Chicken seviche?
July 19, 2005 11:53 AM   Subscribe

Could a chicken seviche be safe?

Seviches are normally made with fish or shellfish, but I don't know how land critters would be different enough that soaking in citrus juice wouldn't kill their micro-organisms.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz to Food & Drink (15 answers total)
Your google-fu is rusty: Chicken Ceviche

Scroll down a little bit -- the page has no anchor tags.
posted by hummus at 12:00 PM on July 19, 2005

I sure wouldn't eat it.

It's my understanding that one of the big problems with not cooking chicken is that most of the chicken-based microorganisms that make us sick are resident in fecal matter, which, in the course of butchering, often gets on the skin of the chicken. From there it's a short trip to the actual meat of the animal.

It's possible that sufficiently acidic ceviches would kill any infectious microorganisms, but I sure wouldn't chance it. Also, the flesh of uncooked chicken is very unappetizing to me, and possibly to others, as well.

That being said, I found a recipe that sounds like what you're looking for.
posted by bshort at 12:04 PM on July 19, 2005

Maybe if you radiated it?
Mmm... chicken gamma-ceviche. Yum.

Anyway, the above is cooked.
posted by metaculpa at 12:08 PM on July 19, 2005

I don't have my copy of "On Food and Cooking" here, but my impression is that fresh raw fish is a good deal safer to eat than fresh raw chicken, mainly due to salmonella. And even then, marinating raw fish in acidic juice doesn't actually kill all the microorganisms.

Also, it's worth noting that the chicken ceviche recipe linked to above involves cooking the chicken.
posted by Johnny Assay at 12:11 PM on July 19, 2005

The concern about a potentially lethal salmonella infection would be the point of contention here.

If it's land-animals you seek, and are looking for a low likelihood of foodborn illness, try a nice steak tartare or other raw beef concoction. Thin-sliced filet, served ceviche style, actually sounds pretty great...
posted by rxrfrx at 12:33 PM on July 19, 2005

An acquaintance who has Newfie dogs feeds them (the dogs) raw chickens, bones and all, without hesitation. The trick so she says, is that they're free range chickens, so they live under much cleaner conditions. I'm not sure how this translates to human consumption, but there you go.
posted by SteveInMaine at 1:33 PM on July 19, 2005

Looks like your buddy is just playing roulette with her dogs (and herself!): from

Q: I'm researching a diet for dogs that feeds Raw Chicken backs and necks. My biggest concern was the Samonella, yet I'm being told that Salmonella doesn't affect dogs in a negative way. Is there any place that you know of where I could research this more in-depth. Also, I what is the most effective cleaning agent to kill the bacteria on my counters. I've been using hot soapy water with a splash of bleach. Will this be sufficient to keep the kitchen sterile?.....

Thank you so much for your time.

A: It is not clear that Salmonella does not affect dogs in a negative way. Most dogs do not get serious Salmonella infections, but that is probably because they do not usually get large doses of infected food/water as might occur if fed raw chicken. Furthermore, dogs can be carriers of Salmonella. so infected dogs can be a serious risk for human health. (Also note that raw chicken may lead to Campylobacter infections as well as Salmonella infections.)

There is ample epidemological evidence that dog feces may be an important source of environmental contamination, and spread of Salmonella to humans (try a search of PubMed for the keywords Salmonella AND dog). One reference directly related to inclusion of raw chicken in dogfood is:

Can Vet J 2002 Jun;43(6):441-2 Preliminary assessment of the risk of Salmonella infection in dogs fed raw chicken diets. Joffe DJ, Schlesinger DP.

Also note the following reference that mentions the incidence of disease in dogs:

Vaccine 2002 Feb 22;20(11-12):1618-23 Immunogenicity of chi4127 phoP- Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium in dogs. McVey DS, Chengappa MM, Mosier DE, Stone GG, Oberst RD, Sylte MJ, Gabbert NM, Kelly-Aehle SM, Curtiss R. "Salmonellae are commonly isolated from dogs. The number of dogs infected with Salmonella spp. is surprisingly high and greater than the incidence of clinical disease would suggest. Salmonellosis is common in greyhound kennels. Morbidity can approach 100% in puppies and the mortality ranges to nearly 40%."

Bleach is an effective disinfectant of the countertop, but it is essential that the area is thoroughly cleaned because the bleach may not effectively penetrate any dried residue.
posted by phearlez at 1:42 PM on July 19, 2005

Well, raw chicken (that is, truly raw chicken - not pickled or treated with acid) is not an unpopular dish in Japan, at least in rural areas. My brother, who lives near Ota-shi, has been served it from time to time and has never been sick. I've eaten most meat and fish and shellfish products raw, with the exception of fowl, and have never had even the slightest stomach ache, but maybe I've just been lucky.

I can't imagine this dish (that is, raw chicken as served in Japan) would be popular if those who ate it regularly got sick.
posted by luriete at 4:07 PM on July 19, 2005

There is a Guamanian dish called Kellaguin (phonetic spelling), that is essentially chicken ceviche. The chicken is de-boned and cut in to very small pieces to that the juice of lemons and limes can fully penetrate the meat.
posted by snsranch at 4:38 PM on July 19, 2005

snsranch, do you mean chicken kelaguen?
It looks like the chicken is broiled beforehand. But, yum! I'll be making this on Saturday!
posted by Floydd at 5:02 PM on July 19, 2005

Floydd, that would be it. The stuff I had was so deliciously moist I coudn't imagine that the chicken had been pre-cooked.

Thank you for the link. I will be making some too!
posted by snsranch at 5:20 PM on July 19, 2005

Even if the chicken is raised free-range and organic, it can still make you violently ill or worse. The one and only time I've had noticable food poisoning (so far), was from 2 chickens that were of such esteemable provenance that they were probably listed in Burke's Peerage. That said, eating gravy made from them infected me (and 6 of 7 people at that dinner) with Campylobacter. I ended up going to the hospital and was sick for more than a week.

All of this, and the chickens were even cooked.

So no, I'd say you shouldn't really try to make ceviche from a chicken, even if you've raised the chickens yourself.
posted by yellowcandy at 6:15 PM on July 19, 2005

I wouldn't eat such a thing.
posted by ikkyu2 at 7:42 PM on July 19, 2005

Thanks, everyone. I've been adequately convinced that chicken ceviche is extreme cooking (one of my friends says it's safe if the chicken is first chopped into chickenburger), and I'm not going to do it.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 9:26 PM on July 19, 2005

Yo, your friend is increasing the danger by chopping or grinding the chicken. The bacteria are concentrated on the surface - by grinding/chopping you're effectively mixing the bugs right through.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 2:03 AM on July 20, 2005

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