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Mar 12, 2007 11:25 AM

strangely red kosher chicken breast. why, and is it safe?

When I opened a package of boneless skinless kosher chicken breasts from Trader Joe's yesterday, one of the three breast pieces was noticeably reddish (the others were a normal yellow-white). I gave it a good sniff and there was no scent to indicate that it was off, so I cooked it with the other pieces in a stir fry. The red chicken bites were tougher and stronger-tasting than than the other pieces. All of this doesn't make sense to me, given what I know (not a lot) about kosher slaughtering - doesn't it entail draining the blood, so that the flesh would be, if anything, less red than non-kosher meat? And if it's something about the processing, then why just that one piece out of three? Any theories?

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  1. My guess is a different kind of chicken, maybe one with red feathers rather than the standard white feathers.

    1. When you buy parts, they aren't from the same chicken. That's why just one of the boneless breasts was reddish. My guess is that the chicken ate something red or high in a reddish mineral like iron. Considering that it tasted stronger, I'm betting on the high iron feed.

      1. It sound like maybe a thigh got in with the breasts.

        1. As a general rule, of something looks off or different, do not use it. Bring it back. If you are not going back to the store immediately, freeze it, and bring it the next time you go. Chicken should not be red, or any other off color.

          Trader Joe is not really the best place to buy poultry. Buy it from a reputable butcher, where you can see exactly what you are getting.

            1. re: oldhound

              Thanks for this link. The site is really interesting - I now know a lot more about poultry processing, and it didn't even make me queasy!