Cooking Chicken & thawing

Discussion in 'Egg, Chicken, & Other Favorite Recipes' started by jamieneenah, May 14, 2009.

  1. jamieneenah

    jamieneenah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 2, 2009
    HI,

    Were raising our own birds this year, but have in the past had birds raised on a organic farm. The birds from the farm were professionally processed and we keep them frozen till the day we are ready to use them.

    If I take them out in time, I can let them completely thaw in the fridge or outside, then cook them once they are at close to room temp, it works well. If I forget to thaw them in time, I try to thaw them out in a put of warm water.

    I am cooking these on the rotisserie on the grill. I start with the temp high to brown the skin, then turn it down, and end up with a total cooking time of around 1hour 20 minutes for 3 pound birds.

    Here is the problem. Some of my birds are turning out very tough and stringy, kind of gamey tasting. I am not positive if it is the ones that I am thawing more rapidly or not. I know that the last ones we did were at room temp (thawed slowly) when I started grilling and they turned out really well.

    Any suggestions on what I may be doing wrong?

    Thanks
    Jamie
     
  2. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    Few things:

    How old were the birds at the time of slaughter, what method of slaughter?

    Caged, penned, free ranged?

    Did you brine them, or process and freeze?

    On the organic farm you used to buy from, organic feed, cage free, or pastured (each would be a different texture and level of firmness)?

    Older and free ranged birds have more muscle use, so they can be firmer than grocery chicken, dry cooking like roasting can add to the issue by drying out the meat. You may want to consider a wet cooking method (I'd go for the renolds poultry bag method if it's too tough/dry for your taste, and you want a whole bird).

    Generally a slow fridge thaw VS a quick water thaw shouldn't change the meat that much, which leaves us with cooking method and raising conditions.
     
  3. jamieneenah

    jamieneenah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 2, 2009
    Quote:The birds were free ranged to about 8-9 week from what the farmer told us. There were out in a field, Joel Salitan style flock.

    The birds have always been frozen when we have picked them up, I was under the impression that they are flash frozen at the processor, but I am not positive of how that was done.

    The thing I just don't quite understand is why some turn out really well while others are so bad I don't even want to eat them. They would have all been processed at the same time and in the same manner. They would have all been fed the same stuff, eaten from the same area, etc.


    Thanks
    Jamie
     
  4. saddina

    saddina Internally Deranged

    May 2, 2009
    Desert, CA
    Were they both the same breed?

    Since the methods seem similar, I'm going to suggest using the rest of the birds in a different cooking style, or brining them before roasting. I'd avoid dry heat unless they were brined. Did the label from the organic place have something on it, to the effect of "up to 10% water/salt solution" (I forget the exact wording) if so then the processor brined them as part of the processing, which could be the differance.

    All else fails, boil the meat off the bones and make pot pie or tacos with the meat.
     
  5. JeffroDull

    JeffroDull Out Of The Brooder

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    May 6, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    Nothing on your toughness but a comment on the warm water thawing: this is not only dangerous (food pathogens thrive in warm water) but also not the fastest way to thaw.

    To quickly and safely thaw in a hurry put your bird in a pot under a slowly running cold tap. Believe it or not this will thaw the bird faster than using warm water AND it keeps everything below out the "danger zone". If you're not keen on leaving a tap running slowly fill the pot with cold water and refill it a half hour later or so until you're all thawed out.
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Quote:My work used to include inspection of commercial kitchens. This is correct. The safest way to thaw is put the meat in the refrigerator 2-3 days before eating, depending on size. They should never be thawed at room temp unless under cold running water. Changing cold water in a pot every 30 minutes would not be approved in a commercial kitchen, but is certainly better than thawing at room temp or in hot water.

    Brining will tenderize them. You could thaw and brine in the refrigerator at the same time.
     
  7. jamieneenah

    jamieneenah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 2, 2009
    Quote:They were not suppose to have any added solution to them, nothing on the label about it.

    I saw the flock and they were all the same breed. They definitely are not cornishX, they were a white bird, looked more like a leghorn. Would the sex make any difference at that age?

    Boiling them for soup works very well. We really like rotisserie birds, and it is frustrating where some are just excellent and some are really horrible. (most of them were $10-$12 each).

    Could I brine them now prior to grilling? Is there a suggested recipe / directions for that?

    Thanks
    Jamie
     
  8. jamieneenah

    jamieneenah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    0
    119
    May 2, 2009
    Quote:My work used to include inspection of commercial kitchens. This is correct. The safest way to thaw is put the meat in the refrigerator 2-3 days before eating, depending on size. They should never be thawed at room temp unless under cold running water. Changing cold water in a pot every 30 minutes would not be approved in a commercial kitchen, but is certainly better than thawing at room temp or in hot water.

    Brining will tenderize them. You could thaw and brine in the refrigerator at the same time.

    Thanks for the warning. I fully understand food safety, sanitization, etc, I just don't feel like it is a problem for us, particularly with the organic / naturally raised meat. I think some bacteria in your food is good for you. [​IMG]

    I will give that a try with some running water and see if it thaws faster.

    Thanks
    Jamie
     

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