first processing didn't go entirely smoothly questions

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by jeza921, May 17, 2009.

  1. jeza921

    jeza921 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2009
    Hello! I've been lurking here for some time as we are raising our first batch of egg and meat birds. I've found so much useful information here, but haven't been able to find the answers to some particular questions that got raised last night.

    Last night we did six of our 16 cornish x's, and it was a traumatic experience for all. (More so for the chickens than for us if we're honest.)

    We chopped off the head, stuffed the body in a cone and let it bleed out, then skinned them. This all was difficult but went smoothly enough. Then we did the gutting. This is where the questions arose.

    There was the occasional rupture of something gross (but not the green thing, thank goodness). And after we pulled out everything, it looked inside like we had burst some things (kidneys, maybe?). We only had a bucket of water and no hose, so rinsing out the insides 100% wasn't doable. I also managed to rupture a lung and not get it all out. On other occasions we just gave up with the lungs and left them in (we pieced them before freezing).

    And lastly, when I was cutting them up later in the kitchen, on several occasions I cut the bone instead of at the joint. I would try to find the joint, but many time I cut off a piece of the joint or just crunched on through in the case of the wings.

    Okay, so to wrap up with my questions:

    1. If we don't get the lungs/every bit of organ out, does it hurt the meat when it's aging?
    2. Does cutting the bone and having the marrow exposed pose problems for cooking?

    Thank you for helping us out here, we have 10 more to go next weekend!
     
  2. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    Question, If you are going to cut them up why gut them? We just did a couple White Holland turkey toms this morning and we don't even fully skin them. Just slice the skin down the keel to almost the vent and peel it back enough to get the breast, leg 1/4s, and wings.

    For your questions

    when we do whole birds we do clean the inside very well, the organs will spoil very quickly and taint the meat.

    Some people still eat bone marrow. Not one of my dishes but my dad always did.

    Steve in NC
     
  3. jeza921

    jeza921 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2009
    I've heard that if you cut the pieces right after slaughter it gets bunched up and hard? If that's not your experience, we would be GLAD to just cut the pieces off and be done with it. Although we would still go in after the liver. [​IMG] I was kind of afraid of the organ taint thing, so last night I didn't really let them age and cut them up about 4 hours after we gutted them. They were sitting in a bucket of ice, so I'm not worried about taint this time, but that's why I was asking.

    Would you suggest we skin, cut off the pieces, then throw the pieces in the ice to be washed/bagged back at the house? That would make my life pretty easy next weekend.
     
  4. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    This is how we did our turkeys yesterday, chickens the same way, ducks we don't mess with the wings.

    After removing the head start at the neck and slice just under the skin down to almost the vent. Peel the skin back over the breast, legs and wings. Take the legs and wings off and remove the breast. You get 2 boneless, skinless breast fillets, leg 1/4's. & wings. The breasts get washed and straight in the fridge in a big tupper ware container to cool and age, on the turkeys we split the leg and thighs, the the thighs get deboned and into the fridge, the lower leg and wings we cook in the pressure cooker for 10 minutes at 15 pounds pressure - until the meat falls off the bone. That meat get bagged and frozen straight away for taco's, casserols etc. the stock makes great soup. The chickens we leave the leg 1/4's whole, the duck leg 1/4s gets deboned and saved for duck sausage.

    We don't do any kind of ice water bath - unless we are doing whole birds. They go straight to the fridge to cool and age. Time of age goes by the size of the meat - chicken breasts 2 days, turkey 4 -ish. We haven't had any problems with the meat being tough by cutting up and aging.

    Often the best way is to try different methods and see what works best for you, and makes it easy. I know for us skinning and cutting up saves all kinds of freezer space and fits our way of cooking. In the warmer months we grill out often so the skinless, boneless works great, in colder weather the dutch oven, roaster pan gets the bulk of the cooking. It's very very rare we fry anything but that would be a cooking option as well.

    Steve in NC
     
  5. jeza921

    jeza921 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 17, 2009
    Thanks for the advice! We grilled some of the breasts last night and they were really tough... they'd only aged about 24 hours though and were in baggies... next time we will try the Tupperware and aging for 2 days. I'm going to make stock tonight with the pieces where I crunched the bone open... it's hard for me to get in between the joint! My parents never cut up birds so I think this is an experience issue [​IMG] We're going to save the meat off the crunched bones for casseroles like you suggested.

    Another question: if we get poo or gross feathers on the meat, is a good rinsing good enough or do you suggest a chlorine/water mix? It only happened a couple of times, but with how gross our birds are (they free range) I forsee this being an issue always.

    Thanks again for your advice!
     
  6. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    They trick with grilling is don't over cook, They go from perfectly done to shoe leather in just a few minutes. [​IMG] Is the piece of meat is extra thick we will cut it in half lenth wise so it does cook quicker.

    Cooking the meat off and saving it has worked really good for us. Sharon puts the turkey meat on salads etc. We use the pressure cooker to save time. If you are like us there isn't enough hours in the day to get everything done so we pinch every minute.

    You want to try to keep all the nasties off the meat as much as possible but it does happen. We just wash in fresh clean water. You could use a sanitizer if you wanted to, we process most of our meat at home (poultry, venison) The only meat we buy is pork and that is only because we haven't finished the pig pen yet. Once you get more experience you will find your processing time goes much faster and cleaner.

    Steve
     

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