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the collective term for domesticated birds bred for eating. Includes chickens, ducks, geese, guineas, pigeons, and turkeys.


Color variation

The breast and wing flesh are lighter colored in chickens and turkeys than the color of the thighs and legs. That's why it is often referred to as "white meat." Darker meats contain high concentrations of myoglobin, a protein that stores oxygen for muscles to use.


What are the 6 categories of poultry as recognized by the USDA?

Chicken, duck, goose, guinea, pigeon, and turkey.



contains only dark meat and large amounts of fat. duck has a high percentage of bone and fat to meat (a 4Ib duck will serve 2 people, whereas a 4Ib chicken will serve 4 people).



has light and dark meat and a flavor similar to pheasant. Tender enough to saute and usually barded before being roasted.



the second most popular poultry meat in the US. Has light and dark meat and a relatively small amount of fat.



Include livers, gizzards (a bird's second stomach), hearts, and necks. Often used to make giblet gravy.


Foie Gras

The enlarged liver of a duck or goose. Fresh foie gras consists of two lobes that must be separated, split, and deveined.



Chicken and turkey breast meat is lower in fat and higher in niacin than other lean meats. Generally, dark meat contains more niacin and riboflavin than white meat.



Ensure that products are produced under strict sanitary guidelines and are wholesome and fit for human consumption. Do not indicate quality or tenderness.



voluntary but virtually universal. Can be marked as USDA A, B, or C. Grade A is free from deformities, with thick flesh, and a well-developed fat layer. No broken bones. Most poultry in wholesale and retail is grade A. Grades B & C primarily used for processed poultry products.


What are some forms poultry can be purchased in?

whole or cut up, fresh or frozen, bone-in or boneless, portion controlled (P.C.), individually quick frozen (IQF) or ground.


Important factors of storing poultry.

small birds: stored on ice (32-34F) for 2 days and should be defrosted for 2 days. Larger birds: stored on ice for 4 days and should be allowed 4 days to defrost. Frozen poultry should be held at 0F or lower and can be held for up to 6 months.


Common separation (cuts) of poultry

cutting a bird in half, cutting a bird into 6 pieces, supreme or airline breast cut, boneless breast, boning a chicken leg and thigh,