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Hack this Kosher chicken: is salt soaking normal? is it more "paleo" than regular chicken?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 22, 2013 at 12:31 PM

I purchased a pack of kosher chicken (http://www.empirekosher.com/)

3 pounds (cut pieces) in my pressure cooker for 18 minutes (2 cups water) produced the best chicken I've ever had.

On their product page & FAQ, it mentions they soak and salt the chicken.

However, it was my first time with this brand, and first time using a pressure cooker, so I don't know what exactly caused the results to be soo darn good.

  1. I presume regular chicken isn't salt soaked because I never heard of that. Is salt-soaking good / bad, or doesn't it matter?

  2. Is this chicken better than your average factory farmed chicken I hear so much bad about?

  3. Is this chicken more "paleo" than regular store bought?

Thanks, Mike

PS: I'm not kosher so that's not a factor either way.

E791387b2829c660292308092dc3ca9b

(831)

on January 23, 2013
at 10:22 PM

It is actually a step up for 2 reasons: first most chicken producers use the Cornish cross chicks which are so unnatural they don't get up and walk around except to eat and drink. Second most chicken houses are packed to the gills and the chicks don't have any room to move at all. Since they use a heritage breed and they probably allow more space per chicken in the house it is one step higher. Kinda like solitary confinement vs. a minimum security prison.

06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on January 22, 2013
at 07:06 PM

Wow. Just wow.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 22, 2013
at 06:16 PM

Thanks for pointing this out. When I read "The stress free chickens roam freely and are sheltered in spacious, sanitary quarters, instead of in chicken coops. " I thought that meant they were free range. Obviously not (per my separate answer I posted below). Thanks! Mike

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4 Answers

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E791387b2829c660292308092dc3ca9b

(831)

on January 22, 2013
at 12:53 PM

After reading through their website it appears they still raise their chickens in barns with no access to the outside. So it's CAFO chicken. It does appear that they use a different breed than the usual chicken producers do so it isn't the mutant hybrid. Kosher is a stricter standard than just USDA so you should be getting a better quality chicken.

The salting or koshering process is due to Jewish food laws that require them to remove as much blood from their meat as possible before eating it. It also has the side effect of tenderising the meat some and increasing flavor. It's less Paleo, I highly doubt Grok would have wasted what little salt he had access to in order to kosher his meat. But it most likely is a slightly healthier chicken than the average store CAFO one. The optimal chicken is a heritage breed raised outside in a free range situation.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on January 22, 2013
at 06:16 PM

Thanks for pointing this out. When I read "The stress free chickens roam freely and are sheltered in spacious, sanitary quarters, instead of in chicken coops. " I thought that meant they were free range. Obviously not (per my separate answer I posted below). Thanks! Mike

1
4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on January 22, 2013
at 05:37 PM

The chicken is only slightly better, because it has to go through the kosher inspection process (aka, someone very invested is looking at each chicken to make sure it is good enough). However, they are almost all CAFO chickens.

Most chicken that you can buy in the grocery store, kosher or not, has been either soaked in a salt solution, or injected with saline to add weight and taste. You can buy "air dried" chicken in whole foods that is not like this, but it is still CAFO chicken.

The best chicken is "pastured" chicken, raised outside with access to bugs, not fed GMO feed (you can sometimes find soy and corn free chicken, but it is super pricy).

0
23d79775ec12ac527f0cd9e2a97177c0

on August 04, 2013
at 06:40 PM

Try Kosher Valley chicken from whole foods. Much better tasting and free range, antibiotic free. I've always kept Kosher and my least favorite brand is Empire. To me it tastes kinda spongy, and I think they must inject saline into the chicken. There is also Aaron's Best, and they have an organic line.

0
7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

on January 22, 2013
at 06:10 PM

This is hilarious: (FROM THEIR FAQ:)

Are Empire Kosher’s poultry free roaming?

Yes. Empire’s chickens and turkeys are allowed to walk and roam freely inside houses. This exercise is healthy for the growing chicks and helps produce a wholesome product.


That's like asking: Are the prisoners free? Yes, they are free to walk around in their cell.

06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on January 22, 2013
at 07:06 PM

Wow. Just wow.

E791387b2829c660292308092dc3ca9b

(831)

on January 23, 2013
at 10:22 PM

It is actually a step up for 2 reasons: first most chicken producers use the Cornish cross chicks which are so unnatural they don't get up and walk around except to eat and drink. Second most chicken houses are packed to the gills and the chicks don't have any room to move at all. Since they use a heritage breed and they probably allow more space per chicken in the house it is one step higher. Kinda like solitary confinement vs. a minimum security prison.

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