Poultry Cookery Poultry Basics What is Poultry • • • • • • • Chicken Duck Goose Turkey Pigeon There are different classes of poultry These are usually based on the birds age and gender. Maturity and Tenderness • The older the bird the tougher the meat • We want to select birds that are younger and less mature. • The older the bird the more muscle they will have built. This causes the meat to be tough. Dark vs. Light Meat • Birds that rarely fly have light colored wing and breast meat. (Chickens and Turkey) • Light meat has less fat and cooks faster than dark meat. • Parts of the bird that has more muscle (connective tissue) are darker in color. • The thighs and legs have more muscle. (Dark Meat) • These parts take longer to cook. • Duck and Goose are composed mostly of dark meat. Purchasing Poultry • Poultry can be purchased in different forms. • You can buy fresh, frozen, or fully cooked. • When poultry is prepared and ready to cook it is called ready to cook or RTC. • Class depends on age and gender. Purchasing Continued…. • Male birds have tougher meat than female birds. • Judging Quality: • Check color: should be cream to yellow, Avoid birds with purple or green bruising, dark wing tips, these are indications of spoilage. • Check odor: Uncooked poultry should not have a strong odor or feel sticky. Inspection and Grading • All poultry must be inspected by the USDA! • Inspectors check to see if it has been processed in sanitary conditions. • If it passes inspection it will receive USDA stamp of approval. • All poultry should be graded. • The highest grade poultry can receive is an A. Grading Continued • Using grade A poultry allows foodservice establishments to provide better quality and a more consistent product. • In order for a bird to receive an A: – – – – Must be plump and meaty Have clean skin No broken bones Fully plucked When we use grades B and C • Birds that do not meet the above standards receive lower grades. • Lower quality birds are processed to make poultry products such as chicken fingers and turkey pot pie! Handling and Storage • Fresh and Frozen poultry must be handled very carefully. • Poultry should be frozen immediately if it is not going to be used right away. • Fresh poultry should be used within 2-3 days. • Store frozen poultry below 0 degrees F • Thawing poultry should be done in the refrigerator.