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Cooking a barnyard rooster???

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I butchered a brahma rooster a few months ago, froze it and yesterday had it for dinner.  It was my first time eating one that I roasted and was a little disappointed in the results.  "Bully" was a little tough and dry although he was only about 7 months old.  He was a heavy bird and had been free ranged most of the time.  He was a horny guy which is why I had to get rid of him and chased the chickens around all day. 

I cooked him in a slow oven with alot of poultry spices and had to add extra water to the roaster pan.  He tasted okay but a little dry.  Should I have brined him or marinated the carcass?  I'm a bit new to eating my own chickens.  Should Bully have been crock-potted due to his upbringing with the girls? 

Is there a difference between "Bully" the Brahma rooster who ate layer feed and foraged with the chickens and the colored rangers or freedom rangers which I am buying this month?  I'm getting 12 chicks to raise this summer.  If I feed them broiler feed and free range them, will they taste better than Bully?

post #2 of 8

Your own roos are best eaten between 16-20 weeks.

Any longer and they can get tough and gamey.

BUT, did you soak him in brine or ice water for 24 hours prior to freezing?

You'll get a more tender piece of meat if you do that.

Former keeper of hens, life isn't much fun without chickens... but

 

"With God, ALL things are possible."

Reply

Former keeper of hens, life isn't much fun without chickens... but

 

"With God, ALL things are possible."

Reply
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

No I didn't do that.  I'll try that (soaking in brine for 24 hours prior to freezing) next time since I will have to butcher a few dud hens as well in the coming weeks.

post #4 of 8

When i butcher, i let mine "rest" in the refrigerator for 3 days or so before i freeze them.

Then i usually brine them for about 24 hours after i thaw them and before i cook them.

The best home-grown chicken i've had so far is what i crock potted.  I seasoned the chicken, put barely any liquid in the bottom - probably didn't need any - and set it on low all day long.  It was wonderful.

I think it's wise to isolate anyone who's going to be butchered for a couple of week before slaughter so their muscles start to relax a little.

Also, keep in mind, what you raise at home isn't going to be anything like what you buy at the grocery store.  You have to allow your brain to redefine chicken for you.

I don't have a lot of experience yet, but i'm sure that if you butcher earlier with your rangers, you will be happier with the results.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Good ideas.  I did try and redefine my ideas of "farm raised"  vs Tyson or Perdue and its gonna take a little practice.  It was gratifying to know that Bully was a happy rooster and he's gonna taste better now as the rest of the carcass will go into chicken pie which I love.  But I'll be more thoughtful in my preparations for butchering and storage next time.

post #6 of 8

This is a great article that someone posted awhile back and I saved.

http://www.albc-usa.org/documents/cookingwheritagechicken.pdf

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you.  I'm gonna send copies of it to my neighbors who are now interested in buying my harvested broilers later this summer.

post #8 of 8

Glad it helped! smile

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