A couple of months ago I cooked dinner for my brother, his girlfriend, and her son. I did one of my favorite "lazy" preparations of a young chicken: dismember it, put it in a 9x11 glass baking dish over a bed of sweet onions, season (Johnny's, Hungarian Paprika, and, oh, about a ton of freshly minced garlic. Well, okay, about a head.) and bake. (or roast?)
Anyway, I pulled it out when it was done (lovely, juicy, and tender, about 165 degrees) let it rest while I made the gravy (yum, onioney garlickey chicken gravy) and finished the sides, then served it. The meal was going wonderfully until said girlfriend made this disgusted noise, and exclaimed "This chicken is RAW!"
When I asked her what she meant, she pointed to the red around the bone of the leg she had been eating. She then said "I don't want to offend you, but this needs to go back in the oven." She then cranked the oven up to 350, and put hers and her son's portions back in for another half hour, which, in my opinion, completely ruined it. Chicken jerky. And, whether she wanted to offend me or not, she did, though I did not say so.
I also didn't bother to explain to her that salmonella and most other nasty critters die instantly at 165 degrees, and in any event, grow on the outside of the meat. So barring parasites or simple rotten meat, as long as the outside is done to at least 165 degrees, you could eat the middle raw and be safe. Chicken sushi with the surface seared would be kinda disgusting, but it wouldn't hurt you. In any event, there was no danger whatsoever from my chicken, and if I had cooked it to the point where she would have been satisfied, it would have been way overdone.
I have noticed this seems to happen more with young birds. For example, the meat around the bones of the legs and thighs of a 12 pound turkey is more likely to be red than that of a 25 pound turkey. The best explanation I have seen is that the bones of young birds are more porous, and therefore the marrow seeps out and colors the meat, though I have no solid evidence that this is actually the case. And most chickens you find in the supermarket these days are (were?) quite young. In any event, it seems to happen more with young birds.
This is the first time I have encountered such a reaction, though. I have made this for many people over the years, and have, before this, never had a complaint. In fact, several have made a point to say they quite enjoyed it. Some were quite effusive in their praise, in fact.
So, I am wondering. How "well done" do you cook your birds? Have you encountered complaints like this, and if so, has it gotten you in the habit of overcooking your birds to avoid them, or do you just ignore such things and cook your birds until they are done, and let the chips fall where they may?