eat immediately?


6 Years
Mar 10, 2013
After we process our chickens today, can we immediately cook them, or do they need to "cure"? Read something online about needing to wait 36 hours because of rigor mortis. We cooked our first rooster the day of processing last time and it was TOUGH. Help please. :)
We always try to age them in the fridge for at least 24hours. Just dry the finished carcasses and put them on plates in the fridge with something covering them (some use wax paper, others use plastic wrap, depends if you mind the outside of the meat drying out). You can age them up to 10 days, but they really only need a few days. And if you're doing up slow growing traditional roosters, make sure that they're around 6 months, not older than 12 months, and consider setting them in a brine before cooking to take out gameyness and make them more tender.
Ok...thank you! The previous roo wasn't quite a year, but boy was he tough. I even pressure cooked him. These are 8 week Cornish Rocks. Hoping for a much better result this time though.
Oh, Cornish shouldn't be much of a problem toughness-wise
But you're right that you should still age them 24+ hours.
I age the chicken until the legs move easily. When they are first in rigor you will not be able to move the legs at all unless you use both hands and really force it. It is almost like trying to move the leg on a partially frozen bird. You will know enough time has past when you can wiggle the leg and not move the entire body. Some chickens age faster than others, so I like to test rather than go by a set time.
(new chicken poster here), what about if you intend to freeze the birds, do you still need to let the rigor out, or can you freeze right of way?
I definitely aged ours! I put them in the garage fridge, either wrapped in freezer paper or in gallon ziplocks *though most of my broilers did not FIT in the ziplocks!* and I did what Elke Beck said, I waited until they seemed to move fairly easy. Usually 3-6 days, I noticed the bigger roos seemed like they took a little longer. I definitely loved having a spare fridge for them. Maybe look on craigslist and see if you can find a decent, cheap fridge? :)

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