First time butchering....I have some questions....

vkp23

Songster
10 Years
Jul 10, 2009
364
1
119
My house
We did our first two birds for our daughter first birthday. We butchered the day before. My husband and I watched a vid on youtube that was very well done and informative. We still must be idiots cause after we got the "stuff loose from the chest wall, no problems with that, we turned it over and for the life of us couldn't get the "stuff loose from the back. Am I missing something? My mom said that there is always some red fleshy/meaty stuff stuck to the back bone. Is that true? I could have sworn they were organs of some sort. Any way we gave up and decided to just cut the legs and breast off and just go that way for now. (We're still new at this obviously, so we are not messing with wings yet.) Also, we all got confused about something. Now this is both myself and my husband, my mother and my in-laws, all confused about this.....The breast were fine but we let the legs and thighs cook for an hour and though they were cooked they seemed to have the texture of raw meat. That's the best way to explain it. Kinda rubbery but not chewy. It just didn't have the texture of the legs and thighs you would get in the store. Is it just because they are home grown? Did we over cook them? (after 45 min at 350 degrees my mom was still worried about bacteria and said to let them go another 15 min.) Were they too young/old? They are/were about 4 months old. Also, they are not broilers or Cornish X's. One was a Wyandott the other was an RIR. Could that be the reason for the different texture? Thanks for the help.
 
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Winsor Woods

Songster
10 Years
Jun 14, 2009
378
5
121
Cascade Range in WA
Most likely you didn't age them long enough. Aging should take care of that rubbery texture of the meat. After processing, store you bird in a cooler with ice for 48 hours before freezing or eating. I mix a little salt in with the ice to lower the temp. You could also bag it and put it in the fridge for a few days. The natural enzymes will tenderize the meat.

As far as the "red fleshy meat" that is stuck to the backbone area, those are the lungs. I can get them out with my fingers but you definitely need to be aggressive getting those out. Start at an edge and don't be gentle. Once you can get under them you can rip them right out. If you're still having trouble, you might look for a tool called a lung scraper.

Dan
 

jaku

Songster
12 Years
Jan 13, 2008
2,134
6
191
Howard City, Michigan
The red fleshy things are the lungs. You can scrape them out- and it's much easier if you get them whole. Also, you can get a tomato/strawberry huller at a kitchen store for $2 that looks and operates like a $30 lung remover. That will help also.

As for the toughness, everything you mentioned could be a factor- I age 48 hours before I freeze or eat my birds.
 

vkp23

Songster
10 Years
Jul 10, 2009
364
1
119
My house
Thank you guys so much. See I didn't know this stuff I surely will do that next time! As for the lung thing, can I get the rest of the stuff out then work on the lungs or do I HAVE to get it to all come out at once? Part of the problem we had was that we were having a hard time getting around all the rest of the stuff.
 

ducks4you

Songster
11 Years
Jan 20, 2009
1,572
76
236
East Central Illinois
It also could be the way that you cook your chicken. I learned from making mistakes on Thanksgiving turkeys, that most instructions have you cooking your bird too high, too fast. I cook my chicken for 3 1/2 hours at 250 degrees covered with aluminum foil in a roaster. I just butchered my first---did all three of my roosters. The meat on the thighs did look redder than any store-bought, long frozen birds, but it tasted done. Also, I salt the cavity, then add one onion, cut it half and two sage leaves for seasoning, and salt and pepper the skin.
big_smile.png
 

jaku

Songster
12 Years
Jan 13, 2008
2,134
6
191
Howard City, Michigan
Quote:
You can get the lungs out after the other stuff. I've never had the lungs come out with everything else, and I'm not sure how it would be possible. Get the guts out, then the heart, then the lungs.
 

Egg_newton

Songster
10 Years
Jun 19, 2009
712
3
129
East Central Indiana
YUCK! The bile duct! I did that last night. Not sure how. I had it laying on it's back and carefully cut open the top of the cavity but when I reached in to pull out all the guts I saw green. Green everywhere!
 

patandchickens

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
12,520
345
341
Ontario, Canada
Quote:
All you have to do is separate the connective tissue / membrane type thing that glues the lungs against the inside of the ribcage. If you start with your fingertips at the edge of the lung and just plow upwards as you go, pressing tight against all the contours of the ribs, it works really well.

The lungs then come out with the innards because they are no longer attached to the bony carcass but *are* of course still attached to the innards via connective tissue and the lower part of the, er, bronchial tubes or whatever it is.

Pat
 

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