Pick the Best Chicken

How to Select the Best Chicken at the Supermarket

Are you standing in the poultry aisle feeling confused? If you’re bewildered about how to choose the best chicken at the grocery store, here are a few tips you can use that will help.

How to Pick the Freshest Chicken

Look for:

  • the “best by” date–make sure it will still be fresh when you intend to cook it
  • the word “fresh” on the label–this means the chicken has never had an internal temp below 26°F
  • a bird that’s plump with yellowish skin
  • breasts that are pale pink with very little fat
  • dark meat with some white fat and dark pink-colored meat

Smell:

Give that bird a good sniff. (It’s okay–nobody’s looking.) There should never be any particular scent or odor–if there is, run for the hills and leave that bad bird behind. 

Touch:

Packages of chicken should feel cold to the touch and remain that way. So they should be among the last items you put into your cart before checking out.

Bringing Home the Bird

Okay, so you’ve decided on a chicken that looks and smells good, right? Now what?

At the store:

  1. Whether prepackaged or wrapped in butcher paper, make sure the chicken is also wrapped in plastic. This prevents leaking juices onto other items.
  2. If you’re not going directly home after your stop at the store, place your chicken in a cooler.

At Home:

  1. Refrigerate immediately.
  2. Use the chicken within two days.
  3. When prepping, use a different cutting board for raw chicken than you use for other ingredients. Rada makes it easy with flexible, easy-to-clean, and inexpensive Cutting Boards.

Jess prepares a chicken.

Now, onto this yummy chicken recipe!

First of all, it’s a sheet pan dinner–everything bakes in one baking pan, assuring that cleanup is a breeze.

Plus there are so many amazing flavors in this recipe, you’ll want it on repeat.

For this Moroccan Sheet Pan Chicken recipe, you’ll need…

For the chicken:
olive oil
honey
ground cumin, coriander, ginger, and cayenne
minced garlic
chicken pieces
red onion
tiny red potatoes
dried apricots
pistachios

For the sauce:
fresh cilantro and mint
ground cumin and ginger
lime zest and juice
olive oil
honey
sea salt

Make sure to line your sheet pan with parchment paper to keep the mess to a minimum.

Combine the oil, honey, and spices with Rada’s Handi-Stir whisk and coat the chicken and veggies with part of it. Coat the dried apricots with the remainder.

Bake, make the sauce, sprinkle with pistachios, and ENJOY. Delicious, but oh-so simple to make!

Find the full, printable recipe below.

There’s an incredible amount of flavor in this sheet pan meal! The delicious combination of spices paired with apricots and Cool Zhoug Sauce? It’s out of this world!

So what’s Zhoug Sauce?

It’s sort of like a Middle Eastern version of chimichurri or salsa verde, but this version isn’t spicy like some others. However, you could certainly add hot peppers, hot sauce, and/or cayenne pepper if you prefer more heat.

Moroccan Sheet Pan Chicken

INGREDIENTS (Serves 4)

For the chicken:
Several garlic cloves
¼ C. olive oil
2 T. honey
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. EACH ground coriander, ginger, and cayenne
1 red onion
1 lb. tiny red potatoes
3 lbs. chicken pieces
1¼ C. dried apricots

For the Cool Zhoug Sauce:
1 bunch EACH fresh cilantro and mint
¼ tsp. EACH ground cumin and ginger
Zest and juice of 1 lime
¼ C. olive oil
Honey and sea salt to taste

For Serving:
Coarsely chopped pistachios

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.

For the chicken, get after a few cloves of garlic with a chef’s knife and mince to make 1 tablespoon. Toss into a small bowl along with the oil, honey, cumin, coriander, ginger, and cayenne; whisk to combine.

Use that same knife to quarter the onion and halve the potatoes; put these into a big bowl and add the chicken; drizzle with ¾ of the honey mixture and toss to coat. Arrange the chicken and vegetables in a single layer in the prepped pan. Set the remaining honey mixture aside.

Bake for 35 minutes.

Toss the dried apricots with the set-aside honey mixture. Add to the baking pan and bake an additional 15 minutes, until the meat is done (165°).

While the food is baking, make the Cool Zhoug Sauce. Use the chef’s knife again to chop up the cilantro to measure about ¾ cup and the mint to equal about ½ cup. Stir together the cilantro, mint, cumin, ginger, lime zest, lime juice, and oil. Add honey and sea salt to taste.

Sprinkle food with pistachios and serve with Cool Zhoug Sauce.

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