Friday, October 31, 2008

Stringy

Corey and I have decided that pastured beef and pork is infinitely more delicious than the CAFO stuff. (I'm eating some sausage right now! You should be jealous!) Absolutely and unquestionably worth whatever minimal addition in price. The taste is just so fresh and pure and...meaty. Un-be-lievable.

Same with the eggs. The yolks are bright orange. Anyone who read Omnivore's Dilemma and had a mouth watering, out-of-body experience reading about those eggs the chefs wanted to bake with can relate to my delight making omelets from these beautiful ova.

The cage-free chickens, however? Stringy. Tough. Kind of gross, actually. It's a bit like gnawing on airplane meat or something with the consistency of licorice.

I can't understand it. I am so sad about it. Why is the meat ungood? Is there something in the diet of these chickens that makes the meat this way? Have I had continued bad luck with my cooking abilities?

Surely cramming chickens into cages the way we do now can't IMPROVE the quality of the meat? Can it? I don't know what to do in this situation, because I can't see myself giving up poultry and I want to stick to my guns regarding this lifestyle choice. Anyone out there had any delicious free range/cage free poultry?

3 comments:

Laura V said...

We get pastured poultry from Misera. It's not free-range; their chickens are in a bottomless pen/coop that gets moved around a pasture. They are juicy and tender.

It's not the diet of the chickens that is causing you the problem, I bet -- it's that you're used to chickens who do not use their muscles. The bottomless pen option means that the chickens get fresh air and sunshine and some exercise, but not a LOT of exercise. Couch potato chickens instead of shut-ins (CAFOs).

Don't know how you feel about that, but personally I'm OK with it.

Laura V said...

p.s. sorry I didn't text you back yesterday! I had my phone turned off for some reason and didn't realize it!

Em said...

See, I actually found the opposite (and Dee agrees). The chickens we've had have been delicious and chickeny, and the beef we've had has been tough and stringy. The eggs are simply orgasmic.

Maybe for the chickens, try a tenderizing cooking method? Braising, slowcooker, something that will break down the fibers a bit?