Chicken 101

Your guide to everything you need to know about buying, storing, and cooking chicken
Chicken 101


Serve this simple grilled chicken for lunch or dinner.

What is chicken?
Chicken is a type of poultry available in many sizes and varieties, fresh, frozen, and pre-cooked.

How to Buy:
Choices: broiler-fryers: weigh 2 ½ -4 ½ lbs.; Rock Cornish game hen weigh 1-2 lbs.; roasters weigh 5-7 lbs., roast whole; Capons: male chickens weigh 4-7 lbs. roasted. Stewing/baking hens: 2-5 lbs. Cock/Roosters: mature males; need long, moist cooking. Chickens are sold in parts: breasts, legs, thighs, wings, livers, hearts, necks, gizzards.

How to Read the Label:
Fresh: any raw poultry never kept below 26°F. Raw poultry at 0°F or below must be labeled “frozen” or “previously frozen”.
Organic: grown without antibiotics, raised with continuous access to outdoors; not genetically modified, irradiated or cloned.
Kosher: Slaughtered humanely according to kosher laws.
Raised without antibiotics: implies it has not received any antibiotics; USDA does not verify claims; labels used at discretion of manufacturer.
Free-Range: only means animals had access to open areas a minimum of 5 minutes per day.
Hormone-Free: a misnomer as the USDA prohibits all hormones in poultry.

How to Use: Roast, stew, grill, fry or use for soup. Meat is delicate and absorbs flavorings and spices well.

How to Store: Refrigerate at 40°F. Use in 1 or 2 days, or freeze at 0°F in original package or repackage, double wrapped. Refrigerate all cooked chicken and use within 2 days.

Health Benefit: Low sodium, good source of vitamin B6, phosphorus, niacin, selenium, and protein.

Smarter Shopping: Purchase the whole chicken to save money, and look for chicken without added salt water solutions.