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  1. #1
    thaijinx's Avatar
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    Should whole chicken be lean or fat?

    Primal Fuel
    I've just bought a whole cooked chicken from a street stall in southern Taiwan (feet, head still on).

    It was cooked in a small 'oven' (concrete and wire contraption, resembling something looking like a strange homemade, wood-fired, pot-bellied stove and smoker).

    The chicken is hanging on a hook, vertically, with a saucer collecting all the fat and juices below. Never seen anything like it before and really have No idea if this is considered an oven-baked, barbequed or roasted chicken, as it's kind of all three!

    But here's the thing...

    The chicken was full of fat! Thick white fat, just under the surface of the skin, on the legs and joints. Pretty much everywhere! Really I've never seen such fat, and I've bbq'd and roasted many chickens.

    For that reason, I'm assuming that this was a corn fed chicken... (But I might be completely wrong, as I've seen a lot of chickens out here running around in 'pens', maybe what we would call free-range.)

    So, anyone who knows what a free-range chicken looks like...

    ...cooked whole chicken, is it extremely fatty or lean?

  2. #2
    jfreaksho's Avatar
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    Those chickens are delicious.

    If they are the traditional ovens I'm thinking of (kinda egg-shaped, right?) they have very small amounts of charcoal burning at the bottom, that provides for long consistent heat that is pretty even throughout the oven.

    Taiwan doesn't have much corn- they seem to eat it roasted on the cob or use it as a topping for pizza, or similar condiment-like applications. I don't think they have the surplus that would lead them to feed chickens with it. There are other more plentiful local crops that would probably be more available. The Taiwanese are very much about fresh local foods, and saving/making money wherever possible.

    I'm not sure why the chicken was so fatty, but in Taiwan, breast meat is significantly cheaper than thighs or legs. They appreciate it there.

  3. #3
    thaijinx's Avatar
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    Totally delicious jfreaksho! Or so I thought...

    In Taiwan, the diets of chickens are mainly based on corn and soybean meal.... Says this paper:

    http://www.ajas.info/Editor/manuscri...oad/16_201.pdf

    And the effect on my stomach after totally pigging out on one, was horrendous!!! My first bought of chronic gas and indigestion since I began eating primal! After that pain, I will probably never eat one again! Though, I did completely pig out on it!!! Perhaps moderation is the key! Lol

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    Petra's Avatar
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    Hi,
    I live in Guangzhou and we are familiar with fat chickens. They just have a great taste.
    So far about the fat that comes with the beast.
    The thing that I can not figure out is in what kind of emulsion it is baked/roasted/cooked. So for me that is the part where I figured it is better to buy a raw one, use the head neck and feet for a great soup and grill the rest!

    Love and care,
    Petra

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    DeeDub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thaijinx View Post
    The chicken was full of fat! Thick white fat, just under the surface of the skin, on the legs and joints. Pretty much everywhere!
    Rough rule of thumb...white fat, grain-fed, yellow fat, "pastured". Kinda like eggs - the deeper yellow the yolk, the closer to au naturel the layer is likely to be.

    Re: quantity - a happy free ranger will be one juicy bird.

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    raney's Avatar
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    ^ is that white/yellow rule fairly accurate?

    I eat conventionally raised chicken from time to time, as it's quite cheap in comparison to grass fed meats. I just pop a few extra fish oil caps and close my [figurative] eyes to the subject. Eating high quality meat every day just isn't an option on what I make.

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    thaijinx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeDub View Post
    Rough rule of thumb...white fat, grain-fed, yellow fat, "pastured". Kinda like eggs - the deeper yellow the yolk, the closer to au naturel...
    Is that right! I didn't know that, so thanks for the tip... It's good to know.

  8. #8
    Linny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thaijinx View Post
    Is that right! I didn't know that, so thanks for the tip... It's good to know.
    Unfortunately I don't think it's accurate all the time. In the US to make the chicken fat/meat/skin less pale they add marigold petals to their feed to turn the meat yellowish. Apparently people are more apt to buy yellowish chicken over pale chicken.

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