Broad Breasted White, Butchering question HELP!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by MissDeb, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. MissDeb

    MissDeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2008
    Mat-su Alaska
    The other day, I went out to my coop only to find my BBW laying there in a pool of blood with half her insides outside her body. Coming out her rear. So we made the decision to go ahead and butcher her. Everything went fine and the meat should be fine as well..

    But I have a few questions, after we gutted her, I cleaned her out, and cooled her down in the sink (ice and cold water). Once she was cool to the touch, I wrapped her up and put her in the freezer (not knowing any better)....I heard I was supposed to let her sit for awhile but since we didnt do that, is there anything I can do to salvage her? I don't want a tough turkey. We arent eating her until next week...any suggestions?
  2. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    Deb, I see two options:

    If you choose to cook this one next week, (delayed holiday dinner?) I'd thaw the bird now, so that you can let it rest for at least 2 days after thawing, maybe that will do the trick. I don't know if it will, but there's a chance it will. Then use Miss Prissy's cheesecloth basting method, in addition to roasting in a covered pan. Use foil (A loose tent over the bird, but mashed in on the edges of the pan) if you don't have a lid. I would lower the roasting temp a little, 325 instead of 350, and allow a couple of hours extra to roast until the bird becomes tender. It will, eventually. I had a really tough bird once, it took almost twice as long to become tender, but once it did it was delicious. It was either a Narragansett or a Bourbon Red, I'm not sure which, 8 months old.

    With the lid and the cheese cloth basting method, it shouldn't be come dry. You could also brine the bird overnight before roasting, that will help, too.

    The other option is to obtain a different bird to roast, then you can use this one differently. You could fillet the thighs and breast meat and grind for turkey burger. The other parts you could cook in a crock pot, (probably in two or three batches) take the meat off the bones and use for all kinds of things, sandwiches, BBQ sandwiches, pot pie, burritos, enchiladas, turkey hash, (what I do sometimes is fry a pan of potatoes and onions, and add the chopped turkey meat when the potatoes are nearly done. Yummy!) or whatever strikes your fancy. Turkey and dumplings is very good, too.

    Even turkey backs have a surprising amount of meat on them. I certainly wouldn't give up on using the bird. I can't stand to waste good meat. If it's not suitable to cook one way, I'll find another.

    Good luck to you, I hope you have a good holiday, whatever you decide to do!
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2008
  3. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    If this was a young bird, then I doubt it will be tough.

    We have taken many young birds from slaughter to freezer.
  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I agree with Kurtis. If she was young she should be tender. When you roast keep it moist. Cover and baste and she should be delicious.
  5. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Chicken Obsessed

    Oct 16, 2008
    I guess ingnorance is bliss.. before I got this computor and got onto these chicken websites, I never knew that "older" chickens were supposed to be tough.. we never butchered a bird according to age.. we go out and say, THAT one looks about the right size.. and BAM, dinner...

    It makes me wonder, what do people do with 3year old hens after they quit laying?? Or 3 or 4 year old roosters?? just knock them in the head and throw them onto the manure pile??

    soup made from and old hen is much more flavorful than if you use a very young bird... My mother would always look for an old hen for soup........

  6. MissDeb

    MissDeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2008
    Mat-su Alaska
    Thank you for the information! She was a 7 month old bird, is that considered older?

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