You may not think about it much, but who provides most of the chicken you eat on a day to day basis? Whether you shop for food at the grocery store, a private butcher, or are eating out at a restaurant, your local farms and a whole team of local business distributors and food suppliers helps make your life “taste like chicken.” But, not all chicken is created equal. And not all chicken tastes the same. Because not all food suppliers are the same. If you want to know a few tips on how to really love your local chicken supplier, strap in, because we’re about to take a deep dive.
What Makes the Most Delicious Chicken?
Well, some people say it has to do with the way the chicken is cared for throughout its life. From antibiotics to free-range to being fed with non-GMO products – there’s a range of ways that chicken farmers can raise their poultry. While many commercial products will have the same high protein content and the same delicious versatility, some brands that put additional effort into raising their birds may see additional results in the quality of the meat product.
A few of the factors to consider when shopping for a local chicken supplier that produces the tastiest chicken include:
- Meat texture. Is it thick or thin? Does it have a high fat content? Is it easy to slice through? Is it tender or tough to cut through?
- Meat taste. Different parts of the chicken have distinctly different flavors. Thighs should not taste like chicken breasts, which should not taste like wings. The unique and individual flavors contribute to the overall versatility of the bird in the kitchen. While some brands may raise their birds so the meat has a more “earthy” or “mellow” flavor, the deciding factor in taste is really your preference.
- Meat moisture. While you want cuts of chicken that retain water well, the majority of the moisture will be lost based on cooking methods. So be prepared to examine your chicken both before and after cooking to consider if the meat quality (or the meal prep) has more to do with the ultimate juiciness of the final product.
What Can I Expect From My Chicken Supplier?
When buying any product in bulk, there are a few things to consider about who you want to buy from. Of course, it has to be a reputable company that you know can deliver on their promises. And it has to be a company that’s easy to work with. There’s no sense in fighting a company for every dollar or having to look over every transaction to make sure you’ve been treated fairly. You need to do business with people you can trust.
Variety & Selection
A good chicken supplier should be able to offer you a variety of product if you need it. Maybe on special occasions, or maybe your restaurant offers a seasonal menu with certain specialty items that are harder to find at some times of the year. Whatever the case, discuss your specific needs with your supplier before agreeing to any long-term contracts.
Accommodations when Necessary
A good supplier should also be able to accommodate you on short notice, hopefully without incredible fees. What if there was an emergency in your kitchen and your refrigerator lost power? If all your meat has to be disposed of and replaced, wouldn’t you want a supplier you knew could rely on you to help? Discuss this kind of situation with your chicken supplier to see what they could do to help you in case this situation ever comes up.
Lastly, you want a supplier that makes it convenient and easy for you to order. They should deliver the supply at a reasonable time of day that is convenient for your hours of business, and they should offer you a simple and efficient system for reordering. Whether that’s an automated scheduled order for your base items or a quick ordering process, doing business with your chicken supplier should fit easily into your other day-to-day responsibilities.