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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Cooking Q & A / Yellow "skin" on chicken
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    Yellow "skin" on chicken

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    mightyro_cooking4u
    Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:22 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Thank you so much for shading some light on this. It dosen't give the chicken a bad or different taste, as you said it doesn't look good on the chicken.
    *Bellinda*
    Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:30 am
    Food.com Groupie
    This was interesting.
    What does the scalding process involve? What kind of liquid or whatever is used? I have never really thought about that.
    Nini #3
    Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:44 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    What you're all talking about is the fat and skin of a chicken. All chickens have it - the more yellow it is, the better diet the chickens have eaten. The thin layer is the membrane between the outer skin and the meat. You only notice it when you're cleaning the chicken and taking the skin off - - if you were to cook the chicken w/o removing the skin, you wouldn't notice it because it "melts away". It's not harmful or doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the chicken.
    NoeleenCleary
    Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:47 am
    Food.com Groupie
    *Bellinda* wrote:
    This was interesting.
    What does the scalding process involve? What kind of liquid or whatever is used? I have never really thought about that.

    I know how we did it when we butchered our on the ranch. Not sure you really want to hear it, though. icon_eek.gif It does make the plucking process a whole lot easier. We only used water. No chemicals. Not sure why chemicals would be necessary.
    Toadflax
    Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:02 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Nini #3 wrote:
    What you're all talking about is the fat and skin of a chicken. All chickens have it - the more yellow it is, the better diet the chickens have eaten. The thin layer is the membrane between the outer skin and the meat. You only notice it when you're cleaning the chicken and taking the skin off - - if you were to cook the chicken w/o removing the skin, you wouldn't notice it because it "melts away". It's not harmful or doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the chicken.


    No, I think we are talking about a thin layer on the outer side of the skin. It would be like our epidermis, the top layer, that we shed. Probably, when the chicken is scalded, it loosens and will peel away. We used to rub it with a washcloth to remove it. The yellowness of chicken skin depends on what they were fed - corn makes a yellow skin, wheat makes a whiter skin. Both are quality feed. In Canada we are more used to seeing a whiter skin because we produce a lot of wheat here. On trips to the USA I have noticed more yellow skin/fat at the meat counter and see that as corn-fed product.
    Toadflax
    Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:08 am
    Food.com Groupie
    *Bellinda* wrote:
    This was interesting.
    What does the scalding process involve? What kind of liquid or whatever is used? I have never really thought about that.


    The chicken (dead) is dipped into quite hot water ( I forget the exact temperature but it is HOT, not boiling ) and we added a very small amount of soap to it. It is held in there a few seconds and this loosens the feathers so they are easier to pull.
    mightyro_cooking4u
    Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:08 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Yes, this "yellow" skin is ON TOP OF THE SKIN OF THE CHICKEN. Not between ANYTHING. You see it, it is not hidden.
    Lobotomybunny
    Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:40 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Nini #3 wrote:
    What you're all talking about is the fat and skin of a chicken. All chickens have it - the more yellow it is, the better diet the chickens have eaten. The thin layer is the membrane between the outer skin and the meat. You only notice it when you're cleaning the chicken and taking the skin off - - if you were to cook the chicken w/o removing the skin, you wouldn't notice it because it "melts away". It's not harmful or doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the chicken.


    Who said anything about taking the skin off? This is not what we're all talking about.
    Lobotomybunny
    Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:41 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Toadflax wrote:
    My DH and I used to raise chickens. We butchered 1000/year for a few years. This film on the skin is quite normal - we used to rub it off as much as possible to make the chicken look nicer. I always assumed it was simply the top layer of skin - perhaps loosened by the scalding process (done to ease removal of the feathers).


    HALLELUJAH! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Toadflax
    Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:42 am
    Food.com Groupie
    mightyro_cooking4u wrote:
    Yes, this "yellow" skin is ON TOP OF THE SKIN OF THE CHICKEN. Not between ANYTHING. You see it, it is not hidden.


    And it is natural, healthy, safe, etc. We raised chickens on quite a natural diet - made our own with a pre-mix from a feedmill (containing added protein in the form of soya or canola meal, vitamins, minerals) blended with our own wheat. The wheat produces a whiter (not chemically-laden) fat and skin. Corn makes it yellow. Nothing wrong with that, but I prefer the whiter skin cause I am used to it.

    Anyway, someone earlier commented that this film on the skin was "wrong" and it is not. Perhaps most commercial chicken has had this removed before sale but it probably was there at some point. Cook your chicken well because, no matter where you got it, processing can be a dirty business.
    Lobotomybunny
    Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:50 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    I wrote to Purdue asking about the stuff... after explaining why the skin is yellow (yes, it's the diet), they had this to say about the film:

    "Occasionally, a portion of the fragile layer of skin will be scraped off during processing. This is known to the industry as "barking," and while
    we realize it affects the appearance of the product, it does not affect the wholesomeness or taste."

    So, seems it's just a thin layer of damaged skin
    Toadflax
    Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:54 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Chef 1358222 wrote:
    I wrote to Purdue asking about the stuff... after explaining why the skin is yellow (yes, it's the diet), they had this to say about the film:

    "Occasionally, a portion of the fragile layer of skin will be scraped off during processing. This is known to the industry as "barking," and while
    we realize it affects the appearance of the product, it does not affect the wholesomeness or taste."

    So, seems it's just a thin layer of damaged skin


    Geeeeez, didn't I just tell you that?? icon_lol.gif just kidding....
    Lobotomybunny
    Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:57 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    It was a welcome reiteration of your answer. icon_smile.gif
    Chef Shadows
    Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:59 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    I have raised and processed chickens for almost 20 years, my real job during most of that time was as a microbiologist that tested food stuff...

    This barking being mentioned is normal but is sold by most producers as seconds, the risk of bacteria under this layer is greater and the meat is less appealing to the eye... I personaly stay away from such inferior product and stay with a good yellow skin free of this mucus membrain...
    Toadflax
    Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:57 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    You know when you get a bad sunburn your skin peels, a very thin layer. This is what happens to the chickens if they are scalded. Perhaps in large processing plants they might have very precise controls on the temperature and this may not happen. Maybe they make errors on occasion and it does. I know in home processing (not for 20 years but probably for 12) that I have come to see this as a normal thing. It is not an inferior product, it will not harm you. I rubbed this stuff off just because it didn't look attractive but it is just dead skin. If chilled properly with the rest of the bird it is not going to cause a problem and you will not even see it when it is cooked. I do not have a degree in microbiology but I belive mucous membrane exists mainly in the gastro-intestinal tract and not on the skin.

    Edited to say that I said gastro-intestinal to be sensitive to other's "need to know". It is actually in the mouth, anus, vagina, etc. - the orifices. I do stand to be corrected as I am a farmer, not a microbiologist.
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