How to Choose Fresh Chickens and Ducks

Whether it is a whole bird or parts, I judge fresh poultry by the moist look of the skin, the plump fullness of the flesh, and the lack of any odor. Whenever possible, I buy the whole bird with all its appendages intact, for in addition to liking to use the neck, feet, and wingtips in stock, I can better judge the healthy freshness of the bird by looking at it top to toe. Dry or bruised skin, sunken flesh, pools of bloody liquid, or clumps of ice in the cavity are my warning signs. If I see them, I donโ€™t buy the bird.