Protein Guide: All About Poultry

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Protein Guide: All About Poultry

By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

Here in the Paula Deen circle, we love our poultry as much as any meat-eater does – almost as much as we love our pork.  Whether it’s time for a holiday turkey, a quick weeknight roast, a light chicken salad lunch, or a fancy duck for a special occasion, poultry offers some of the most versatile, healthy options around. 

What is poultry?
While in the US the most common types of fowl are chicken, turkey, and their products (such as poultry bacon, jerky, patties, hot dogs, turducken), poultry refers to a wide category of birds that are domesticated for human consumption.  This category also includes waterfowl such as duck and goose; other wild game birds such as quail, pheasant, and guineafowl; ratites (small flightless birds such as ostrich, emu, and rhea); and rabbits. 

Where should it come from and what should I look for?
The US is the biggest global poultry producer, with large-scale factories and local farmers across the Midwest and many other states, providing us with an abundance of choices.  For example, Paula’s friends at Springer Mountain Farms take extra care to produce a 100% all natural chicken.

How do I cook it?
We have literally hundreds of chicken, turkey recipes, and other fowl recipes!

If you want chicken, check out our Chicken Chart for a diagram of edible cuts linked to recipes from the test kitchen.
For Turducken and other duck recipes:
Duck Burgundy
Duck and Oyster Gumbo

For some other fun fowl favorites to enjoy this spring and summer, try these unusual salsa-topped options:

Grilled Chicken with Rhubarb Salsa It doesn’t get much healthier or more refreshing than these grilled chicken breasts topped with a spicy rhubarb and strawberry salsa- all of which you can whip up in about 20 minutes!

Turkey Black Bean Burgers with Corny Salsa Instead of buns, these ground “burgers” feature a tasty patty topped with a protein-packed black bean salsa!

What do I do with leftovers?
Uncooked chicken keeps for a few days in the fridge (or in the freezer for 6-9 months. Get more freezer tips here!

Leftovers can be refashioned into something else delicious and hearty, like Leftover Hurry Up Chicken Pot Pie.

For turkey, check out these killer hash and soup recipes using chunky turkey:
Turkey Hash - This would make for a bright, tasty, smoky brunch covering almost all your food groups with sweet potato, sausage, smoked paprika, scallions, and fried egg on top!

Turkey Minestrone - Tons of vegetables and extra protein from the beans make this a healthy, filling, simple soup!

Or make homemade stock (a great, easy way to incorporate leftover parts and a guarantee that your next recipe using chicken stock will be fantastic).

Some final tips to keep in mind:
USDA regulations recommend you cook poultry to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees, measured in the inner thigh or thickest part of the breast.  Juices should running almost clear, with only a slight blush.  Certain recipes may indicate to higher temperatures based on the cut of meat or other specifications.  For additional poultry facts and links to marinating, thawing, and other safe handling tips, click here.


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Reader Comments:


I can't wait to do the Custom Herb Planters for my Sunday School class for Mother's Day. I think that'll be a nice surprise for the mothers and the kids will have fun painting the pots the week before and then filling them and putting the herbs in the next Sunday for Mother's Day. For Father's day the fathers look forward to homemade rolls and fresh strawberry freezer jam. They really like that, but for mothers I'd not really come up with a good idea, but I really like the painted herb pots and the kids would be so glad to have mom's use in a dish they liked or maybe come to like since mom was using their herb. Thanks so much for the wonderful idea. Mary

By Mary Bebout on April 24, 2012

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