poultry processing - odd skin layer??

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Just finished processing our first batch of broiler chickens (at 8 weeks). Average weight was about 4#. Up to now, we've only eaten culls (usually excess roos); this was the first time for actual meat birds. When plucking (by hand), we noticed a papery, thin, yellow (about the same color as chicken fat) layer outside the thicker chicken skin. This layer just seems to roll off in some places and stick in others. I've never seen it before. What is it, and what do we do with it? It was impossible to keep intact.


-- Andrea, Big Flats, NY (andreagee@aol.com), May 05, 2002


Normal. Just ignore it.

-- Rose (open_rose@hotmail.com), May 05, 2002.

Natural. Just a part of home raised. We found that some birds had more than others even from thesame flock.

-- Novina in ND (homespun@stellarnet.com), May 06, 2002.

You scalded the bird, right? Well, it's that outer layer of skin. Don't worry about it. It's normal. Doesn't hurt to get rid of it. Doesn't hurt to eat it. When you scald I think you're giving whatever degree burns... Ka BAK!

-- Gailann Schrader (gtschrader@aol.com), May 06, 2002.

To what temperature are you heating the water? And how long are you immersing them? What you speak of USUALLY indicates water a bit too hot, although too long an immersion time can sometimes produce the same results. I generally scald at 150 to 155 degrees fahrenheit for about 60 seconds (depends upon the size of the chicken). Some folks do 135 degrees for 90 seconds. Whatever works is fine, but I suspect your temps are a tad on the high side. GL!

-- Brad (Homefixer@SacoRiver.net), May 06, 2002.

I agree with Brad about the scalding. Experiment a bit with lengths of time in different temps of water and you can get it pretty good. Or just ignore it. It's just cosmetic.

-- Jennifer L. (Northern NYS) (jlance@nospammail.com), May 06, 2002.

We kept a floating thermometer in the scalder at all times, and the temps hovered just around 150, and if anything, we didn't leave the birds in long enough (because we had to redunk occasionally) . I've overscalded before, and cooked the skin, too, so I know what that looks like when it tears. This ultra thin, yellow layer was something I'd never encountered before, that's all. Thanks for all your advice! After the chickens had aged in the fridge overnight, I can't even see that layer anymore (and the fragrance of roasting chicken wafting in here is mouthwatering!). : )

-- Andrea, Big Flats, NY (andreagee@aol.com), May 06, 2002.

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