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