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Whether fresh or frozen, look for well shaped plump birds that have blemish free, light even colored skin. The flesh of fresh birds should look moist but not wet. Wetness can indicate that the bird has been partially frozen.

When selecting birds gently bend the tip of the breast bone, it should be flexible.

There should be no signs of bruising or feathers, insuring that the legs are pliable and the skin intact.

The body should be compact, well rounded in shape with plump, firm breasts.

The bird should smell fresh, without any strong odors. When choosing frozen birds make sure the wrapping is sealed and intact and there are no ice crystals or discoloration, which is a sign of freezer burn on the skin.
Most supermarket birds are conventionally reared and have consistently bland taste. Free range birds are generally more expensive and are more flavorful as the result of their varied diet and free roaming conditions.

Frozen poultry must be defrosted completely before cooking. Thaw in the original packaging on a plate in the refrigerator allowing 3 to 5 hours per pound.

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