Best Tasting Chicken Breed

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by weaveagarden, Jul 18, 2009.

  1. weaveagarden

    weaveagarden Songster

    Jul 4, 2009
    Hoquiam, Wa
    Anybody out there who can remember when chicken used to have that wonderful flavor. Seems like it has gotten so tasteless in the past 40 years or so. That would fit with a lot of other things that have been hybridized so much. But I know that there are still heritage breeds out there that haven't lost there stuff. Both in seeds and in animals.

    Can anybody share what they find to be the best tasting breed and how you get it that way. Obviously the taste will be influenced by diet..... We are what we eat, and our food is what it consumes too.

    I am interested in Poultry of all kinds, and Rabbits as well.

    Thanks in advance. I would love to go into next years flock with a plan for getting a freezer full of tasty meals.
  2. FrenchHen

    FrenchHen Chicken Ambassador

    Jan 26, 2009
    Bagshot Row
    I can't help, but my eyes tricked me on the title of your post, and I saw "Best Tasting Chicken Bread."

    Rangers are supposed to be good.
  3. lux_interior

    lux_interior Songster

    Apr 28, 2009
    I'm not positive on THE best, but I know that Cornish x's are supposed to be less flavorful, so I'd avoid those. The breed used to make those are probably very good meat birds though, the cornish X has just been genetically altered TOO much to be naturally delicious. Some of the breeds used to make them though were Plymouth rocks, Cornish, and Wyandotte. All three of those are probably some of the most delicious... there are also Freedom Rangers or other type of meat breeds that are supposed to be MUCH better than Cornish X also... Good luck!
  4. chickenwhisperer123

    chickenwhisperer123 Whispers Loudly

    Mar 7, 2009
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    Quote:Phew, Im not going crazy then. [​IMG]

    Would heritage breeds have a more natural flavor, or would they be the same, since chickens came from heritage breeds?

    You could try a silkie! [​IMG] (all two bites!!)
  5. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Songster

    Apr 29, 2007
    Cornish rocks ands down.... Basically a broiler... raised like a normal chicken. The taste is amazing not to mention it can go with just about any dish. They even make a decent soup.

    Heritage breeds are good but very rich in "flavor".... some don't think it's flavor but more gamey or tough.

    Each breed has its place in the kitchen....
  6. jaku

    jaku Songster

    Yeah, I guess I've never had anything other than a Cornish X, between store birds and my own, but I can't imagine wanting more chicken "flavor." Home raised Cornish X's have a ton of flavor, and much better texture than store birds. Plus, you'll get a very meaty bird for your money.
  7. Neil Grassbaugh

    Neil Grassbaugh Songster

    Sep 1, 2008
    The modern meat chickens, inaccurately refered to as cornish x, are just as flavorful as any other chicken at the same age.
    I agree that modern meat chickens do not have the pronounced "chicken flavor" more common in in the past.
    The simple reason for this is not genetics but age. Remember that on the average the chicken in the grocers meat case was slaughtered at 42 days of age. Let them get twice that age (12 weeks) like some of the dual purpose breeds discussed here and the taste will be entirely different.
    This is one of the reason that the grocer's roaster (larger and older bird) is more flavorful and gaining popularity.

    BTW there was a post about chickens used for store rotissirie being different somehow than any other chickens. Not the case. They are just like all the rest of the chickens in the store. I remember reading in a trade journal a couple of years ago that there were about 700 million chickens sold per year rotissirie ready to eat.
    Amatsuhono likes this.
  8. Kezzie

    Kezzie Songster

    Feb 15, 2009
    Coastal Georgia
    Quote:Why is that inaccurate? Are they not Cornish crossed over something else?
  9. If you are looking at a quick chicken the cornish X are the way to go. However you will have to buy chicks time and time again.

    Heritage chickens have a better flavorand self reproduce. Of the chickens we raise and from personal taste test I would rank the Cuckoo Marans as best taste overall. Dark Cornish and RIR as having the best breast meat, Buff Orps as having the best leg 1/4's

    Steve in NC
  10. weaveagarden

    weaveagarden Songster

    Jul 4, 2009
    Hoquiam, Wa
    Good info. Thanks all. I had never thought about the age being a factor. That does make sense.

    I wonder if my age might make a difference in my opinion. I remember eating chicken as a kid cooked only with salt, because my mom wasn't really into seasonings the way we all are these days. We had raised them ourselves on the farm. Anyway, the flavor was pronounced and definate.

    Perhaps it was the feed also. Back then, the feed was more like real food. My dad would bring home huge gunny(sp?) sacks of grain. They weren't free range, but I know that they got lots of plant material from the garden and grain fields.

    Anyway, I am new to raising my own for meat (not since those days on the farm) so I am not an expert about any breed. But I can tell you with a great deal of certainty that what you buy in the store. Fryer, Broiler or Roaster, Pre-cooked or not - It just isn't chicken like chicken should taste.

    My feeling is that all of this breeding to bring out particular characteristics like fast developing or larger and larger hasn't really done the food value much good.

    So I am on a quest to get to know my food better. Organic feed and organic pasture. With any luck I will taste those old flavors that I am craving. I will be sure to share my results.

    In the meantime I am still wanting your opinions. Ranger chicken.... I will have to find out more about that one.

    I did have some heritage turkey a couple of T-days ago that really made me think about poultry again. It was so wonderful and still tender. But with flavor that wasn't covered up by the herbs and seasonings.
    BantamAshley likes this.

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