Do some breeds of chicken have particularly red meat when cooked?

  • Do some breeds of chicken have particularly red meat when cooked? Abe

    Tonight, my friend and I ordered a fried chicken special at a restaurant with a local food theme. It was a great dish.

    Both of us got very pink chicken. I am pretty sure that my plate had three drumsticks. Upon noticing the color, my colleague returned the dish to be more thoroughly cooked. I did not return mine, since last week I read the USDA fact sheet on poultry preparation. It says that temperature and not color should be used to test for safety, and that cooked poultry can be pink - especially when young. As I kept eating, I came across meat that was quite dark red - this was probably the pinkest chicken I have ever eaten. Other than the color, the texture and color of the meat did not seem raw.

    I have a few questions:

    • Might the exceptional color be due in part to the breed (e.g. are there heritage breeds that have exceptionally red meat)?
    • Should I have been concerned (since I did not have a thermometer) (and should I have sent my chicken back?)
    • Is undercooked (pink) chicken more likely to be unsafe than undercooked (pink) beef? (Answers to previous questions seem to provide give conflicting answers: "no" as discussed in Why isn't it safe to eat raw chicken?; "yes" as discussed in Is it safe to prepare Chicken Tartare?)

  • Puffin meat is bright red. Duck meat can be rather red as well.

    I have seen some cooking process that can make chicken red or pink, Jidori chickens for example cooked at low temperatures for long periods of time.

food-safety chicken
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