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Mar 6, 2012 11:39 AM

Roast chicken had pool of bloody liquid inside

I tried the Thomas Keller way of roasting chicken last night (trussed, salt and pepper), used a probe thermometer, and cooked at 425 until the thigh reached 160 degrees.

Was quite pleased with the way it turned out as I sliced off the legs, but as I went to slice off the breast, I realized the cavity of the chicken had a pool of red-tinted liquid. As I went to cut into the thigh, I realized it was just a TAD undercooked (by just a few minutes).

Is it normal for a trussed whole chicken to accumulate bloody juices like that? Even if the chicken was not undercooked, that liquid would not have gone anywhere. It's a bit disturbing to think I might be contaminating my perfectly cooked chicken with bloody liquid.

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  1. It's not going to be contaminated, the liquid is hot enough to kill off bacteria.

    1. This focuses on the red appearance near bones in cooked chicken, but I think the issues are similar
      You do not have actual blood, but heme rich meat juices that have not gotten hot enough to turn the red to brown or clear.

      Roasting the bird upright (beercan chicken) would let juices drain out.

      An interesting experiment would be to drain those juices into a small bowl, and heat them in the microwave or on the stove. Do they change color as they get hot?

      1. There is very little blood left in a chicken after processing. There was another thread on this subject not long ago, in which someone explained the origin of the liquid. In that case, it was a type of chicken which is larger than normal, so the effect may be more pronounced in larger birds. What was the weight of yours?

        By the way, the Food Safety and Inspection Service recommends 165°.

        1. I made the same chicken last night (pic posted in What's For Dinner #131). Although I cooked mine @ 450 for 60 minutes (4.25 lbs chicken).

          I do know of the pool of liquid that ends up in the cavity you are referring to, but it shouldn't pose any problems. Usually about after 3/4 of cooking, I'll pick up the bird by the tail and tip the juices into the vegetables underneath. Sometimes it's in there, sometimes it's not...but no worries.

          1. This unslightly liquid happens in my best chicken recipe quite frequently- Roast Chicken (lemon, salt and garlic) from Hodgeman's 'Beat This!' Cookbook.

            I just upend the whole bird and tip out the liquid into the already collected lemony/garlicky pan juices before my husband or other squeamish guests (related to my husband) see it.

            The juices are boiled and reduced slightly, sometimes with the additional sanitizing effect of alcohol (aka a slug of white wine).Those juices are heaven over mashed potatoes.

            Haven'ty killed any of the family yet!