Are roosters appx. 13-14 weeks okay in flavor to eat?

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
25,714
15,754
777
Southeast Louisiana
I have found that the feet on my dual purpose birds are MUCH easier to skin than when I did Cornish Cross. I can only assume that a little more age made the skin thicker, thus easier to peel off. I tried to blanche and skin the CX feet and it just didn't go well at all and I ended up scrapping them. I, too, like them in stock.
I agree it is age. Might try blanching them for less time. How do you blanche them? How hot and how long? I bring water to a boil and drop the dual purpose feet in. 15 seconds later I dump them in the sink and cool then down. On older bids I can go 20 seconds but too long and they shred instead of peel. Claws and spurs twist off pretty easily.
 

Mosey2003

Crowing
Apr 13, 2016
2,980
4,753
361
North-Central IL
I agree it is age. Might try blanching them for less time. How do you blanche them? How hot and how long? I bring water to a boil and drop the dual purpose feet in. 15 seconds later I dump them in the sink and cool then down. On older bids I can go 20 seconds but too long and they shred instead of peel. Claws and spurs twist off pretty easily.
That's basically how I've done it. I couldn't even get them to shred really, just kind of stuck and didn't want to come off at all. I'm not worried about it, I don't foresee doing many broilers again in the future.
 

Parront

Free Ranging
Jul 27, 2017
4,525
18,644
637
Prescott, AZ
I agree it is age. Might try blanching them for less time. How do you blanche them? How hot and how long? I bring water to a boil and drop the dual purpose feet in. 15 seconds later I dump them in the sink and cool then down. On older bids I can go 20 seconds but too long and they shred instead of peel. Claws and spurs twist off pretty easily.
I never had any trouble with the feet from Cornish-X I raised, but I let them get pretty old, 10-12 weeks. BIG feet!
 

U_Stormcrow

Songster
Jun 7, 2020
363
615
113
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
Pate. Good use of many of the inner organ meats.

Bones, feet, wing tips, all the bits of meat and connective tissues still stuck to the bone are great for making stocks and broths.

Brining is great for imparting flavor, or for protecting something from drying out during slow cook methods like smoking, but I've NOT found it to help tenderize tough meats. If its thick with connective tissue and low in intramuscular fat, its going to be tough. Thus low slow cooking methods that allow those connective tissues to gelatinize are called for. Brining protects the meat from the full effects of that process, as does very careful temperature control.

Lets talk beef as an example. Your perfect medium rare steak is pulled off the heat around 125 degrees, and rests until the internal temperature a bit over 130 degrees. A brisket, on the other hand, is cooked to about 185 degrees, and rested to around 195 degrees. That same steak was "well done" a good 30 degrees cooler and might be charitably described as a charcoal briquet by the time it reached 195. The meat in the brisket is actually "past done", its the break down of the connective tissues that creates the illusion of tenderness.

With an old bird, you have to do the same thing - low and slow, break down those connective tissues. No high acid marinade, either - the acidity makes proteins seize, end result tough and dry. Great for imparting lots of flavor with short, high heat cooking methods. Not great for low/slow.
 

Kakaruk

In the Brooder
Feb 18, 2020
67
49
43
Man, thanks ya'll for this! Yes, if I ever do this again, I probably will just focus on breasts and maybe thighs/legs. I did use the innards - gizzards, livers, hearts - for the stock I roasted in the mar-i-puas (sp? carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, garlic, green onion) The stock turned out great. I only ate the livers however..... I've never liked hearts or gizzards that much.

I would never pluck feathers on a whimpy little rooster wing like this!

I don't know the breed. They were a barnyard mix, mostly gray and black. Roosters for sure. They looked bigger but that's what chickens do, the feathers make them look meatier. I'm serious, I only got around a pound of meat from these three boys. Waste of time!
 

Parront

Free Ranging
Jul 27, 2017
4,525
18,644
637
Prescott, AZ
Man, thanks ya'll for this! Yes, if I ever do this again, I probably will just focus on breasts and maybe thighs/legs. I did use the innards - gizzards, livers, hearts - for the stock I roasted in the mar-i-puas (sp? carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, garlic, green onion) The stock turned out great. I only ate the livers however..... I've never liked hearts or gizzards that much.

I would never pluck feathers on a whimpy little rooster wing like this!

I don't know the breed. They were a barnyard mix, mostly gray and black. Roosters for sure. They looked bigger but that's what chickens do, the feathers make them look meatier. I'm serious, I only got around a pound of meat from these three boys. Waste of time!
Not a waste of time, look at all you have learned! And, enchiladas . . .
 

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