. I'm taking the opportunity of this unplanned time off to connect with the many artists and creators in this wonderful city that I love. Come with me on my 100-day odyssey of art and creativity in Long Beach. I call it .
I'd picked up some free range chicken on sale, and I was sure it made the difference in the ravioli dish that I'd prepared a couple of weeks ago. The boys weren't so sure. So today, we tried to answer the question: Does free range chicken taste better?
August 28th was Day 58. We prepared and feasted on three brands of chicken in a chicken taste test.
This is the third deviation from the 'no buying anything rule'. Fondue, Kinect lecture and today, three brands of chicken.
To do any taste test, we seek out three of anything. Three is a good number. It keeps the test interesting. Two is too few, and four gets a bit confusing.
Should I hide my head in shame when I say that we usually buy whatever chicken is on sale? I like to think of it as being thrifty (not cheap). If I believed that the flavor was so much better, sure I would buy the birds which have tasted freedom. I just need to know that the taste is really that much better.
The three brands of chicken were simple truth, the Ralphs store brand and Smart Chicken.
The simple truth label reads: Natural Chicken Breast, boneless and skinless. No antibiotics ever. No added hormones. 100% vegetarian diet. Raised cage free. And then: Raised cage free in a humane environment and fed an all vegetarian diet. Regular price $5.49/lb. Sale price $4.99/lb.
The Ralphs store brand reads: Chicken breast bnls. sknls. hand trimmed. Regular price $4.99/lb. Sale price $3.99/lb.
The Smart Chicken brand reads: Certified Organic. Air Chilled. Raised without antiiotics. Free range. No added water. Taste the Air Chilled difference. Regular price $7.99/lb. Not on sale.
The preparation was simple so that the flavor of the chicken could persist. Skewers, seasoned simply with garlic powder, some black pepper and spritzes of olive oil.
I confess, I'd wanted to try out this little Japanese yakitori grill that I'd bought at the Sushi of Naples going-out-of-business sale. I love tabletop cooking of any sort. Reality took over after I realized that it would be an eternity to cook the 3 breasts I'd prepared, so three little pieces of each type of chicken made it onto the yakitori grill and the rest of the skewers went into the oven.
I'd like to tell you the results were conclusive, but I can't. After tasting the chicken prepared on the tabletop grill, the general consensus was that the Ralphs and Smart Chicken brands were both better than the simple truth brand, but they were similar in flavor. I personally thought that the Smart Chicken brand was a bit better, but I was the only one to think so. Then, there was the fact that I actually knew which chicken sample went to which label, so I may have been affected by that information.
The results were muddied even more by the fact that we had a second preparation method. For those, the simple truth brand came up on top. We discussed the possible causes of this, and decided that the oven-cooked version was just more evenly prepared, and a bit more well done. As for the others? Well, the taste test was over. The response to my inquiries was: No comment.
And a question: Which is more humane? To eat a bird that has known freedom or to eat a bird that has been imprisoned all its life?
Tidbits, Things, Trails
- We may have to try this one again.
- I wonder about the eggs from those free range chickens.
Want more lemonade?
I am thinking of buying some extender for my Speedball paints. I'm probably going to Lyon's Art Supply on 4th Street.
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Trish Tsoiasue writes as herself about creative and maker topics for and as Handmade Penguin for the Handmade Penguin Blog.