Cooked chicken real tough

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Aaron B, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. Aaron B

    Aaron B Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi all. I just butchered my first chicken (2 actually) this morning. They were Buff Orpington roosters that were 9 months old. I skinned them and cut them into eight pieces. I covered the pieces with cling wrap and put them in the refrigerator. Tonight I cooked them on the grill and they were so tough, you could hardly get a steak knife through them. What did I do wrong? I am incredibly disappointed that these birds turned out like this.
     
  2. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My guess would be age, the older the tougher. A chicken that old may need to be slow cooked, maybe marinated?
     
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    And in addition to age, chicken goes into rigor mortis after it dies. It is recommended by a lot of folks to let them sit in the fridge for two or three days. They go out of rigor in that time resulting in a more tender bird.
     
  4. jyurina

    jyurina Out Of The Brooder

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    Next time let them sit. A friend who has been butchering her own chickens reccomends putting the whole carcass in a container uncovered in the fridge with damp towels over them for at least 24 hours before cooking or freezing them . I did this and all the chickens I have butchered were amazingly tender.
     
  5. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The last two posts together explain why your chicken was so tough. Even with a young chicken (8-12 weeks of age) you need to let them "rest" in the refridgerator for two or three days to let the rigor pass out of their muscles. I always let them cool in an ice bath for a few hours and then let them dry in the sink before putting them in the refridgerator. After two or three days I'll either freeze them whole, cut them into pieces and freeze them, perhaps cooking one on the third day.

    Considering that they were 9 month old roosters, you probably also have to use a longer cooking method, like a crock pot. I cooked a 6 or 7 month old Freedom Ranger rooster using a "Coc au vin" recipie (classic French recipie that translates to "Cock in wine") slow cooking a rooster in a bottle of good red wine. That was excellent.

    I also recently cooked a 9 month old hen using the "Joy of Cooking" recipie for Chicken Fricasee (except I slow cooked the chicken for 90 minutes instead of 30) and it was one of the most tasty things I've ever cooked

    There is an excellent article on the web on cooking heritage chickens, explaining the different cooking techniques needed for different ages of chickens

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

    Most modern recipies assume you are using one of the 8 week old CX factory farmed grocery store chickens.
     
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  6. gg706

    gg706 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @jyurina How old were your chickens? I have a couple of Gold laced Wyandottes 3 weeks old that I believe are roosters....trying to plan when to do the deed. I would like to smoke them on the smoker all day about 250 degrees.
     
  7. gg706

    gg706 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hummingbirdhollow any advice on the cooking of my roos? I would like to smoke them...but sounds like that will not be much of an option ????
     
  8. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    I make chicken and noodles or if I have a large batch of older birds, I break out the canner and can several pints of chickens! Handy in the winter!
     
  9. ellandeeranch

    ellandeeranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You got all the right replies, I say.

    1. Rest in the fridge minimum 1 day. I go two days normally.
    2. Rest the entire chicken, then quarter/piece AFTER the rest days.
    3. Nine months is a little long for grilling, IMO. I've eaten some at the age, and they do get tough. Better using a moist method. My favorite time with the NH's I do is 14 weeks.

    I've only butchered a few dozen chickens, but I've had quite a variety in terms of age.
     
  10. Aaron B

    Aaron B Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 7, 2012
    Thanks for all of the replies everyone. This is good advice that I will follow next time.
     

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