Why does chicken taste so bad?

Discussion in 'Consumer Issues and Rights' started by Deirdra, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. Deirdra

    Deirdra Frequent Poster

    Has any one noticed how chicken is becoming more bland?

    All the chicken I've seen over the past year or more seem to have the tell tale signs of being already frozen and then defrosted (slight pool of water when you hold the packet facing down). Bought some fillets recently that when cooked turned into 'super size' and were so tough and dry - they just weren't natural!

    I know pork has had water added to it - is this fate of consumers to eat such awful chicken - or give in and buy quite expensive 'corn fed' and similar chicken?
  2. TreeTiger

    TreeTiger Frequent Poster

    I'm a vegetarian so can't really comment about the taste of chicken :D but surely it's totally illegal to sell as fresh a food product which has been frozen and defrosted? I cook meat although I don't eat it and try to make sure I am extra careful about storing it correctly, and one of the things I thought was written in stone was that defrosted meat cannot be re-frozen. Your post gives the impression that you may be finding defrosted chicken on sale in multiple outlets, perhaps you might clarify?

    As to cooking, if a chicken fillet is steeped in salted water for about 3 hours before cooking, it is more tender when cooked than a fillet that hasn't been steeped. Well that's what they say in my house anyway!
  3. Deirdra

    Deirdra Frequent Poster

    As far I can see from the Food Safety website, it's not illegal to add water to chicken, but suppliers must say how much water content it has. I've noticed in the past year or so, some watery residue in the plastic containers that chicken is packed in - which makes me think it has been frozen and defrosted (because I've seen the same effect when I've frozen and defrosted meat myself).

    I'm not in the food industry - just giving my experience to see if other consumers have similar experience or opinions.
  4. LouthLass

    LouthLass Frequent Poster


    I'm just wondering where you are sourcing your chicken? Do you purchase from big name supermarkets? The reason I ask is because I have found that meat purchased from big supermarkets tended to be bland, high water content and just didn't taste all that nice! However, I have been lucky enough to find a small local butcher who gets his meat in on a daily basis from local sources and the taste is superb, I have no fault with the produce I have purchased from him. The chicken is delicious and tender no matter how it is prepared. It may be a case of sourcing from local suppliers and hopefully then you will re-discover chicken and indeed other meats as they are meant to taste:)
  5. MandaC

    MandaC Frequent Poster

    I agree that there is a taste of "nothing" off some of those chicken fillets. I now buy my meat at a Farmers Market, or free range chicken in local butchers and whilst it is more expensive, I buy less, but better quality and I can definitely taste the difference.
  6. tridóaon

    tridóaon Guest

    In England its all frozen so it goes that the same will apply in mIreland as there are huge advantages to not have to supply fresh meat with the possibility of losing some of it before it even gets to the shelves, why do you think there is less reporting of rotten meat which was epedemic some years ago. I went into Sainsburys in Camden town a few (probably5) years ago for some late night shopping, the beef I was buying was frozen and when I pointed this out to the staff they informed mre that all the meat arrived frozen and was defrosted under controlled conditions. Like in my shopping basket or the fridge. I am informed that this meat is suitable for freezing. It is a disgrace of the highest proportions and as usual nothing will be done as the profits grow.
  7. cleverclogs7

    cleverclogs7 Frequent Poster

    hum.ever think that the chicken has been washed after being plucked and then packed.
  8. ajapale

    ajapale Moderator

    This consumer quality question has been moved from MNFQ's
  9. Deirdra

    Deirdra Frequent Poster

    Thanks for all replies, yes I generally shop in supermarkets, I haven't really sought out the farmers markets etc.

    Tridoaon, you've hit the nail on the head, as far as I'm concerned. I find it's quite depressing to be buying defrosting meat and meat that can be refrosted again. I think as consumers we don't have as much choice as we'd like to think, really we are just pawns in multinational businesses.

    I'm going to South of France to have better food or set up my own little farm :cool:
  10. moneygrower

    moneygrower Frequent Poster

    Have you tried a halal butcher? I get a lot of our meat from Saray Mehran on Thomas St the price is really low but the taste is great. You can even see by looking at the whole chickens their legs are big in proportion to their breasts, i.e. these fellas have been moving around and aren't 90% fat. I'm not that clued up on Halal methods of rearing animals but I know there is an emphasis on humanity or animality whatever you call it.
  11. Deirdra

    Deirdra Frequent Poster

    Nice tip moneygrower! I'll try them tomorrow. Not 'clued up on Halal methods of rearing animals'? I know there was a God almighty row on the Live Line about chickens been kept in a domestic garden or similar - but it won't deter me from trying it :D
  12. huskerdu

    huskerdu Frequent Poster

    I only buy chicken ( and all othe meat) from a local butcher and the quality and taste are great, and the prices are generally better value
    than supermarkets.
  13. ophelia

    ophelia Frequent Poster

    Deirdra, the incident of the man slaughtering ducks in his back garden was abit of a one-off as I remember. It was coming up to one of the Muslim festivals and for some reason the Hilal butchers don't regularly stock duck so this guy was killing a few ducks (albeit eventually 40 or so) in his back garden for friends and family. As far as I am aware the regular Hilal butchers source their chickens/meat from Irish suppliers with the proviso that they have been killed by Muslims using the Hilal method of slaughter.
    I agree that the taste of Hilal meat is (usually) superior in my opinion to the regular stuff.
  14. MOB

    MOB Frequent Poster

    "or give in and buy quite expensive 'corn fed' and similar chicken"

    I don't understand the marketing of 'corn fed' chicken as a premium product. Even if it tastes good, on principle I would not be inclined to buy it, as I doubt that it is natural for any animal to have a diet of 100% corn - (except maybe some insect pests which have evolved to attack only corn?).

    Chickens eat insects, grass, all sorts of vegetation, worms, grubs and pretty much whatever grains you give them. I sometimes see them kill and eat small frogs. A proper (and I mean proper) free range chicken will have access to a varied diet. I am sure this is far more natural than being 'corn fed'.

    Also - whatever about slaughtering 40 birds in the back yard, in my opinion there is nothing at all wrong with keeping a few chickens in even quite a small domestic garden. They are not noisy. There can be an odour if you do not clean out the hen house, but the amount of bird poop is certainly every bit as manageable as if you had a dog.
  15. S.L.F

    S.L.F Guest

    Me too!

    Personally I buy my chicken from my local butcher the taste is far better than from the supermarkets
  16. MsGinger

    MsGinger Frequent Poster

    I sometimes buy chicken from M&S and find it tastes much better and totally different to other supermarkets and even most butchers.
  17. nesbitt

    nesbitt Frequent Poster

    I agree I have been buying the M&S Oakham chickens for about 2 years now, they taste so much better! They are not free range or organic but I would not buy my chicken now anywhere else. I stock up the freezer when they are on half price offer. Total saddo, I know!
  18. sparkeee

    sparkeee Frequent Poster

    because its fowl.
  19. NHG

    NHG Frequent Poster

    I cooked a boned and rolled stuffed chicken yesterday which i purchased from a good butchers, I found it only ok, much prefer to cook freshly washed & dried fillets with a layer of sliced onion and chopped garlic underneath and spread over the top and all cooked in a magic cooking bag, always lovely and tender.
  20. mcaul

    mcaul Frequent Poster

    As many above, the local butcher is your best bet.

    A good size free range will cost about €12 in your local butcher and will feed 4 adults quite easily. Free range is denser, so will be more filling and far more flavoursome.

    Also, the chances are, the chicken will have been reared within a few miles of where you bought it.

    A cooking tip - invest in a le Crueset oven dish, then put a cut lemon inside the chicken along with a couple of cloves of garlic and place in oven.