If you are cooking chicken, duck, quail or pheasant, not all birds are created equal. Each type of poultry requires different cooking times, preparation and seasoning. When I am buying poultry, I prefer, fresh, not "fresh frozen". When I am buying my bird, I am usually cooking it within the next 48 hours, so no defrosting is necessary. (Thanksgiving may be the only exception).
I look to see the "sell buy" date, I want the freshest bird possible. Always wash the bird and dry it off prior to the prep and cooking. I like to use a digital thermometer, but sometimes, the pop up ones are handy too.