Cooking options for 24 wk dual purpose breed


Jan 24, 2019
Wondering what my cooking options are for dual purpose breed (Orpingtons) butchered at 24 weeks might be? I really love a tender juicy roasted chicken but I'm thinking I might be better off using a slow cooker? They are around 4 pounds whole.
You don't necessarily need a slow cooker but you do need to cook them slowly.
Unlike the way people normally cook store chicken that are about 7 weeks when butchered, when cooking the whole bird I go with about 200F covered for as long as it takes for the meat to separate from the bone. That can be as long as 5 hours.
Sometimes breast down in broth because the breast will cook faster than the dark meat.
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Lots of different options. I'll give you my recipe. If you use it I'd appreciate some feedback on how you like it. It's pretty similar to Canoe's suggestion. I also put the breasts on the bottom.

Cut the bird into serving pieces and rinse them. Do not pat dry. Coat the bird in your choice of herbs. I mainly use basil and oregano (I grow a lot of those) but parsley, thyme, and others work. My wife can't have onion of garlic so I don't use them but you can if you wish. If you wish you can put a carrot or some celery in there, not to eat later but just for flavor. I coat it with dried herbs, sort of an herb-crusted chicken. If you have fresh herbs you can flavor it with those too. How you flavor it is up to you, this is about how to cook it.

Put that in a baking dish with a tight cover and cook it in your over at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 2-1/2 to 3 hours. Yes, 250 degrees. You want a tight-fitting lid so he liquid does not evaporate. I do not add water or any liquid.

When it is finished carefully remove the chicken pieces with a slotted spoon. The meat can fall right off of the bone. You'll need to eat it with a fork, it is not finger food. You should find maybe a half-cup to a cup of liquid in the bottom of the pan. If you strain that and take the fat off you have delicious broth.
Roasted is the hottest method to cook a bird of that age. Anything with more moisture than roasted obviously can be done also. From Coq au vin to crockpot.

What can't be done, well it can but you'll have a tough bird, is frying or broiling/grilling.

Broiler- up to 14 weeks of age
Fryer- up to 18 weeks of age
Roaster- up to 9 months
Stew- any age
So I went with the oven at 250 degrees in a large heavy pan with a lid. Carrots and onions at the bottom, parsley, salt and peppered the skin, no broth, for 5 hours, breast down. I checked at 3 hours and the meat was still attached to the bones so I let it go a while longer. 4 hours might have been alright too. Ended up with probably 1-2 cups of broth, that will make some fantastic gravy. Turned out super delicious!

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