Every cut of Smart Chicken is hand-trimmed at the processing level by skilled personnel. The result is chicken that is not only a better value, but more convenient. Boneless skinless cuts are trimmed of unusable fat, and whole chickens are removed of innards and even trussed. (There’s no need to rinse fresh chicken, according to the FSIS, which notes that rinsing raw chicken can spread bacteria around your sink and counter.) Trimmed cuts of fresh chicken go straight from the package to the pan, so there are fewer steps between your family and a healthy, wholesome meal.
FREEZING & THAWING
If you don’t plan to use Smart Chicken right away, transfer it to the freezer. According to the FSIS, chicken will keep in the freezer for four to six months.
There are three ways to thaw frozen meat: In the refrigerator, under cool running water, or in the microwave using the defrost setting. For best results, transfer meat to the refrigerator the day before you plan to use it. (Allow about 24 hours of defrosting time for every five pounds of meat.) Items thawed in the refrigerator should remain safe and of good quality for an additional one to two days; it’s best to cook meats thawed in the refrigerator right away, but they can be safely refrozen.
Chicken can also be thawed in its sealed package under cold running water. This method requires about one hour for every pound of meat. In less time, meats can also be thawed safely using the defrost setting on your microwave. Foods thawed under cool water or in the microwave must be cooked right away, and should not be stored for later use or refrozen.
Fresh chicken can be prepared any number of ways including grilling, roasting, boiling, sautéing, broiling, frying, and steaming. Use an instant-read thermometer to ensure that chicken is cooked all the way through to a safe internal temperature of at least 165°F. When checking the temperature of bone-in cuts, it’s important to be sure that the thermometer is not touching bone. To take the temperature of a whole chicken, insert the thermometer into the thickest portion of the thigh (again, avoiding touching the bone).