Cooking advice for 6 month old roosters

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Gardenlady2, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. Gardenlady2

    Gardenlady2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We harvested chickens for the first time this weekend. I now have 5 chilling in the fridge. One was harvested Friday morning & I plan to roast him today. Should I just roast him like a regular supermarket chicken, or should I do anything different? They are pastured chickens & most are Dominiques but I also have a Delaware/Welsummer cross, so they aren't meat breads. Breasts appear to be small, but they have some serious leg & thigh muscles.
    The other 4 I plan to freeze but I had someone tell me it's best to keep them in the fridge for 24 hours first to let the meat age so it won't be as tough.
    Any advice is appreciated. I don't want to mess anything up and waste a perfectly good bird.
     
  2. cubalaya

    cubalaya Overrun With Chickens

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    I soak mine for 24 hours in the fridge in a brine solution. then I freeze them at least a day before I cook them
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    You can get a lot of suggestions. I don’t brine mine but put them in the freezer the day I butcher them, double wrapping them with freezer paper. But I cook one every Thursday, so I take it out of the freezer on Sunday to let it thoroughly thaw. Maybe that counts as letting it age. I also cut them into serving pieces, not freeze them whole.

    How you cook them makes a difference too. My current method is to rinse the pieces off but do not pat them dry, put them in a ceramic roasting pan with a good led to get a good seal, and coat them with herbs. Mainly oregano and basil but sometimes also parsley or thyme. Then they go in the oven. A lot of pullets and fairly young cockerels, less than 20 weeks, go in for about 2-1/2 hours at 250 degrees. Last Thursday I cooked a three year old rooster like that at 240 degrees for 4 hours. He was very tasty and very tender.

    When they are finished there is a fair amount of liquid in there, maybe a half pint, without adding any more water. I freeze that liquid and add it when I make broth with the carcasses. We all have our own systems and methods. You have options.

    There are so many people that brine them it is probably a real good idea. But I think how you cook them has an effect too.
     

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