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Re: [AandS50ChallengeCommunity] beasties and breeds

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  • Mike C. Baker
    Speaking from personal knowledge of modern poultry raising on a small scale, YES, different chicken breeds taste different as meat - but even more important
    Message 1 of 11 , Feb 14, 2013
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      Speaking from personal knowledge of modern poultry raising on a small scale,
      YES, different chicken breeds taste different as meat - but even more
      important may be the diet of said meat-on-wing and the age at which they are
      converted to tasty bits. Since banty hens tended to be raised outdoors with
      full access to insects and naturally growing plants with supplemental
      scratch grains while the Leghorns were fully-cooped and often purely pellet-
      and grain-fed on my Grandmother's farm, I have to take that into account as
      well...

      Also consider the purpose for which said meat-chicken is being cooked:
      boiled chicken is pretty much boiled chicken if you boil it long enough BUT
      the afore-mentioned diet of the bird before it is plucked, scalded singed, &
      eviscerated will still make some difference. The ratio of skin to fat to
      muscle to bone will also impact the broth produced, so a mature fat "baking
      hen" versus a young rooster (who was just Too Darn LOUD and aggressive) also
      has an impact on flavor.

      Next, are we talking chicken-chicken, guinea fowl, Cornish Game Hen, etc.?
      Fresh, smoked (what smoking method? fuel?), roasted, baked, caponed,
      cooped/non-cooped, and so further? Southern- or batter- fried I have yet to
      see a completely reliable source for pre-dating Martha Washington, although
      frying of meats was not completely unknown pre-1600 (and I *KNOW* my reading
      is still rather spotty on this sub-subject).

      Considering the poultry section of a modern supermarket in the USA, I
      typically find fryers, bakers, stewers (not as common as baking hens in the
      last ten years or more ...), already-smoked, and the generic
      unspecified-but-available-in-bulk-PROBABLY-fryer-and-already-dismembered
      chickens and chicken parts. On rare occasions, and in upper-scale
      establishments, capon may make an appearance. Some varieties are more
      likely seen in frozen rather than fresh forms, which of course also has a
      potential impact upon the ultimate flavor of the destined dish.

      Since most hens would have been used to produce eggs for as long as
      possible, I'd suggest the baking or stewing hen as most representative /
      closest to the original for common use and the modern fryer as upper-class
      or feast-day fare. Capon would most likely be for noble and royal palates
      on feast days, and probably still considered inferior to game birds, ducks,
      and geese.

      Ideally, in re-creating a chicken dish one would be using the variety of
      chicken from the area where the recipe orignated AND the manner of
      poultry-raising associated with the breed within that area. Since the
      majority of our audience doesn't live in Tuscany, Iceland, or the like, I'll
      suggest that "free-range" organic chicken is a relatively reasonable
      facsimile unless you have direct access to the poulterer and can identify
      the specific breed of a given carcass. Even then, be reasonably certain
      that the majority of "heritage" breeds in the world today have still had
      some amount of cross-breeding somewhere since 1600ce.

      (If I have made errors in my speculations here, I'd be HAPPY to learn the
      truth as presented by other sources, of course!)

      Adieu, Amra / Pax ... Kihe / TTFN - Mike

      Amr ibn Majid al-Bakri al-Amra

      kihebard@...
      Opinions? I got some!
      Curmudgeon-in-training, and just perhaps a near-facsimile of The Gwillum
      (cf. Urban Dictionary)

      --------------------------------------------------
      From: "Ted " <alban@...>
      Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 10:26 PM
      To: <AandS50ChallengeCommunity@yahoogroups.com>
      Subject: [AandS50ChallengeCommunity] beasties and breeds

      > an odd question from way out in left field....
      >
      > From the research I've been doing on charcuterie, sausage-making, and the
      > curing of various meat-related body parts, I realize that different breeds
      > of pigs should be used for various things - one breed makes for wonderful
      > prosciutto, another for Smithfield/picnic-type hams, a third for fatback,
      > a fourth for, well, you get the idea. I know cow breeds differ a bit in
      > taste, too: wagyu are well known for their incredible marbeling, and Black
      > Angus make for decent steaks too, albeit not as buttery. There's a breed
      > of ducks that came from Long Island much belovéd of Chinese chefs for
      > Peking duck.
      >
      > But for the life of me no-one's ever mentioned one breed of chicken
      > tasting any different from any other breed of chicken. There are
      > good-eggers-for-hot-climates, good-eggers-for-humid-cold-climates,
      > pretty-shell eggers....but nothing about taste.
      >
      > Do the various breeds of chicken taste different?
      >
      > (Like I said, an odd question, but I suspect a fair number of you raise
      > chickens, buy chickens, cook chickens, deal with heritage breeds of
      > chickens, so I thought this'd be a good place to ask.)
      >
      > And, yes, I am thinking of trying my hand at sausages and salume,
      > charcuterie and confits, chickens and pigs and cows, oh my.
      >
      > Alban
    • beorn_se_bacaire
      Kinda an odd question for this group, unless you re doing 50 recipes for sausage, but ok... :P I ve always understood that it depends more on the chicken s
      Message 2 of 11 , Feb 14, 2013
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        Kinda an odd question for this group, unless you're doing 50 recipes for sausage, but ok... :P

        I've always understood that it depends more on the chicken's lifestyle, than the breed. However there are the Chinese Silkies, which have black skin and supposedly all dark meat, as well. Can't tell you for certain--we never slaughtered our chickens.
        And Silkies Are a period breed for the far East.

        Brann


        --- In AandS50ChallengeCommunity@yahoogroups.com, "Ted " wrote:
        >
        > an odd question from way out in left field....
        >
        .....
        >
        > But for the life of me no-one's ever mentioned one breed of chicken tasting any different from any other breed of chicken. There are good-eggers-for-hot-climates, good-eggers-for-humid-cold-climates, pretty-shell eggers....but nothing about taste.
        >
        > Do the various breeds of chicken taste different?
        >
        ....
      • Ted Eisenstein
        ... I figured that the people on this list have a sufficiently wide knowledge base of damn near everything, that I could get a sensible anwer. And yeah sure
        Message 3 of 11 , Feb 14, 2013
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          > Kinda an odd question for this group, unless you're doing 50
          > recipes for sausage, but ok... :P

          I figured that the people on this list have a sufficiently wide
          knowledge base of damn near everything, that I could get a sensible
          anwer. And yeah sure you betcha, I did.

          Hmmmm. 50 sausage and/or cured and/or dried-meat types. Hmmm.
          Prosciutto. Speck. Culatello. Coppa, Bresaola. Lardo. Saucisse,
          saucissons, boudin blanc and boudin noir, terrines and
          ballotines and galantines, oh my. You know, it might just
          be doable. Anyone want to taste-test the results, to be sure
          I'm doing it right?

          :-)

          Alban
        • faridaalhadiati
          Subject: Re: [AandS50ChallengeCommunity] beasties and breeds I raised chickens when I was in high school-Bantams and Rhode Island Reds. As free-range chickens,
          Message 4 of 11 , Feb 14, 2013
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            Subject: Re: [AandS50ChallengeCommunity] beasties and breeds

            I raised chickens when I was in high school-Bantams and Rhode Island Reds. As free-range chickens, they quickly hybridized. We ate quite a few over the years, as well as lots of eggs. I can't say we noticed a difference in taste-in either the birds themselves or in the eggs. Of course they all had the same diet: scratch, pelleted food, and all the bugs and forage they wanted!

            Thinking about it brings back memories: the white banty hen that attacked a hawk — in mid-air not less. Yes bantams can fly! Poor hawk never dreamed it would get hit by a really pissed off Bantam hen. Then there were two other bantam hens that brought off chicks in situations that required ladder rescues: one on top of a 12-15 foot cedar stump, and one in our attic.

            YIS
            Miyamoto no Akikonomu
          • Diane
            I did some QA work for a farmer who bred and sold Chinese silkies specifically for eating. He gave us one to try and it did have a nice flavour, a little more
            Message 5 of 11 , Feb 15, 2013
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              I did some QA work for a farmer who bred and sold Chinese silkies specifically for eating. He gave us one to try and it did have a nice flavour, a little more intense, but this could be because they have not been bred for copious quantities of white meat.
              I do suspect the age, feeding and amount of exercise will have a significant impact, perhaps more so than breeds.
              Don't forget that the feet are a delicacy (so long as you get the image of the things it has walked in out of your mind - I can't and have not tried it but maybe your stmach is stronger)

              YIS
              Claricia

              --- In AandS50ChallengeCommunity@yahoogroups.com, "beorn_se_bacaire" wrote:
              >
              > Kinda an odd question for this group, unless you're doing 50 recipes for sausage, but ok... :P
              >
              > I've always understood that it depends more on the chicken's lifestyle, than the breed. However there are the Chinese Silkies, which have black skin and supposedly all dark meat, as well. Can't tell you for certain--we never slaughtered our chickens.
              > And Silkies Are a period breed for the far East.
              >
              > Brann
              >
              >
              > --- In AandS50ChallengeCommunity@yahoogroups.com, "Ted " wrote:
              > >
              > > an odd question from way out in left field....
              > >
              > .....
              > >
              > > But for the life of me no-one's ever mentioned one breed of chicken tasting any different from any other breed of chicken. There are good-eggers-for-hot-climates, good-eggers-for-humid-cold-climates, pretty-shell eggers....but nothing about taste.
              > >
              > > Do the various breeds of chicken taste different?
              > >
              > ....
              >
            • Nest verch Tangwistel
              We have always kept chickens, and I have been eating our own raised chickens since I was a child. Every year we would get 25 hens of one breed for eggs and a
              Message 6 of 11 , Feb 15, 2013
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                We have always kept chickens, and I have been eating our own raised chickens since I was a child. Every year we would get 25 hens of one breed for eggs and a mix of cockrels for eating. They were always raised the same with store bought pellets available, but allowed outside to forage. I ahve to say, I have never noticed a difference in the flavors of different chickens anytime over the years.
                 
                Nest

                From: Ted <alban@...>
                To: AandS50ChallengeCommunity@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 11:26 PM
                Subject: [AandS50ChallengeCommunity] beasties and breeds

                an odd question from way out in left field....

                From the research I've been doing on charcuterie, sausage-making, and the curing of various meat-related body parts, I realize that different breeds of pigs should be used for various things - one breed makes for wonderful prosciutto, another for Smithfield/picnic-type hams, a third for fatback, a fourth for, well, you get the idea. I know cow breeds differ a bit in taste, too: wagyu are well known for their incredible marbeling, and Black Angus make for decent steaks too, albeit not as buttery. There's a breed of ducks that came from Long Island much belovéd of Chinese chefs for Peking duck.

                But for the life of me no-one's ever mentioned one breed of chicken tasting any different from any other breed of chicken. There are good-eggers-for-hot-climates, good-eggers-for-humid-cold-climates, pretty-shell eggers....but nothing about taste.

                Do the various breeds of chicken taste different?

                (Like I said, an odd question, but I suspect a fair number of you raise chickens, buy chickens, cook chickens, deal with heritage breeds of chickens, so I thought this'd be a good place to ask.)

                And, yes, I am thinking of trying my hand at sausages and salume, charcuterie and confits, chickens and pigs and cows, oh my.

                Alban



                ------------------------------------

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                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • celticdragon38
                Folks in China actually prefer the feet from American chickens. There s more meat and it s more tender. I don t know if that s a product of the breed, the
                Message 7 of 11 , Feb 15, 2013
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                  Folks in China actually prefer the feet from American chickens. There's more meat and it's more tender. I don't know if that's a product of the breed, the feed, or a combination of both.
                  -Aritê

                  --- In AandS50ChallengeCommunity@yahoogroups.com, "Diane" <bahriah@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > I did some QA work for a farmer who bred and sold Chinese silkies specifically for eating. He gave us one to try and it did have a nice flavour, a little more intense, but this could be because they have not been bred for copious quantities of white meat.
                  > I do suspect the age, feeding and amount of exercise will have a significant impact, perhaps more so than breeds.
                  > Don't forget that the feet are a delicacy (so long as you get the image of the things it has walked in out of your mind - I can't and have not tried it but maybe your stmach is stronger)
                  >
                  > YIS
                  > Claricia
                  >
                  > --- In AandS50ChallengeCommunity@yahoogroups.com, "beorn_se_bacaire" wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Kinda an odd question for this group, unless you're doing 50 recipes for sausage, but ok... :P
                  > >
                  > > I've always understood that it depends more on the chicken's lifestyle, than the breed. However there are the Chinese Silkies, which have black skin and supposedly all dark meat, as well. Can't tell you for certain--we never slaughtered our chickens.
                  > > And Silkies Are a period breed for the far East.
                  > >
                  > > Brann
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > --- In AandS50ChallengeCommunity@yahoogroups.com, "Ted " wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > an odd question from way out in left field....
                  > > >
                  > > .....
                  > > >
                  > > > But for the life of me no-one's ever mentioned one breed of chicken tasting any different from any other breed of chicken. There are good-eggers-for-hot-climates, good-eggers-for-humid-cold-climates, pretty-shell eggers....but nothing about taste.
                  > > >
                  > > > Do the various breeds of chicken taste different?
                  > > >
                  > > ....
                  > >
                  >
                • Madame du Pont
                  And they love duck feet...they eat them like me eat potato chips. Mme du Pont, Kingdom de Meridies
                  Message 8 of 11 , Feb 16, 2013
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                    And they love duck feet...they eat them like me eat potato chips.
                    Mme du Pont, Kingdom de Meridies


                    --- In AandS50ChallengeCommunity@yahoogroups.com, "celticdragon38" <celticdragon38@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Folks in China actually prefer the feet from American chickens. There's more meat and it's more tender. I don't know if that's a product of the breed, the feed, or a combination of both.
                    > -Aritê
                    >
                    > --- In AandS50ChallengeCommunity@yahoogroups.com, "Diane" <bahriah@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > I did some QA work for a farmer who bred and sold Chinese silkies specifically for eating. He gave us one to try and it did have a nice flavour, a little more intense, but this could be because they have not been bred for copious quantities of white meat.
                    > > I do suspect the age, feeding and amount of exercise will have a significant impact, perhaps more so than breeds.
                    > > Don't forget that the feet are a delicacy (so long as you get the image of the things it has walked in out of your mind - I can't and have not tried it but maybe your stmach is stronger)
                    > >
                    > > YIS
                    > > Claricia
                    > >
                    > > --- In AandS50ChallengeCommunity@yahoogroups.com, "beorn_se_bacaire" wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > Kinda an odd question for this group, unless you're doing 50 recipes for sausage, but ok... :P
                    > > >
                    > > > I've always understood that it depends more on the chicken's lifestyle, than the breed. However there are the Chinese Silkies, which have black skin and supposedly all dark meat, as well. Can't tell you for certain--we never slaughtered our chickens.
                    > > > And Silkies Are a period breed for the far East.
                    > > >
                    > > > Brann
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > --- In AandS50ChallengeCommunity@yahoogroups.com, "Ted " wrote:
                    > > > >
                    > > > > an odd question from way out in left field....
                    > > > >
                    > > > .....
                    > > > >
                    > > > > But for the life of me no-one's ever mentioned one breed of chicken tasting any different from any other breed of chicken. There are good-eggers-for-hot-climates, good-eggers-for-humid-cold-climates, pretty-shell eggers....but nothing about taste.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Do the various breeds of chicken taste different?
                    > > > >
                    > > > ....
                    > > >
                    > >
                    >
                  • tamrasedai
                    I am sure you could find better informed folks on The Backyard Chickens forum (which I recommend highly to anyone who has/wants/is curious about chicken and
                    Message 9 of 11 , Feb 18, 2013
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                      I am sure you could find better informed folks on The Backyard Chickens
                      forum (which I recommend highly to anyone who has/wants/is curious about chicken and other fowl) than I can provide, but here is what I as a
                      novice have observed.

                      I raise (and sometimes eat) chickens of a variety of breeds. I choose mine for usefulness (only dual purpose breeds for me!) temperament (I like my flock to have personalities, but I hate bullies) and appearance (I do feather crafts so I want as many colors and patterns as I can get!) That said, I have eaten several breeds... mostly surplus roosters... including Plymouth Rocks, Wyandottes, Orpingtons, Sussex, Ameracauna/EE, and a bunch of 'mutt' culls from my breeding project. ANY of the breeds I have listed taste better than the grocery store
                      cornishX's. At least if you actually LIKE the taste of chicken.

                      The big
                      thing with chickens is that you have a pretty small window for getting a
                      decent amount of tender meat. Too early and they are scrawny, too late
                      and they are tough and stringy. The longer a chicken has been alive, the
                      more chicken-y it tastes. The Cornish X's will only have made it to
                      about 8 weeks, whereas I wouldn't even THINK of putting one of mine on
                      the table till, at minimum, week 12. Some breeds mature very slowly
                      (like the Jersey Giant) and would have a full, rich flavor, and some
                      mature quickly. The food they eat and the exercise they get play a role,
                      of course, but the maturity time is the really big deal. I have only eaten a few of each of these breeds, but there are differences for sure.

                      The bird I recall being the best for the table was the Sussex. I only ate the one, but of all the ones I have dressed, that one was the neatest and easiest (also the saddest... These are the loveliest chickens you'll ever meet... I gave away most of my roosters to good homes because they were all too nice to eat). Second to the Sussex was the Orpington (though I didn't get to eat him; I donated him to the shire for the main dish to serve the high table at our feast) he also cleaned up nice and pretty.

                      I know I am not being terribly helpful... but I am being as specific as I can. I often eat chickens who were slaughtered outside the ideal window and have to deal with that accordingly. Old, nasty-tempered roosters who have been replaced with much more chivalrous youngsters end up in the cock-pot. Young/scrawny ones culled in unfortunate circumstances get pieced out. The big batch that was right on time will end up with several different breeds of legs I can no longer tell apart on the barbeque together. Are the differences in texture and flavor my fault because of timing and the recipe? Or was it the breed?

                      So I suppose the short answer is that yes, they taste different. Not a LOT different, but I am sure that is the same of cattle and pigs as well. Most people would never notice, but one who knows what they are doing could tell.

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Ted Eisenstein
                      ... Isn t that what long, slow cooking is for - coq au vin, stewed chicken, and the like? Broilers cook quickly, as does fried chicken - but, like old stringy
                      Message 10 of 11 , Feb 19, 2013
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                        > The big
                        > thing with chickens is that you have a pretty small window for getting a
                        > decent amount of tender meat. Too early and they are scrawny, too late
                        > and they are tough and stringy.
                        Isn't that what long, slow cooking is for - coq au vin, stewed chicken,
                        and the like? Broilers cook quickly, as does fried chicken - but, like
                        old stringy beef, sometimes you just have to pour in the wine and
                        spices, and let it slowly cook for hours?

                        (At least that's what my bad memory for recipes says.)


                        Alban
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