Eating a Cockerel

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Rennie, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. Rennie

    Rennie Chillin' With My Peeps

    337
    0
    119
    Oct 28, 2009
    Derbyshire, England
    Ok, Heres the deal.. Today I had to cull my beloved rooster due to the noise he made and the neighbours and my mum getting sick of his noise. I was close to tears doing it but I guess it had to be done .. Its done now though so I hope they are all happy

    What I would like to know is ... Is there anything I need to do in order to eat the bird or will it be ok to butcher it now and stick it in the oven

    Would It be ok still if I waited a few hours so my neice can help me pluck it ..(she is 4 and has asked me to wait till she comes home from school so she can "pull the feathers off" )

    Whats the best option..

    (I know how to butcher one but have never done my own and one thats only been dead 10 mins)


    Thanks for any advice
     
  2. scubaforlife

    scubaforlife Chillin' With My Peeps

    259
    3
    121
    Jul 13, 2009
    You are going to want to get the guts out as soon as possible.

    After that you could drop it into the fridge and wait for the lil one to pull the feathers.
     
  3. TanithT

    TanithT Out Of The Brooder

    57
    1
    29
    Jul 13, 2010
    Raleigh, NC
    You will need to do some brief dipping in very hot but not boiling water to loosen the feathers, else the skin may tear during plucking on some animals. Use a hammer and cleaver to take the neck off fairly high, but try to ruck the skin up so you leave a good amount of skin from the neck attached to the breast. Core the connective tissue around the crop without breaking the crop, and leave in place. If you do break the crop, a paper towel will clean up the mess; wrap it around to keep the spill contained and move on to the other end.

    Core out (cut carefully around) the bung without nicking it and slit all the way up to the breastbone from the top of the bung. Wrap the end of the bung in a paper towel and pull it outwards. Pull the gizzard out slightly to give yourself room to work in the carcass, but don't yank it out (you'll break things which will spill grit in the carcass if you do). Reach in either with a gut hook or your hands and aim for behind the heart. Scoop the guts out once you have severed the connective tissue that lies along the backbone. The crop should come with them if you've cored it out properly from the front.

    If you nick something, dam the spill with a paper towel and move on. Wash the carcass inside and out with salted water or a pot of water with a drop or two of bleach in it when you are done pulling the insides outside.

    If you intend to cut up the bird as a fryer anyhow, you will find it easier to get in on one side of the bung with heavy poultry shears and split the carcass down the backbone, forcing it open before you begin gutting. In fact, doing that to have a look at the anatomy isn't a bad idea on your first bird anyhow, and a split chicken stews or roasts just fine.
     
  4. TanithT

    TanithT Out Of The Brooder

    57
    1
    29
    Jul 13, 2010
    Raleigh, NC
    Quote:If you simply chill down the whole carcass rapidly, you won't get significant enough breakdown of cell walls or tissue integrity for this to be an issue. The issue of immediate gut removal is basically one of needing to drop core temperature rapidly enough to prevent bacterial overgrowth, and you have a lot more to worry about with larger animals (>10 lbs) than with chickens.

    Chill the intact carcass rapidly (the freezer would be a good spot) and you'll be fine.
     
  5. cubalaya

    cubalaya Overrun With Chickens

    2,722
    121
    256
    Nov 19, 2008
    central virginia
    after plucking or skinning you should soak for 24 hours in salt water in refrigerator to chill meat. then freeze for at least a day or 2 and then eat it. do this for better taste.
     
  6. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
    140
    281
    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Quote:[​IMG] I don't know if I would do this. I think it's best to pluck/skin and remove the insides ASAP after dispatching the bird. And then immediately plunge the cleaned bird in ice water. That way the cold water is in contact with both the outside & the inside of the bird, and the body gets cool faster = less chance for bacteria to grow.

    I think putting a whole bird into a freezer would mean the outside would chill first, but the insides would still be warm. And if it still had its feathers it would insulate the meat & keep it from cooling sooner. The ideal conditions for the bacteria to grow is in warm temps. You'd have a bird with warm guts setting in the freezer, with the residue of feces in its intestines. [​IMG]

    This is why we're advised to freeze leftovers in small packages, not putting whole casseroles warm from the oven directly into the freezer. You want it to freeze through ASAP, not have warm pockets in the middle.

    Since you couldn't wait to dispatch this rooster until your neice got home from school then you really need to clean it out NOW. Let her help with the cooking instead.
     
  7. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

    7,480
    180
    298
    Feb 12, 2009
    Ohio
    I've been culling our young roo's and after about 5. I finally got the chilling down thing right. I made a chicken and dumplings last night and the Marans rooster was oh so tasty they have very dark legs and thighs. I would advise 48+ hours in a cooler with ice water and salt.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by