So I just roasted a whole chicken and finished carving/cleaning the carcass today. I discovered a great deal of congealed red matter surrounding many of the joints and bones. Looks like congealed blood. Normally, I wouldn't worry about it, except that there's a lot more of it than there usually is. And it's a brighter red, as opposed to the dark reddish brown I'm used to. Should I be worried? Did I undercook the chicken? Was this chicken just not as well drained as ones I've gotten previously?

3 Answers 3


This exact thing happened to me about a month ago - roast whole chicken, bright red leaky blood around the bones and joints.

I looked it up back then. I didn't find a truly authoritative source like the USDA, but I did find several instances of people saying that this happened even with highly overcooked chicken. I also found several links similar to this one:

Bloody Chicken

The author (a Ph.D according to that page) did a number of experiments where he cooked a chicken and checked the internal temperature everywhere, ensuring that it was in fact pasteurized and thus free of any bacteria, and parts of it were still bloody on the inside.

According to him (and a few other sources I found), it's because the chickens are very young and their bones have not hardened properly; when you cook them, the marrow seeps out and ends up looking as you describe.

If you're using a meat thermometer to test the chicken for doneness, and you are certain that it got hot enough, then don't worry about the blood. It's not appetizing, but it's not harmful either.

FWIW, I ate the chicken when it happened to me, and did not get the slightest bit sick.

  • 1
    if you can get over the look, marrow is quite delicious.
    – zzzzBov
    Jan 24, 2011 at 22:07
  • 1
    ... and nutritious!
    – Aaronut
    Jan 24, 2011 at 23:36
  • 3
    not unhappy, or malicious. ;)
    – Doug
    Apr 2, 2012 at 5:23

In an of itself, brighter blood doesn't mean anything, so I wouldn't worry about it, unless you also noticed any of the following:

  1. Was the meat pink? Undercooked chicken has a distinct color, very different from cooked.
  2. Was the texture off? Undercooked chicken has a distinctive texture, completely different from cooked chicken
  3. Were the juices bloody when you pierced the meat? Clear juices indicate the meat is properly cooked
  4. Was the temperature too low?

I cooked two chicken at once and indeed had some redness around the joints in the thighs drumsticks and the breast bone i am sure i cooked it thoughly since the juices where clear and the oven temp was at 350 for 3.5 hours they where about 8 pound birds this should be long enough. the meat was not pink its was just at the bones. tasted fine and i ate it not sick yet its been over 6 hours.After letting it cool i de-boned it at frist it seemed really red but after a bit it became redish brown so i am sure it safe to eat but at frist it dose seem a little unappatizing.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.