Last night, I decided to make fried chicken with some of the chicken I got from the Co-Op last month. I noticed some very obvious differences between free-range chicken, and regular store-bought chicken, that I thought I should share.
1. The co-op chicken felt dry. There was NO fat on it, anywhere, whatsoever. Store chicken feels slimy to me. This chicken was firm, fatless, and the skin was very firm and you could feel every bump.
2. The flesh of the co-op chicken was very firm when cooked. H called it "gamey." The wings did not pull apart easily. This doesn't bother me.
3. The flavor of the chicken itself is stronger.
I think the most obvious difference was the uncooked chicken, and how firm it was to the touch and how dry feeling. It was completely different than what I have grown used to.
I didn't talk about it before, but I have also cooked with ground beef and pork sausage from the co-op, and there were differences there, as well. Again, no fat. The sausage left the pan dry. It was the strangest thing. Great on biscuits. The ground beef left no moisture or fat in the pan, either. This has definitely been a learning experience with cooking for me!