Butchering a Silkie rooster for meat

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Hummingbird Hollow, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This summer I somehow became the rooster-remover for a half of El Paso County Colorado after volunteering to take someone's unwanted rooster when I was at the feed store. Through word of mouth I ended up with over 20 roosters during the summer. One I kept, one I rehomed and the others were butchered. Anyway, out of the blue yesterday someone called me to ask if I'd take two roosters, a White Jersey Giant and a Silkie. I told her I'd be happy to take them as long as she was aware that I would be butchering them and adding them to my freezer.

    I'm so glad I did a bit of research before I butchered the Silkie, because I would have thought something was seriously wrong with it. Not only was the skin dark grey but the bones are black and the meat is very dark. Even his testicles were almost the color of liver, rather than the usual color. Bright yellow fat against a grey/brown background. Very strange!

    Anyway, did you know that Silkie meat is prized in Asia and is considered very healthy, even medicinal? I read an article this afternoon that suggested that it is higher in several key nutrients than standard chicken. He was a mature rooster so I'm figuring a long, low, slow cooking and some tasty soup.

    Has anyone else ever butchered and cooked a Silkie? Any advice or recipies?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I don't know about the medicinal aspect but I know they are in demand for meat.
    We have some Asian markets here and one always has a big freezer full of silkies.

    Like all older birds, cooking low and slow or crock potting them is the way to go.

    I usually cook free range mature birds at about 220F till the meat falls off the legs. Better is to part them out since the breasts will cook much faster than the legs.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    A poultry science professor at the University of Arkansas occasionally gives talks about chickens to 4-H groups and backyard chicken groups. One of the slides he often shows is of a Silkie production facility he took a photo of when he visited China. It looks like a huge warehouse filled with Silkies being grown for meat. I’m not sure if they were bantam of full-sized.

    He did not mention any medicinal purposes, just said they were considered a delicacy locally. It’s quite possible the dark Silkie meat is rumored to do something but I personally don’t put much faith in that. Did you know that when it was introduced to Europe the tomato was considered to be an Aphrodisiac? It was nicknamed the love apple. Anything different can start rumors. If you search the internet you may be able to find out what powers Silkie meat is supposed to have.

    I’ve never cooked a Silkie but I’d suspect you’d cook it the same as any chicken. It might be more appetizing if you take the meat off the bone and use the meat by itself, maybe a casserole or tacos. You can blame the color on the herbs and spices you use if someone is put off by the color.
     
  4. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't tend to put a whole lot of stock in Chinese folk medicine, but in this case an article I found stated "Another interesting thing about silkies is their high content of carnosine, a naturally occurring peptide which is sold as a dietary supplement. People take it to increase muscle mass, ward of the effects of aging and alleviate diseases like diabetes or autism. Studies have shown the black chicken is one of the richest sources of carnosine." http://www.odditycentral.com/foods/the-dark-side-of-cooking-naturally-black-chicken.html and a quick search on "carnosine" finds all sorts of articles and studies on the compound.

    Anyway, as for the strange meat and bone, my husband and I are very brave when it comes to trying new things. We started buying things like a half beef, a whole goat, half pig etc. from a friend who raises them, sometimes trading my chickens and turkeys for the beef, pork and goat so my freezer includes stuff like heart, liver, kidney and tongue so we like to experiment with food we didn't ever purchase at the store. I think the color will be a novelty.
     
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  5. cottontail farm

    cottontail farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Thanks for that. I've got a few silkie cockerels that may be there if I don't decide to breed them this spring. Or, if I do breed them, there's always their sons to deal with [​IMG]
     
  7. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the post. Nicely written blog. I didn't come back and post after I cooked the silky rooster. He made a very lovely soup, slow cooked for about 4 hours before I removed most of the meat and cooked the bones for another 4 hours before straining the stock, stripping the bones and completing the soup. Unfortunately I didn't bookmark the recipie I used and now I can't seem to find it. It was tasty though. I'll be trolling Craigs List again for free roosters and take any silky's offered.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Was a guy...on a forum....not sure which one......raised silkies specifically for the local asian meat market, had a great little biz going...I do remember he was in PA, USA.
     
  9. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know someone who likes them as dual purpose chickens. says they are small, of course, but docile and easy to handle, dont require much feed, and lay very large-yolked, delicious eggs, while also yielding excellent meat and broth with unusually nutritious properties (not sure the details, but silkie broth is considered medicine in Chinese tradition).
     
  10. cottontail farm

    cottontail farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks so much for checking out my writing! I'd love to know what else you used to make the soup? I do plan on trying it again at some point. They do taste like, well, chicken. :)
     

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