What are the more common chicken cuts/products available?
Here are brief descriptions of the most popular chicken pieces.
The whole leg, including the thigh and drumstick; no back portion. All dark meat.
Lower portion of the leg; two usually make an adult serving.
Wing Portions (Wingettes & Drummettes)
The drummette is the first section or shoulder section of the wing; the wingette is the second section of the wing or wing-tip section.
The upper portion of the leg above the knee joint; no back portion unless package indicates. Favorite of those who like dark meat. Also available boneless and skinless.
Breast Halves or Split Breasts
White meat; available bone-in, with or without skin, and boneless and skinless.
Whole Chicken & Family Roaster
The whole chicken, including two breasts, two thighs, two drumsticks, two wings. Roasters are typically larger than a standard whole chicken.
Ground chicken in patty form, made from boneless, skinless thigh meat.
How much chicken should I buy for a standard meal?
How much you’ll need to buy depends on the number of people you’re
planning to serve, portion size, what you’re serving and whether you want
leftovers. Generally, one whole 3-1/2 pound chicken will serve four and yields
slightly over 3 cups of cooked, diced chicken meat without skin. What’s
considered a serving? According to the USDA Food Pyramid, you’re looking at 2
to 3 ounces of cooked lean chicken, excluding skin and bones. That’s about the
amount of meat in a breast half.
How do I cook chicken in a microwave?
Microwave ovens vary, so always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. But in general:
- Allow 6 minutes per pound of chicken for cooking.
- Chicken parts microwave best on HIGH setting; whole chicken on MEDIUM.
- Place meatier parts toward outside of dish, bonier parts toward center.
- Rearrange and/or turn parts halfway through microwaving to promote even cooking.
- Microwave whole chicken breast-side down for first half of cooking time; then breast-side up until done.
- Cover chicken with waxed paper or plastic wrap with the corner vented.
How do I grill chicken?
Here's a checklist to help your grilling efforts:
- Get organized before starting. Have everything you need — chicken, marinade, seasonings, sauces, toppings and equipment — on hand before you fire up the grill.
- Make sure you have enough fuel. Insufficient flame means uncooked food. Have an extra bag of charcoal on hand, or make sure your gas grill’s tank is at least one-third full.
- Grilling is a high-heat art. To sear the meat and get those tantalizing marks, the grill must be at least 500°F. When using charcoal, let it burn until covered with a thin coat of gray ash. When using a gas grill, preheat on high for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Clean your grill grate twice each time you grill: once after preheating and again after you finish cooking because there’s nothing less appetizing than grilling on top of bits of burnt food. Plus, new food tends to stick to a dirty grate. We recommend using a long-handled, wire brush.
- Keep the grill covered and resist peeking. If your grill has a cover, keep it on as much as possible. This is especially true for large meat cuts and chicken, whole chicken in particular. Every time you lift the lid, you add 5 to 10 minutes cooking time.
- Stop poking — use tongs or a spatula instead. Piercing the meat while grilling allows juices to escape while cooking. This can lead to dry chicken. Tongs are great for gently moving chicken during grilling.
- Let the chicken stand a few minutes before serving. It’ll taste better, because the meat juices driven to the center before cooking will spread throughout the meat. So every bite is juicy.
- Once you put something on the grill, stay with it until it’s cooked. Grilling is easy but it demands constant attention.
How do I roast a chicken?
Follow these simple steps to deliciously roast a chicken.
- Selecting & Prepping Your Chicken: Choose a roasting chicken that is tender and fresh. Gold’n Plump® Chicken Roaster is the perfect choice. For best results, rinse the roasting chicken inside and out and pat dry. Discard chicken packaging and wrapping immediately after removal.
- Adding Flavor With Rubs, Spices & Infusion: A rub of seasoned oil, a spice blend and, finally, an infusion wrap your roasted chicken in flavor. The oil rub helps to make the skin crisp during roasting. The spice blend turns up the flavor. The infusion, usually citrus juice or vinegar, adds more flavor and extra juiciness and is drizzled on during the last 10 minutes of roasting.
For your rub, select from the many herb, hot pepper, garlic olive or vegetable oils found at grocery or specialty food shops. Accent the rub by applying a blend of spices. After applying the oil rub and spice blend, place the chicken into a roasting pan that is large enough to provide space around it. You can line roasting or baking pans with aluminum foil for quick cleanup. Turn wings under or set them in a “V” rack — both methods work well.
- Roasting the Chicken: Preheat your oven before roasting to ensure even cooking and to help keep package cook times accurate. Prior to preheating, position the oven rack so that the top of the chicken is just above the middle of the oven. Set the oven temperature to 425°F. Once the temperature reaches 425°F, place the roaster pan in the oven.
The best method for oven-roasting poultry is to start with high heat, then lower the temperature. The high heat interval begins the browning and carmelization processes.
Roast for an additional 1 1/2 to 2 hours, testing for doneness during the last half-hour of cooking.
Test for doneness using an instant-read meat thermometer in the thickest part of the roasting chicken (breast or thigh). Be sure that the thermometer probe does not touch the bone. According to the USDA Food Safety & Inspection Service the chicken should reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F. However, for more tender meat, bring the temperature of the chicken to 180°F.
Don’t forget to drizzle on the infusion for extra flavor and juiciness during the last 10 minutes of roasting.
Let the roasting chicken cool 10 minutes before carving. This allows more of the juices to be retained in the meat.
How do I know when my chicken is properly cooked?
Chicken is done when juices run clear, there is no hint of pink in the meat and a fork can be inserted into the meat with ease. But to be sure, the experts say ALWAYS USE A MEAT THERMOMETER. Below are a few pointers for using one properly:
- For a whole chicken, insert meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh or breast.
- For bone-in and boneless pieces and ground chicken patties, insert it into the thickest part of the largest piece you are cooking.
- In all cases, make sure the probe doesn’t touch the bone or cooking surface.
According to the USDA Food Safety & Inspection Service, regardless of the cut or type, poultry should reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F throughout the product.
How do I carve a roasted chicken?
Our step-by-step guide makes easy work out of carving a roasted chicken.
Place chicken on a clean, sanitary cutting board. Remove leg and thigh sections by pressing the leg away from the body. Cut through joint carefully, following body contour.
Cut the drumstick and thigh apart at the joint. Repeat steps one and two for the opposite side of the chicken.
Cut the meat from the drumstick and thigh in thin slices.
On each side of the chicken, cut between the wing and breast to sever joint.
Cut breast horizontally just above the wing joint, cutting through the ribs. Repeat for opposite side of the chicken.
With long, smooth strokes, cut the breast into thin slices. Repeat for opposite side of chicken.
What's the best way to handle chicken?
Fresh chicken is perishable and must be handled with care. From your shopping cart to your home, here are some pointers for safe handling.
When shopping, pick up your chicken last so it’s not sitting for a long time at room temperature in your cart. And, if you’re running errands, save your grocery shopping until last so chicken and other meats aren’t left in a hot car.
Once home with your chicken, refrigerate it immediately. At room temperature, the quality and safety of fresh chicken are quickly compromised. Never let it sit out on the countertop — even if you plan to make it for that night’s dinner. Here are some more tips on storing, handling, thawing and transporting chicken that will let you get the freshest taste from your chicken.
Keep Hands and Surfaces Clean
- Rinsing chicken before using is optional. But if you do rinse it, wash your sink out with hot, soapy water afterwards.
- Do not let raw chicken juices come in contact with other foods in the fridge.
- Keep raw and cooked foods separate during preparation. And never use the same cutting board for raw chicken and vegetables without washing it in hot, soapy water first.
- Wash all surfaces and equipment that the raw chicken comes in contact with during preparation, including bowls, plates, cutting boards, knives, countertops, etc. And don’t forget your hands!
How should I store chicken?
Rules To Refrigerate & Freeze By
- Packaged, raw chicken can be refrigerated in its original wrapping in the coldest part of the refrigerator for 48 hours after purchase. If it is not to be used in 48 hours, freezing is recommended. See table below.
- Cooked, cut-up chicken is best when refrigerated for two days or less; whole, cooked chicken, three days or less.
- Store fresh, uncooked chicken on a low shelf of the refrigerator so it does not drip onto other items.
- For convenience and to prevent freezer burn, wrap separate pieces in foil or plastic bags. Then place all wrapped or bagged pieces into a larger freezer bag or foil wrap. Press all air out of the bag/foil package and label package with contents and date frozen.
Storage Temps & Maximum Times
Refrigerator (40° F)
Freezer (0° F)
FRESH, RAW CHICKEN
1 to 2 days
1 to 2 days
1 to 2 days
3 to 4 months
1 to 2 days
3 to 4 months
COOKED CHICKEN (leftovers)
3 to 4 days
Whole Roasted Chicken (Oven or Rotisserie)
3 to 4 days
Cooked Chicken Dishes
3 to 4 days
4 to 6 months
Chicken Parts (plain)
3 to 4 days
Parts with gravy, broth
1 to 2 days
1 to 2 days
1 to 3 months
NOTE: Commercially, individually quick frozen chicken that is sold in
resealable plastic bags can be stored in your freezer for up to 6 months.
Longer storage may compromise product quality.
How should I thaw chicken?
There are four ways to thaw chicken, listed below in order of preferred method, and time needed. You’ll know the chicken is thawed when it feels soft, moist and cold — not hard and stiff.
- Refrigerator: This is the best method, if you have time. Keep your chicken off the kitchen counter and in the fridge. It takes about 24 hours to thaw a 4-pound, whole chicken in the refrigerator; cut-up parts, 3 to 9 hours.
- Cold Water: Place chicken in its original wrap or watertight plastic bag in cold water; change water every 30 minutes. A 4-pound, whole chicken will take about 2 hours to thaw.
- Microwave: For quick-thawing of chicken (raw or cooked), use the microwave. Thawing time varies according to the form in which chicken is frozen (whole or parts, number of parts frozen together, etc.). Use Defrost or Medium-Low setting. Microwave 2 minutes; let stand 2 minutes. Repeat if needed. Turn chicken and separate parts as it thaws. Take care that chicken does not start to cook.
What are important considerations when transporting and serving chicken?
Even after chicken is cooked, it’s important to either keep it hot or keep it cold. To keep it safe, follow these rules:
- Don’t leave cooked chicken at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Either keep it hot (140° to 165°F) or refrigerate it at 40°F or below.
- Bring chicken gravy to a full boil before serving.
- When transporting chicken, use an insulated container or cooler with ice until dinner is served.
- When grilling or barbecuing outdoors, keep chicken refrigerated until ready to cook. Do not place cooked chicken on the same plate used to transport the raw chicken to the grill (unless it’s been washed in hot, soapy water).
- Never put marinades or sauces used on raw chicken on cooked foods.
Natural: As Defined By USDA
What does USDA require for a chicken product to be labeled as “natural”?
To be labeled as "natural" according to USDA guidelines, chicken must be minimally processed—meaning that the product has simply been cleaned, cut up, trimmed and packaged. In addition, it should contain no artificial ingredients or color. Some “natural” products may contain solution as long as the ingredients used in the solution are made from natural ingredients. Only products that meet these criteria can display “natural” on the label. See Meat & Poultry Labeling Terms for more information.
Hormones: Not Allowed By USDA
Are your chickens given hormones or steroids?
Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in raising chickens. Therefore, our company does not use growth hormones of any kind for any brand.
Why does your label state "no added hormones" instead of "hormone-free"?
All living creatures have hormones in their bodies naturally, including chickens. These hormones regulate many of a chicken's functions similar to the way they do in a human. Because there are naturally occurring hormones in chicken, we cannot state on our label that our chicken is hormone-free.
What are some of the food safety risks related to raw meat and poultry?
Most food safety issues related to chicken and other fresh meat arise from bacteria (such as salmonella) common in the digestive tracts of farm animals. These bacteria are easily destroyed by heat. Therefore, proper cooking of poultry virtually eliminates the risk of these potentially harmful bacteria. See the CHICKEN BASICS section of our FAQs for safe handling, thawing and storing advice for chicken to ensure safety from the grocery store cart to those leftovers in your refrigerator.
How is harmful bacteria controlled during production?
GNP Company, along with most U.S. poultry producers, follows a HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point System) plan that sets the process for inspection and monitoring of food safety. It has greatly reduced the incidence of potentially harmful bacteria on fresh poultry. Additionally, all GNP Company processing facilities achieved Safe Quality Foods 7th Edition Level 2 certification from the Safe Quality Food Institute in 2012.
While the industry continues to look for new ways to reduce or eliminate problem bacteria from chicken, proper handling and cooking will always be necessary to ensure food safety.
ANIMAL CARE PRACTICES
Animal Welfare Standards
Does your company have an animal welfare policy? What is it?
GNP Company™, the company behind the Gold'n Plump® and Just BARE® brands recognizes our ethical obligation to the health and humane care of our chickens—and we take that responsibility very seriously. From breeding, to hatching, to processing, our policy is straightforward—GNP Company has zero tolerance for any deliberate abuse or mistreatment of our chickens. Learn more.
ANIMAL CARE PRACTICES
What does GNP Company feed its chickens?
As a fully integrated poultry producer, we have complete control over our chickens - from egg to maturity. We operate two feed mills that produce all of the feed our chickens ever eat. Our proprietary feed formulas are developed under the direction of experienced nutritionists to produce healthy chickens and wholesome, tasty chicken products. Our feed contains naturally nutritious corn, soybean meal, minerals, and vitamins. In addition, like nearly all poultry companies, our feed includes a small percentage of natural animal by-products.
Why are animal by-products used?
Just like human beings, all animals need fat and protein to maintain healthy organ function.
Animal by-products are widely used in poultry raising, because they're considered the best, most readily available sources of protein and fat. All of our suppliers are based in the upper Midwest and meet all FDA and USDA standards for food safety and quality.
Does GNP Company use antibiotics when raising chickens?
Yes. At GNP Company™, we take a holistic approach to our animal care program, including the judicious use of subtherapeutic antibiotics (to prevent disease) in flocks sold under the Gold’n Plump® brand. This holistic approach significantly minimizes the use of antibiotics when compared to the amount needed to treat illness (therapeutically). This generally occurs during two time periods:
- In Shell. From a disease prevention standpoint, an antibiotic is used “in the shell” as a preventative measure to protect developing embryos when vaccinated for Marek’s disease, in our hatchery. This is because a tiny hole is made during the vaccination process that could allow bacteria to enter the shell and harm the developing chick.
- In Feed. Antibiotics (classified as antimicrobials) are used in starter feed to help chickens build their own defenses and immune systems against disease; antibiotics are decreased in grower feed (because chickens have more defenses at this stage of growth); and they are withdrawn in finisher feed, in compliance with federal regulations.
Does that mean there are antibiotics in the chicken I eat?
GNP Company follows stringent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines that ensure there are virtually NO antibiotic residues in any of the chicken we sell. These guidelines outline safe withdrawal periods which require chickens to be weaned from all antibiotics well before processing. Withdrawal periods are verified through extensive research trials and typically far exceed the time it takes for antibiotics to pass through the chickens’ systems.
How is the withdrawal process and antibiotic residues monitored?
All chicken produced in the United States is inspected by the USDA. Inspectors test meat samples for chemical and antimicrobial residues and all meat must be in compliance within permitted levels. In addition, our feed mill is inspected regularly to ensure we comply with withdrawal periods.
Does GNP Company use arsenicals?
No, our company does not use arsenicals.
Does GNP Company chicken feed contain GMOs?
GNP Company, the company behind Gold'n Plump, does not restrict or limit the use of genetically modified (GM) crops by the independent family farmers who supply the primary ingredients used in our chicken feed. While there are some critics of GM crops, no adverse effects on human health have been scientifically proven due to the direct consumption of GM foods nor the indirect consumption of meat made from animals raised on feed made from GM crops. Ultimately, the FDA monitors and regulates the safety of feed ingredients like GM crops to ensure safe consumption for animals and humans, and we follow their lead. Furthermore, we do not have high levels of confidence in claims of no GM crops in feeds since it is nearly impossible to prevent cross-pollination of non-GM hybrids/varieties by the wind and/or insects with nearby fields planted to GM hybrids or varieties.
FOOD ALLERGENS & INGREDIENTS
Food Allergens & Ingredients
Are your products gluten free?
All but two of our products are gluten free. Our Everyday Easy™ Chicken Patties and our Tomato Basil Seasoned Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts are NOT gluten free.
Does Gold'n Plump chicken contain any allergens?
Gold'n Plump® All Natural™ Line of fresh chicken products does not contain any additives, including solutions. Anything labeled under the All Natural label, including our All Natural Rotisserie Chicken does not contain any allergens or ingredients that can cause food sensitivities, as shipped from our company.
However, it's important to note that supermarket meat and/or deli team members may occasionally add ingredients of their own after our products are distributed to them. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you check the label or talk to the meat or deli department manager if you suspect additional ingredients may have been used.
For more information on specific products, contact our Consumer Help Line, Monday through Friday, 8:30-4:30 Central Time.
Download: Allergens and Food Sensitivities.pdf