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Label Literacy

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Oven Baked Chicken Jambalaya

(Family Features) - Natural; gluten-free; locally grown - there are so many claims on food labels these days that making a simple grocery decision can become complicated. According to a 2011 national telephone survey conducted by Infogroup/Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of Perdue Farms, of those consumers who purchased fresh chicken in the past six months and read product labels, three-fifths (60 percent) do not know who is responsible for making sure the health and other claims made on product packaging are accurate, and nine out of ten (89 percent) consumers do not believe everything meat or poultry packaging and labels say or claim. 

Chef Kathleen Daelemans, former host on the Food Network and author of "Getting Thin and Loving Food!" has some tips for navigating the grocery store aisles and understanding product package claims.

  • Look at serving sizes. The claim or label on the front of the product that says "low sodium" may only apply to one serving of the product, so if you consume the entire package, "low sodium" may not apply.

  • Regardless of what the front of the package may say, flip it around and read the nutrition label and ingredient list.  Avoid excessive sugar and sodium, trans fats, additives and preservatives.

  • The meat department is one area of the grocery store where you are likely to find claims like "certified," "Grade-A" and other complex terms. To help ease the confusion, look for third-party verification from the USDA. Perdue Farms is the first poultry company to obtain the USDA Process Verified Seal, and it means that the USDA has verified the claims that Perdue is making about their chicken - that they have been raised without cages and/or fed an all vegetarian diet. According to the same survey, nearly 40 percent of consumers prefer products with third party verification.

  • Look for third-party verification for fresh fruits and veggies, too. The USDA Organic label tells you that the fruits and veggies were raised without manmade chemical pesticides, fossil fuel- or sewage-based fertilizers or genetically modified seeds.

Kathleen uses only the freshest, high quality ingredients in her cooking. Below is one of her favorite recipes using PERDUE® chicken with the USDA Process Verified Seal. For more recipes, visit www.perdue.com.

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Oven Baked Chicken Jambalaya

  • 1 package PERDUE® Fresh Chicken Drumsticks with the USDA Process Verified Seal
  • No-stick cooking spray
  • 1 cup enriched long grain rice
  • 1 cup diced red and/or green pepper
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/3 cup minced green onion (white and light green part)
  • 1 can chicken broth (14 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • Cayenne pepper

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. In a medium nonstick skillet, brown drumsticks over medium-high heat.
    3. Meanwhile, spray a 2-quart round or oval casserole dish with no-stick spray. Add rice, peppers, celery, onion, chicken broth and hot sauce and stir together.
    4. When drumsticks are browned, remove from heat and sprinkle with cayenne to taste. Lay drumsticks in a single layer over rice mixture.
    5. Cover and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until rice is cooked and chicken reaches an internal temperature of 180°F.

Preparation and Cooking Time
1 hour

Yield 4 Servings

SOURCE: Perdue

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