Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by chicksalot, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. chicksalot

    chicksalot Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 20, 2008
    [​IMG] I have a question about processing birds for those of you who do this on a regular basis... I repeatedly read (from books & online) about the scalding & feather plucking. But I have recently run across an article where a person took the skin off (thus skipping the plucking part of processing & alot of the mess) since many people now pull the skin of the bird before cooking it anyway. What are any pros & cons for this technique regarding how well it would keep in the freezre, etc...? I would like to hear what your ideas are on this & what works the best for you...I know different ways suit different people, so ALL ideas/ input are welcome. Thanks. [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  2. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    I've done both.

    The skin adds so much flavor when baking, frying, and even using as soup.
    Once you get good at plucking it's not much harder than skinning.

    If I have one small rooster who is being aggressive I'll usually just
    skin it. For 2 or more birds I'll fire up the turkey fryer with water in it
    to scald and pluck.

    Dry plucking is possible too, just a lot harder.
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  3. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    chicken skin is proof god loves us.... skinning is wasting good food!
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  4. eggonomist

    eggonomist Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 20, 2007
    Singhampton, Ont, Canada
    I have done both now and with smaller birds you get so much more if you pluck, but I like the idea of having lots of left over scraps on the cage for stock. We have a system now that allows us to process a bird in around 20 minutes. I Bleed the bird and then check on the scalder, once up to temp I hand the bird to my wife and she scalds and starts plucking, I then get number 2 and bleed him. Once plucking is finished no.1 goes on the processing table and I go and get no.3, no.2 is then taken by my wife for scalding and plucking while I process no.1, then no.4 is taken to be bled and no.2 is now ready for processing and no.3 is ready for scalding and plucking. We just keep going untill we are done. Then My wife starts clearing up the feathers wile I process the last chicken and then it's clear up time. The system works well and we each have our own jobs to be doing.
    If I were doing it on my own then I would probably just skin the birds, but with a helper (or two) you can process very quickly.
    1 person likes this.
  5. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays

    I gotta agree with PurpleChicken, we do it both ways for the same reasons.
    Small game chickens & birds going through molt are a booger to pluck in my opinion, so we just skin them, and if we are just getting a single bird ready for dinner (Any breed) I usually just skin it as it's so much faster & easier.
    If we are cleaning several birds we pluck them. It seems to keep longer in the freezer if the skin is intact and of course the flavor is better & it helps keep the juices in if roasting.
    We might be different, but my wife removes the skin if she's frying anyway, as neither of us like the skin.
  6. CK Chickadilly

    CK Chickadilly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 11, 2008
    West Michigan
    Quote:A friend says she scalds them & then plucks. Shw says boiling water is your best friend! [​IMG] How long do you scald for? Doesn't it start cooking the bird?

    Also, when you bleed them, do you cut off the head completely? Or just slit the throat?

    You use a turkey deep fryer to scald them? How long does it take for the water to heat up?
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    You want to scald in about 140-160F water, cooler for younger, hotter for older birds. Don't go too hot or you'll cook the skin/outer meat layers. That can make skin tear easier, reduce storage times, and if the meat is "cooked" keep it from getting tender. I soak for about 40-60 seconds or till wing feathers pull out. A candy thermometer should be your best friend when it comes to keeping the scald pot at the right temp.

    Any way to get the blood off works. Cut throat or head off works.
  8. kenman

    kenman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2008
    Southwest Missouri
    We use both. We raise Cornish x and will scald and pluck some to cut-up for frying or baking whole. Others we will skin, fillet the breast meat, then boil both the leftover fryer parts and the rest of the skinned chicken, pick off the bone, and then freeze for all kinds of good things to eat. This way we get the best of all, good skinless meat, fryer parts, excellent flavored cooked meat and broth.
  9. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    I just had a fryer (2 pounds) and a Cornish (5 pounds) hurt their legs.
    Since they were both small I skinned both. It took a minute per bird.
    In this case I figures the convenience would outweigh having the skin.
  10. ThePamperedPullet

    ThePamperedPullet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Any of our Roos that we end up getting rid of usually go to the freezer. I have plucked and I have skinned but what we do now is filet. I am a bird hunter from way back and with waterfowl it is much easier to filet them. On any bird, your most meat is on the breast and thigh portions. So I take the Roo and dehead him to bleed him out quickly. I take a sharp knife and cut a slit in the skin at the breast bone. You can tear the skin back to reveal the whole breast. Run a filet knife down both sides of the breast bone to get the breast meat. I then skin the thigh portion down to the knee. Cut off the foot at the knee and cut the thigh portion away at the hip joint. Wash, wrap and freeze. This way you don't even have to clean the bird. Neither of us cares for the back as there is not much meat there. Quick, clean and takes about 3 minutes per bird from deheading to freezer.

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