While you might be a pro at picking out fresh fish by now, our grocery guide returns this week with another staple:
1. Look at the colour of the flesh
Check the colour of the chicken meat - be sure to check the crevices like the thighs and under the wings too.
If you're seeing pink, the chicken is fresh. If the chicken looks grayish or transparent, it most likely has been sitting around for a while.
2. Feel the texture
Choose chicken flesh that's firm and springy, indicating that it's most likely fresh.
Avoid buying the chicken if the flesh is too stiff, or if it doesn't spring back to its original shape when pressed with your finger.
3. Look out for bad odours
Fresh chicken does not have any odour. If you notice any unpleasant odours wafting from the chicken, it's highly possible that it's no longer fresh and should not end up in your basket.
4. See if there's blood on cut parts
Blood isn't a good sign, as it could indicate that the meat has been frozen and thawed a few times. Plus, blood in cut chicken pieces also increases the risk of bacterial contamination.
As raw chicken presents the risk of salmonella, it's best to keep it fresh while you shop to minimise that risk
Ideally, fresh chicken should be stored below 4°C to minimise the chances of salmonella spreading, but they're not always sold chilled. You could bring along a cooler pack to keep your chicken chilled while you shop.
If you're buying chilled chicken from the supermarket, you could also grab other groceries first and the chicken last. This way, the chicken spends a much shorter time being out of the chiller.
Make sure you freeze it right too!
Start by wrapping chicken in ziploc bags, and double-bagging them with another layer of ziploc bag. Alternatively, you could also wrap the chicken in foil or cling wrap first before placing them in the ziploc bag.
The first layer of foil, cling wrap or ziploc bag is meant to prevent frost from forming on the surface of the chicken. Meanwhile, the outer ziploc bag helps to prevent freezer burn by keeping air out.
The chicken will keep for about 2 months in the freezer. For easier reference, label your chicken bags with the contents and packing date.
Happy shopping and makaning!