What does all that chicken marketing mean, and how does it taste

YouTuber Ethan Chlebowski explains a mystery that has long puzzled me — what all the words used to market chicken to us in the supermarket mean. Some are meaningful, some are just thrown at us, but if you know what they mean you can likely optimize which type of chicken you buy for particular dishes or cooking styles.

The long of and short of it is that chicken tastes like chicken, but how the chicken is raised and what breed of chicken it is will make a big difference in texture, as well as how the bird is chilled. Chilling, if you like to make fried chicken, is really important as it'll impact the amount of water the meat has to release during cooking.

Big factory-raised bird flesh seems the best for stuff where the chicken is shredded or boiled, like a chicken salad or chicken soup. For stuff where you'll be biting into something firmer, texture becomes king, and the longer and more outside-raised a bird is, the more natural development a muscle has had. I guess we can consider the higher prices to be paying more for how the bird is raised, but it translates pretty directly into texture.

I use the Costco $5 chickens and my Instant Pot to make chicken soup now, and I am pretty sure the $5 chicken is not raised in a chicken Disneyland but rather a Kirkland Chicken Gulag.