Originally Posted by wyoDreamer
You can kinda tell when they have rested enough by trying to move the leg. As the rigor mortis wears off, the joint will loosen some and you will be able to move the leg. The rigor mortis is what is causing the chicken to be tough.
good point on the joint movement.
Originally Posted by Jesusfreak101
Uh question we culled our rooster and put him directly in the freezer did i mess up already?
You're OK but you'll have to let the rigor out by resting after it is thawed.
If you vacuum seal or shrink wrap your chickens and the rigor isn't out prior, they are too stiff to wrap properly.
Originally Posted by varidgerunner
We do not raise Cornish X. Our birds are often four to six months old when butchered. If we are going to kill one and eat it, it sets in the fridge for a week before cooking. Maybe even ten days. If we are freezing they set for about four days, and then we will put them back in the fridge for a couple or three days to thaw out. Aged in this way they can be fried. Don't defrost in the microwave. Make sure your fridge stays good and cold. Just letting the rigor mortis pass is not long enough, you need to break down fibers with enzymes and slow bacterial growth. It seems to go against the whole notion of raising your own fresh food to have to let it almost spoil in order to eat it, but that is just the way it is. The only alternative is to raise chickens that reach butchering size while they are still babies, but the flavor quality is no comparison to a good heritage bird that has been aged to perfection.
Pretty much the same here.
Aged meat is the way to go. It breaks down the connecting fibers.
Originally Posted by Lamancha
I think a lot of the "toughness" problem is in our heads too. We have been taught by the grocery stores that chicken is supposed to be mushy, bland, soft meat. Go shoot a grouse, chukar, pheasant, etc. That is what REAL chicken should be like. Yummy to that slightly tougher, slightly stringy, WAY better flavored heritage breed.
That too. In smaller villages in Europe and elsewhere, they still grow their heritage birds and they understand that one is supposed to chew their meat rather than let it melt in the mouth. They get more flavorful with age as well.
Originally Posted by Egghead_Jr
I slaughter cockerels at 12-14 weeks for grilling. Let rest 2-3 days then put in brine for a good 18 hours.
They aren't huge but near 3lbs butchered if a good dual purpose breed. I cut in halves to grill.
They're good on a smoker too.