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Non-Vegetarian Food:Chicken !
2003-07-23
Name: Rosy Hi,

I Just came to U.S recently. I started to cook after marriage only. So i don't know how to buy chicken. There is so many in store. Please help me .Thanks . bye.
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2003-12-12
#1
Name: Reeni
Subject:  hi
Hi Kevin,
I really want to know more about you.You really seem to be a nice person.Taking so much pain to type such a long article over a person's query is really something.Hats off to you.Are you a member of indiaparenting group?
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2003-09-23
#2
Name: uma
Subject:  Chicken for food
Hi,

Please read the following so you know why you should not eat chicken:

The number of sentient animals being subjected to intolerable living conditions and untimely deaths is on the rise, largely because consumers are replacing red meat with poultry, and birds provide less flesh per carcass than mammals. Of the nine billion farm animals born in the U.S. annually, the vast majority are birds. American consumers have doubled their consumption of chickens and turkeys over the past two decades, and this pattern is expected to continue, elevating the number of farm animals raised in the U.S. to unprecedented levels. Chickens and turkeys raised for meat suffer from severe genetic manipulations, overcrowding, and filthy living conditions. Hens kept for egg production are packed in cages so tightly that they cannot even stretch their wings.

Although birds are by far the most tragically affected victims of the poultry industry, they are not the only ones who suffer. The poultry industry is notorious for exploiting and mistreating human workers. Its labor force, composed largely of immigrants, suffer from cumulative-trauma disorders far above the national average.

Individuals not directly employed by the poultry industry are also harmed by it. Poultry meat and eggs are commonly contaminated, and millions of cases of food-born illness are attributed to poultry products every year. The environment is also adversely affected as hundreds of millions of dead birds and millions of tons of manure are generated and discharged every year, polluting land and water, and threatening fish and other animals.

Please be compassionate and go vegetarian. This world is filled with enough violence. Let's not add to it. Thank you.
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2003-07-28
#3
Name: srisha
Subject:  whole cut chicken
Kevin,
I have tried to prepare curry with whole chicken. It tastes wonderful. I had a question - when I buy a whole cut chicken (cleaned), there is a small plastic bag with some part of the chicken, I was not sure what it was and I never used them. Let me know if you know more about it. Thanks..
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2003-08-01
#4
Name: srisha
Subject:  thanks
Thanks for your inputs Kevin...
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2003-07-29
#5
Name: Kevin
Subject:  bag of giblets
hi srisha,

yes, the bag...sometimes plastic, sometimes paper, is filled with parts we call 'the giblets'. these are the heart, liver, neck, and gizzard pieces. sometimes 1 or 2 items are missing. sometimes you get a few extra. (it's all human error in packing)

you want to remove these from the cavity before cooking. what most people tend to do with them is stew them w/water (or broth) and herbs on top of the stove while the chicken is cooking, then dicing the pieces and adding to the chicken gravy later...if desired. others make pate out of the liver. some fry the gizzard, heart, and neck lightly and serve w/the chicken. (my dad loved the gizzard, i loved the heart as a kid)

yup, i will agree, there is nothing to compare to chicken curry. and a whole baked chicken, rubbed with curry powder...either homemade or bought, and maybe stuffed with biryani rice and baked in the oven like a turkey...well, the aroma in the kitchen will make you hungry loooooong before the chicken is done.

i have been on a complete vegan diet for the last 2 weeks... no meat, fish, dairy, or other animal products like honey, eggs, etc. and only brown rice for starch. it ended w/last night's dinner when i could eat abt 3 ounces of fish. today for lunch i get to eat a small amount of chicken. now i wish it was going to be chicken curry. o well. maybe soon.

cheers,
kevin
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2003-07-25
#6
Name: Kevin
Subject:  buying chicken
wow, rosy, this could be a big topic.

my first suggestion is to make friends with an american woman and have her teach you all sorts of things like this. it will help greatly. (go supermarket shopping together, ask questions about products, etc. it is a necessary way of learning in a short time what is available/not available in the usa.

now, chickens. ok. there are fryers, broilers, and stewing chickens. fryers are young and tender. they are good for frying in a pan, rotissering, oven baking, etc. broilers are larger, moister, older chickens. these are very good for baking whole in the oven like a turkey. stewing chickens are much older and are best slow cooked in a crockpot, a dutch oven, etc over a longer period of time. great for making soup. the long cooking helps to tenderize the meat.

ok, then there are the packs of chicken... all wings, all breasts, leg and thigh combos, all legs, all thighs. these are good if you only like a certain portion of the chicken and would waste the other parts. (personally, i don't care that much for the dark meat...legs and thighs) these are also good if you are having a dinner and you want everyone to have the same cut of meat. these come fresh at the supermarket.

then there are the bags of frozen chicken pieces in the bulk frozen areas. they are usually in 2 to 5 pound plastic resealable bags. these are good if you are not going to use all the fresh chicken quickly and want to pull a piece or two out as you need them. also good for not having to go to the supermarket all the time, which is good if you live a long distance from one (like me). these frozen bags can often be cheaper in price than the fresh chicken.

o, all of these...fresh or frozen are available with skin or skinless. this is because the skin is high in cholesterol and many prefer to buy it preskinned to save the time of skinning it and, probably more importantly, save the temptation of eating it on the sly. there is a certain wonderful taste that the skin does lend to the meat while cooking. (or to the soup)

some of the frozen is available boneless. some of the fresh can be, too. (a complete boneless chicken is quite popular in some parts of the usa, while not in others. texas is known for offering boneless chickens at the stores). these are more expensive due to the labor costs of the butchers who remove the bones. you must look at these as a convenience item, especially if you have the time or energy to do this at home before cooking.

when you buy a whole chicken there is a bag in the cavity with the liver, heart, gizzard, and neck. you need to remove this before cooking. these can be cooked on the side if you want. they can add flavor to the meal, or be used for another meal or as an appetizer... the liver can be used for pate. the heart is used in brazil as an appetizer before a barbecue, the gizzard can be diced finely to add to gravy or other items of the meal. etc.
you can usually buy a packet of livers at the market, too, for making pate with.

o, you will also see different brands at the market, too. such as foster farms, tyson, zacky farms, and then the supermarket's house brand. each will have different price structures. some brands emphasize taste, some go for no hormones or additives, etc. this becomes a matter of preference. you will also see something called 'free range chickens'. these are quite a bit more expensive. they live outdoors on a farm while the other brands have large buildings where they raise the chickens in cages and they never get to run around on the ground. the free range chickens can be more flavorful, as they eat a variety of food, not just the chicken food that is put in their bowl. some people insist on only eating free range chicken. well, i guess some people must have an awful lot of money. i know i cannot afford it all the time.

there are some little chickens called 'rock cornish hens'. one of these is usually a serving per person. (sometime a half one per person). they are fairly expensive, but are very tasty, & quite impressive at a dinner. we usually reserve these for special occasions, especially summertime dinner parties or elegant picnics before an outdoor symphony concerts in the summer.

well, i think this should help quite a bit. i will repeat that one of the best ways to figure out what to do in the usa is to find a friendly american who has lived overseas and knows the dilemma. (i know, i have lived out of the usa for 5 years of my life, and have assisted many people from many countries in the usa to figure out how to shop here)

i wish you the best.
kevin


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2004-09-26
#7
Name: sera
Subject:  Germany
Hello kevin
I really admire the fact that u have taken so much time and patience to answer the query in such detail.Very admirable!
We r looking to move to the US soon and this has definitely helped.
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