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I Don't Get It!

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HistoricFoodie View Drop Down
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    Posted: 28 January 2019 at 06:11

I don’t get it.

There’s been a not so gradually increase in the size of chickens. I mean, the past few years, 4-5 pounders seem to be the norm.  Used to be you’d need a capon to find one that big.  But it’s getting even worse.

At the market, yesterday, the smallest chicken in the bin was more than six pounds.  And they went to more than nine.  Nine pounds, for Pete’s sake!  Is that a chicken? Or a small turkey?

I don’t know how they’re doing it. Some sort of chemical or hormonal thing, I’m sure.  But I don’t like it.  Personally, I prefer a smaller chicken, but one that has flavor.  These big birds don’t.

And it’s not just whole birds.  If you haven’t bought parts, lately, you’re in for a surprise.  A dish I made last time used 8 thighs.  They barely fit in my 12-quart oval Dutch oven. 

On the other hand, if you buy wings, they’ll mostly be on the smaller side.  But that’s not a growth thing. The big wings go to the restaurant trade, just as most Prime beef does. 

Of course, there’s not much to be done about this trend.  But I had to vent a little.



 

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gracoman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2019 at 09:01
The chickens don't like it either.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2019 at 09:25
Interesting links, G-man.

I question much in both reports. One thing in particular that glares is the contention that folks ate less chicken in the 50s because it was expensive.  Just the opposite was the case.  For those of us on the low end of the standard of living scale, chicken was a viable alternative to expensive red meats.  For us, lamb, pork, and even beef were luxuries.

What has changed is the amount of work involved.  Chickens were always purchased whole, from a butcher shop (anybody else remember those?). I well remember mom having to first hold it over an open flame, to sear-off remaining pin feathers. Then, depending on the planned meal, she'd break it down or leave it more or less whole.

One nice thing was that back in the day chickens came with their feet attached. And nothing can replace them for making a stock with body, for mom's chicken soup.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2019 at 09:55
I'm with you on that. It's crazy.

I recently bought a batch of bulk chicken breast ('cause we go through a lot and it's way cheaper to buy 40 lbs at a time) and the breasts are HUGE. Like literally some of them are bigger than turkey breasts I've seen. We have to cut them in half to make decent sized portions and even then they're on the large size. I remember growing up chicken breasts we maybe the size of your palm.

The company I get them from claims they are "natural" with no hormones, artificial injections, preservatives, etc. but the size of them really makes me wonder about them using steroids or whatever on the chickens to make them grow that size. I suppose some of it may be chalked up to selective breeding to get the biggest chickens possible, but I have a feeling there's something more nefarious going on. I haven't looked at G-man's links yet but I will shortly.

Quote What has changed is the amount of work involved.  Chickens were always purchased whole...
On a similar vein, I was just commenting to my wife the other day how lazy people have become. What prompted that was a commercial for pre-cut chicken breasts. Raw chicken still, but cut into strips or chunks "ready to go into your favorite dish with no knife needed." Why? Because it's so hard to pull out a knife and cutting board and spend 2 minutes (including washing the knife and board after) doing it yourself?
Mike
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2019 at 12:47
I believe chickens were considered expensive in the 1920's and earlier.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 January 2019 at 15:00
Well, ya know, Mike. Nowadays, convenience trumps everything.

Worse than those pre-cut pieces, imo, are those frozen packages for Crock Pots.  Everything you need.

I mean, for real? Forgetting the fact that the salt content is through the roof, just who long does it take to cut up some meat and veggies and toss them in the slow cooker?

G-man, you might be right about the '20s. I dunno.  But one of those articles talked about the '50s, which is when I grew up. And I know better.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 January 2019 at 09:56
I'm not sure I've ever seen the frozen packages Brook, but then again I haven't really looked for them. I whole-heartedly agree though, even my most labor intensive crock pot meal, pot roast, takes maybe 15 minutes to prep, and most of that time is spent on cutting the potatoes down to size. The rest is pretty much dump it and go. It's crazy to think that you can't find 15 minutes to prep a meal.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 January 2019 at 11:17
Lately, my chickens have been coming from a local Hutterite colony; they are raised in conditions that yuppies would call "organic" and "cage-free," but to me they are simply farm-raised chickens.

The average size of the four chickens that I last bought was 5 pounds. They taste good - really good, in fact.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MTMan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 January 2019 at 13:15
When I lived near Hilger, I got my chickens in Lewistown from the Hutterites, I agree they were great.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 January 2019 at 03:58


Perhaps, you should consider purchasing organic or ecological (as we call it) chickens which are naturally fed verses,  chickens filled with hormones and other Genetically Modified "krap" .. 



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