Boiled chicken: coloured parts of the meat?

James Wilson
  • Boiled chicken: coloured parts of the meat? James Wilson

    When I try to make chicken soup I usually find parts of the meat don't seemed to be cooked properly: red, purple, or brown bits which I think should be white. Sometimes some pieces come out white while other are white on the outside but inside they are coloured. I use a standard method: I cut 1kg chicken into 4-8 pieces, add 2 litres water, add salt, bring to boil, then simmer for 1 hour. On occasions I have managed to cook it all white but this is the exception not the rule.

    1. Does the size of pieces make a difference as to how well it cooks? Does size make a difference as to how I should cook it? e.g. should large pieces be cooked slowly while smaller pieces be cooked fast?

    2. Does the speed at which I bring to a boil affect the cooking? Should I bring it to a boil slowly or is it ok to do it fast so long as I lower the heat once it's boiling?

    3. Sometimes I notice some chicken bits start ripping, e.g. skin opens, tears. My guess is this is due to boiling or staying on the lower surface centre of the pot. What causes this, and is it a problem?

    4. How long are soups meant to be cooked for? Mine is usually 1 hour 15 minutes. Sometimes I add more time but it doesn't still cook the insides properly.

    5. Could it be the temperature? Even if I don't go above a simmer, it still doesn't cook properly.

    6. Does stirring make a difference? I have tried this, but it doesn't seem to.

    Do you have any idea why I cannot get it right or what I may be doing wrong? Is there a sure procedure to cook chicken soup to make sure it cooks fully every time?

  • Your chicken is fully cooked after simmering for an hour. The red bits are from the bone marrow and don't indicate that it's undercooked. You'll see the same thing if you roast a chicken, and you'll notice that the red bits are always in the meat surrounding bone joints.

chicken soup temperature
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