How to Buy Chicken

Chicken is highly regarded by cooks for its widespread appeal and numerous advantages. Economical, versatile, and readily available, chicken is the perfect ingredient for easy, everyday recipes, as well as entertaining. It also stars in thousands of sought-after ethnic and regional recipes -- from chicken marsala, chicken parmesan, chicken enchiladas, and sesame chicken, to chicken fried steak, chicken and dumplings, and even oven-fried chicken drumsticks.

Try It!

Chicken Recipes

We've picked some of our best poultry recipes so that once you know how to buy chicken, you'll have some dishes to prepare at home.

Chicken boasts a positive nutritional profile, as well. It is high in protein, low in fat and cholesterol, and contains zero carbs, making it a winning choice for healthy eating.

The vast selection of chicken products -- from boneless, skinless chicken breasts to whole capons -- can make choosing the right ones for your favorite chicken recipes a challenge. Knowing the differences between types of chicken make it easier to cook with chicken in your kitchen.

In this article, we'll show you how to buy chicken. Learn how to choose a chicken, as well as the safest methods for storing and handling chicken in the following sections:

  • Choosing Chicken

    You want to make sure that you have the right kind of chicken for the dish you're trying to create. Broiler-fryers, roasters, capons, and stewing hens all have their places at the dinner table. We'll teach you how to discern the differences when you're in the grocery store. Another important aspect to remember when choosing chicken is the color and smell. To avoid spoiled chicken, be sure to choose chicken that is creamy white to deep yellow in appearance. Learn lots of tips on choosing a chicken in this section.

  • Storing and Handling Chicken

    Chicken can keep in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to two days. If the time between bringing it home from the grocery store and placing it into the skillet is more than that, make sure to store chicken in the freezer in an airtight package. When you're handling chicken, it's important that you remain vigilant against salmonella bacteria. In addition to cooking chicken completely, you want to make sure you're taking precautions when working with chicken. In this section, we'll show you how to handle and store chicken in a safe manner.
Learn more about deciding on the best kind of chicken in the next section.