Katie - posted on 03/31/2009 ( 1 mom has responded )
I am a fan of the Rachael Ray show. Recently she has had a butcher come on the show to tell everyone what to look for when purchasing meat. This goes for all fresh meat (chicken, beef, etc.)
First, look for the freshness date. The "date packaged" is not necessarily the freshness date.
Then, hold the package at an angle to see how much blood and water run off the meat. For truly fresh meat, there will be very little to none. The more liquid there is, the older the meat is and can possibly indicate that the meat had been frozen prior to either packing or being put on the shelf.
Of course, make sure there are no bruises on the meat.
The butcher also suggested a money-saver for chicken: buy boneless thighs instead of breasts. The demand for them is lower, which keeps them at a decent price.