Are these tough old birds?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mimi’s 13, Sep 18, 2018.

  1. Aceoky

    Aceoky Songster

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    Yes the net is full of recipes for that just search poultry brine; brining poultry , etc.
     
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  2. MissChick@dee

    [email protected] ~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~

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    :thumbsupButtermilk makes the meat SO moist. I just use a large baggie zip it up good and turn the baggie once an hour. Usually I marinate the chicken for 4 hours before cooking I bring it out on the counter for 30 minuets before coating with seasoned flour and frying. YUM! (Now I’m hungry).
     
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    These will not be like store bought chicken, I too, would recommend slow and long cooking - using in casseroles and soups.

    Mrs K
     
  4. ShellyBlanco

    ShellyBlanco Songster

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    From the time I was 8 years old, I have always soaked any chicken in salt water overnight before cooking it in any way. Didn't know why, just did what Momma said. As an adult I found out why. If you don't their is a lot of blood on the bone when you cook it in any way, the flavor is different. When we processed our 16 week old Cornish Cross Pullet and Roo, I soaked them in salt water all day before I put them in the freezer. I cooked the pullet in a big Chicken Cacciatore, browning the chicken in olive oil before putting into the sauce. It was amazing.
     
  5. Mimi’s 13

    Mimi’s 13 fuhgettaboutit

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    Well, after reading all the posts, I deduce I have passed the point of eating a young, tender bird...until next year, that is. :drool

    I will, however, look up recipes for the different brines, et al. and start planning on a new kind of preparation for these three birds.

    And today begins even more new adventures in chicken keeping.

    Thank you all.
     
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  6. Birdinhand

    Birdinhand Crowing

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    I use variations of this recipe:
    to 4 quarts water add
    • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoon kosher salt
    • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1 carrot, peeled, diced
    • 1/2 large onion, peeled, diced
    • 1/8 cup diced celery
    • 1 large sprigs thyme
    • 1 bay leaves
    • 1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns
    • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1/8 teaspoon fennel seeds
    • then chilled for 12-48 hours in the fridge. the longer you soak the saltier the meat gets so you will have to experiment and figure out what suits you. I tend toward 12 hours at this point for Cornish Cross, but for tougher birds longer will help make it less tough. I would also start by just resting the birds in the fridge after dressing for 3-5 days to let the enzymes soften them up. you can freeze them first and rest them one at a a time after thawing.
     
  7. Mimi’s 13

    Mimi’s 13 fuhgettaboutit

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    Thank you for this. It definitely gets me started.
     
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  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    My target age for young cockerels is 23 weeks. I would not dream of frying or grilling them. Mom was able to fry an older bird and have it come out pretty good but I don't know her techniques. The bird was fresh killed, no time for rigor mortis to set up. Cooking involved a lot of lard and the pan was covered while cooking. I have no idea how hot the lard was. We grew up eating that so we thought it was normal. If you are used to the store bough chicken butchered at 6 to 8 weeks you would probably find it inedible.

    Aging, brining, and marinading are three different things. You age a chicken in the fridge or an ice chest to let rigor mortis set up and go away.

    Brining is when you soak it in some preparation, usually salt but some people add sugar or something else, to help it retain moisture and add some flavor. You can find different brining recipes on the net.

    Marinading is when you soak the chicken in some type of acid, often wine or vinegar based, to help break down the tissue to tenderize it, plus add flavor. Buttermilk or beer works. You usually don't want to marinade too long or the chicken can get mushy.

    There are all kinds of ways to cook a 23 week old cockerel. I freeze mine the day they are butchered but let them thaw in the fridge and set a day or so after they are thawed. Rigor mortis is not a problem. My preferred method is to cut the bird into serving pieces, then rinse them off but do not dry them. Then coat in herbs. I generally use oregano and basil as I grow that and put it up by the quart. Sometimes i add parsley or thyme. Use whatever herbs make your little heart go pitter patter. I do not use salt or pepper but you could. You could use garlic or onion. Then bake that in a pot that has a tight fitting lid in an oven set at 250 degrees F for about 3 to 3-1/2 hours. I use a slotted spoon to take it out. Be careful the meat might fall off the bone. That is not a typo, 250 degrees. Cook it slowly. I use a ceramic baking dish and find it to be an extremely easy recipe.

    The liquid in the bottom of that pot is some of the best broth you can get. Do not throw throw it away. You might want to strain the chunks out and de-fat it.

    I save the bones after this is eaten and use them with the rest of the carcass to make broth. I put a bay leaf, about a dozen peppercorns, a rough chopped carrot, celery stalk, onion, and garlic, and more herbs in a large crock pot and the bones and carcass in a large crock pot and cover that with water. I cook that overnight, usually 14 to 20 hours on the lowest setting. I strain that through a wire mesh colander to get the big chunks out, de-fat it, then strain it through cheesecloth before canning it. That broth is a lot better than anything you can buy at the store.

    I also pick the meat out of the chunks from the colander. Be careful as it can have small bones in it. That cooked meat is great on tacos, chicken salad, or casseroles.

    Hopefully others will give you detailed recipes on how they cook their cockerels, there are a lot of different ways to create a gourmet meal. If you try mine, come back and let me know what you think.

    Good luck!
     
  9. EggWalrus

    EggWalrus Crowing

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    I can tell by the ingredients and the temp that it would be some mighty fine eating. You can't beat low and slow. :drool
     
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  10. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Ahh... I remember the first brine TG turkey... my mother in Love made... The best turkey EVER compared to all previous years (back when Martha Stewart first appeared)... well, until my son's gf entered the scene and her brine recipe for last year was SOOO good, including some orange peels and such. The flavor was throughout the meat, and yes the brining process does something that alters the molecules and allows moisture to stay IN the meat when cooked.

    Others already answered better than I can probably with regards to why and such. Only reason I mention buttermilk... I see TV chefs do it specifically for FRIED chicken. And people seem to know SOMETHING from "back in the day".

    I have considered trying to brine... DURING rest but haven't yet tested results or spent the time yet.
    https://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/cooking-tips/article/how-to-brine-chicken

    If I really wanted fried chicken... I would consider raising some broilers for JUST that reason. All my birds are DP and and won't be harvested until at least 20 weeks usually depending on behavior.

    Yes... cooking and eating our birds has taken adjustment on our part. I was so afraid I might have missed something and eat a feather or other funk... as IF market chickens are cleaner. :rolleyes: They have a bit more chew and sometimes more flavor. It ends up being good, once your (my) mindset accepts eating birds you raised and cleaned yourself. :drool
     
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