Market Look-For’s

  • The skin and fat should have a yellowish hue—means the birds had access to pasture and so more beta-carotene in their diet.
  • Generally buy whole chicken because you never know what happened to the pieces you’re not seeing.
  • I prioritize air-chilled chicken because the skin generally crisps up and has less water weight. A water-chilled, well-raised chicken is still better than your average clucker.


  • If your bird is getting on in age, season liberally with salt and herbs both natural disinfectants will help keep bad bacteria at bay while simultaneously seasoning and flavoring the meat.
  • Save your bones from roasted and raw birds and make stock when you have a full pot of bones. For the love of all that is good, do not throw them out.


  • Older birds will be tougher, save them for slow cooking or soup.
  • Young birds will be leaner.