Do chickens need to "rest" before freezing??

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Rocky Road, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. Rocky Road

    Rocky Road Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    I processed my first batch of roosters last weekend and it was our first try. My parents both grew up with their parents butchering their own chickens and both had different opinions on this topic. My mom said her dad used to butcher, process and freeze while my dad said his parents butchered, let the meat rest for a day somewhere cool then froze. Now I let it rest in my unfinished basement which is cool in a cooler filled with some ice. the next day we cut it up and froze it. My mom said that when she cooked the first legs the meat was very tough. I wonder if it has something to do with the "resting".

    When we pulled out the "rested" chicken they were kind of stiff and looked like a lot of fluids came out of them and that they dried a bit. They smelled fine and were still cold so I don't think they spoiled.

    Any opinions or experiences you would like to share would be great!

  2. Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex

    Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    Rogue Valley, S. Oregon
    Resting (aging) only makes meat more tender. The age of the rooster will determine how tough he starts out and the longer you wait before freezing, the more the meat will break down, thus making it more tender. I ate an 8 month old roo who we aged in a saltwater brine for almost 2 days. His legs were still tough! The white meat was allright though.
    I just proccessed 7 roos on Saturday and I let them sit overnight (only because by the time I finished I was too tired to wrap them!) in a tub of water.
    I have just accepted that the dark meat will be tough, and I am okay with that. I am the only one who likes dark meat at my house anyway and I don't mind tough or gamey meat.
  3. Rocky Road

    Rocky Road Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    My roos were about 5.5 months old. So you rested them in water?? we just let them rest in a cooler with some ice on them not water. I wonder if that would have helped keep the moisture in.
  4. MeatKing

    MeatKing Chillin' With My Peeps

    Our meat doesn't rest long, they go to a prossccer in early am, go on the line 9 or 8 am, then pick up at 3pm from cooler there.. Straight to freezers at home.. They take a day or 2 to thaw out, so I figure they rest then..
  5. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2008
    One needs to rest the butchered chicken for about a day for rigor mortis ( after death all animals become rigid as in still as a board) to pass in a cooler or refrigerator or untill the legs and wings feel very loose. The dryness of the skin is due to exposure to air, so moisture in the skin evaporates. Wrap in plastic or butcher paper or keep it submerged in water. Adding salt to the water will draw out remaining blood. then freeze or cook. One may freeze the carcass right after processing, however one would have to rest the animal after it thaws out, again untill the limbs are totally loose. The other factor to the toughness is the age of the bird. If the bird is very young, you can BBQ or fry it, a little older one can also roast it, then the older the bird slow low heat and moist cooking is required or the meat will be tough. Have fun and enjoy the ride !!!

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