Why My Chicken is Dr. House

House-M.D.-Gregory-House-1479Warning, grossness ahead.

We were all ready for a nice dinner of homemade biscuits, salad and roasted chicken. When my husband started carving the chicken, he discovered that its insides were lime green. I’ve since learned that the most likely cause is Deep Pectoral Myopathy, the same thing that gives Dr. House his limp. In other words, the muscle of the chicken likely died while the chicken itself was still alive, and then both muscle and chicken started to rot.

In the interest of not making everyone throw up, I decided not to post any photos.

Since the kids were grumbling the other day about not being visited by a naughty leprechaun who unrolls all of the toilet paper or turns their milk green, I took full advantage of the serendipity of green chicken. Then I promptly excused myself and turned the bathroom toilet bowl salad green.

Update (3/20/13) Lesley H had the same thing happen to her. Her brother-in-law, who is a butcher, had another explanation for the green chicken meat.

“He said that what can happen is when the chicken is kept at a temperature that only partially freezes it, the deepest part of the chicken will sometimes not reach a temperature cold enough to prevent bacteria from growing.  This is more common on larger chickens- and in fact, the one I had was nearly 6 pounds if I recall correctly.  He said the outside may seem frozen, but if it hasn’t been allowed enough time to freeze through all the way and then is moved to higher temperature conditions (such as for transport) the deeper parts can begin to rot out.  I do recall that the chickens at the grocery store usually are only partially frozen, so the explanation made sense in my situation.  Who knows though.  Since what happened to me, I am careful not to choose those really large chickens anymore, and haven’t run across it again.

“ETA, I wanted to add that my chicken had NO foul odor whatsoever- it seemed perfectly fine from the outside.  It was only when I cut into it after it was fully roasted that I discovered the disgusting green meat.”

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Why My Chicken is Dr. House

  1. Tashi

    Thank goodness, I ate lunch before reading this. My stomach thanks you as well. By the way, did you consider taking the bird back to where you bought it? Maybe they would have given you a refund, who knows. Just my two cents. 🙂

  2. Tashi

    I happened to think, after further pondering of your problem, and the update: How might we best choose a chicken, then? I suppose the cut-up packages would be fine, and the whole birds more questionable. Thanks to Lesley H. and her brother-in-law for the information! I’ll never go shopping for chicken the same way again.

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