It's also hte ingredient that reacts with water to make jello. It is obtained by boiling the bones and joints of an animal, be it chicken, pork, beef, or whatever. *** the cartilage dissolves, and the nutrients are extracted from the bone marrow, they dissolve in the liquid. When that liquid is cooled, the collagen solidifies into gelatine. From my last turkey carcass, the gelatine was so firm, you'd have thought I'd added a comercial gelatine, like Knox. To get more of this nutritious jelly into your stock/broth, crack the bones and boil with something slightly acidic, like celery.

As for chicken quality, free-range chickens will always have more flavor than will the birds cooped up for life. The food that's eaten plays a part in the flavor. Birds left to run around in the pasture have a more varied diet, including grains, insects, mice, etc. Also, as the birds exercise, they pump more blood through the muscles which makes them more flavorful, but less tender.

If you have any freinds who raise their own chickens, free range style, offer to do some work for them in exchange for a few chickens every now and again. Or ask if they are willing to sell butchered birds. Also, ask your local butcher if he has access to high-quality local product. If so, ask what brand it is, or how to get it. Look in your yellow pages and see if there are any local farmer's markets that sell poultry.

One last thing, I use the kind of meat thermometer that stays in the meat or poultry as it cooks. This keeps the skin intact so that the juices stay in the bird. Poke it with an instant-reat thermometer and watch the juices ooze out onto the plate.

Hope that helps.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- http://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
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Old 12-01-2005, 04:19 PM   #16
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Can't beat experience! I thank you all for the comments regarding these thermometers. I know I can't recall my mother having one. She just 'tested' it the way you suggested. To be sure, I am going to invest in my own thermometer. Just seeing that pink joint with the blood made me lose my appetite. Of course, I did cook it in the gravey I fixed but then I never saw the pink meat either. Next time I will surely know better and just ignore any thermometer they have already inserted in anything. Imagine how many new cooks feel they are safe when they serve it? Just as long as I am not the one they are serving it to. Have you ever visited someone and were afraid to tell them it wasn't done? I did. After I took the first bite I knew but didn't eat anymore. I filled up on bread and butter.

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