HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Discussion

Quick help pls - chicken "smells"

I bought a whole chicken and had it quartered on Sunday afternoon. It's been in the fridge until about 1 hour ago - went to prepare it to roast, and there's a bit of a funny smell - is it off? Thanks so much ....

Just realized - the butcher threw the chicken liver in there - could that have contributed to this smell?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. What does "funny" mean? In any event, I'd say two days in the fridge should be fine - assuming it was fresh when you bought it.

    3 Replies
    1. re: iain

      Well, it has a smell that I do not normally encounter when opening a chicken ..... that is what is worrying me, but now I wonder if it could be caused by the liver.

      1. re: MMRuth

        I don't think the liver would add any "funny smell" to an otherwise fresh chicken. If the chicken smells off, I would toss it, who knows how it might have been stored before you bought it. Better safe than sorry.

        1. re: MMRuth

          I wouldn't take a chance with chicken if it smells off, but I think it might be the liver. I had a friend who used to eat chicken livers all the time and the smell was very different then the rest of the chicken.

      2. As they taught us in culinary school...When in doubt, throw it out. Are the few dollars you paid for a chicken worth the risk of getting sick.

        1. Throw it out! I had this happen a few months ago (it was even less time than you had yours) and it was just plain bad chicken!

          1. Another vote for throw it out.

            1. Thanks - now I have to figure out what to cook - chicken in the trash.

              1. I wouldn't eat it either, but I would return it to the market and point it out to the manager/butcher...It's annoying to no end to bring home food that's no good. They should be made aware of it.

                1. You won't enjoy it if you cook it, because you will be approaching the meal with too much caution and suspicion, so toss that chicken and complain to the market (or you could take it back to the market and let them see for themselves what the problem is; that way you might get a replacement).

                  1. I have bought chicken in the foam trays (breasts or thighs) and when I opened up the plastic wrap, smelled a sulfurous smell. If it is light, I give it a good rinse and the smell is reduced. If it is strong, I won't cook it.

                    1. yeah, just rinse it off first, frequently, being enclosed causes it to smell. so i would rinse it, than see how it was. if it still smelled, trash it. course you already did, so it's a mute point....

                      1. Definitely throw it out. I've encountered this on several occasions when buying the "sale" chicken from one of the major grocery stores like Jewel Food Stores or Domminicks Food Stores in the Chicago area. Whenever possible I try and buy anything, "Amish" for it's quality and freshness.

                        1. I rinsed it, it still smelled, and when my husband, who is usually more cavalier than I about such things, got home from walking the dog and smelled it, he said he had no doubt it was bad. So, we went out for Brazilian food and will try with a fresh chicken tonight. I did call the store to tell them, but don't know if I can find the receipt, and by the time I'd thrown the chicken in the garbage on top of the wrapping, I had no interested in digging through to the wrapping!

                          1. BTW, if you brine it when you get home from the grocery store, the salt should kill a lot of bacteria on the chicken.

                            2 Replies
                              1. re: Hapa Dude

                                I agree. If a chicken still smells peculiar after you rinse it, it's a lost cause.

                                One time I tried to persuade myself that a chicken with a bit of an "off" smell would probably be OK after it was cooked (with plenty of herbs, etc.), but when it came out of the oven it was clearly no good. I dumped the whole thing.

                                Never again: If chicken smells bad, I abandon it and get my money back.

                                A couple of times I have brought the stinky chicken back to the store as "evidence," but I've found that the store doesn't want the actual bad chicken on its hands any more than I do. I've always been trusted and given a full refund if I just bring in the label from the package and tell my sad story.

                              2. brining will kill bacteria. of course, you don't want to leave it in the brine for too long, but it will extend the shelf life by a couple of days, maybe, by killing all already present bacteria. there are some, yes that can excape it, but you're unlikely to find them on a chicken.

                                1. I never buy chicken from common stores like Safeway.
                                  At Whole Foods, when I've asked, they've told me honestly that there is no chicken delivery on Sunday. If I were to buy chicken there on a Sunday, I'd cook it and eat it THAT DAY. If I buy chicken from a quality butcher that just got a delivery, I'd cook it by the next day AT THE LATEST. Never 2 days away from the purchase date.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: walker

                                    I thought of that Sunday thing after I threw it out - a good point.

                                  2. If it was this "buttery warm" smell, then yes, it was off and you were right to throw it out!

                                    TT

                                    1. Listen to your gut instinct, as it's programmed to tell you what's good or bad to eat. Don't second guess yourself or try to "save" it ...just throw the durn thing out.

                                      1. I bought a bag of chicken quarters from Wal Mart. The last one I ended up throwing out after about a week, since I had intended to debone it and throw it in the freezer until my SO and I were ready to eat it. This time, I just threw the whole thing in the freezer until I was ready to quarter it. It sat in my fridge for two days, and tonight I opened the bag. The same sulfur-y bad egg smell hit me when I opened the bag. Thing is, unless it was bad when I got it, it can't have gone bad since I got it, since it's been frozen the whole time.

                                        Because they were whole quarters, there were some innards and giblets pieces with the chicken - plus, they were packaged in their own blood. (That, first and foremost, makes me go "ick", but the bag is only $5 for ten pounds, so I'm trying to save some money.)

                                        I haven't tried rinsing them yet, but... Should I? Or should I just go complain to WalMart and give up on these quarters?

                                        1. BYE, BYE
                                          Fridge for two days was the "kiss of death".
                                          Toss it!

                                          1. Trust your instincts. Anytime you detect and off odor or something looks funny, throw it out immediately.

                                            Better safe than sorry!

                                            1. There are possibly many things that could account for the state of your chicken, but let's just consider the three most likely culprits:

                                              1) Wal-Mart

                                              2) $5

                                              £) 10 lbs

                                              TT

                                              1 Reply