First time processing!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Sabz, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. Sabz

    Sabz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi BYC!

    Yesterday I processed my first meat ever! A duck - the one that was making too much noise. He was younger and smaller than I would have like, but he was just too much for me and the neighbours, so he had to go (in fact I think it was a female as I didn't see the testes).

    The two hardest things I found were:
    - Making a nod strong enough to suspend the duck by the feet (kept sliding)
    - Cutting the jugular
    - Separating the bones at the proper place (like in the joint). I had a hard time removing the legs and neck without having to cut through bone.

    The rest was relatively easy, I just was a little slow. Took about one hour from the time I got my knife out to the time everything was cleaned up.

    So I hung the duck upside down, by the feet. Then I tried to slice the jugular. For some reason, I thought the neck would almost slice all through and the head would barely hand on. I was wrong... I am not sure if I truly hit the right spot on the first try. It bled in a steady flow for a few seconds and then the bird flapped its wings a bit and (oh no) fell from the cord!!!!!! Then he was walking around like nothing happened, and the blood stopped. Oh gee.... so as fast as possible, I held its head and did 1-2 more cuts to be really sure.. and then manually picked him up until he bled out. Wasn't as fast as expected. I don't think I hit the proper spot on the first attempt.

    So anyhow, I wish it could have been faster, but I am learning.. at least I wasn't traumatised and was able to give it a few more cuts.

    Then I soaked it in 140-150F water. It was fairly easy to pluck. but I felt I was slow. I was starting to be afraid of contamination, so I didn't pluck all the wings. I did the part closest to the body, with more meat, and ditched the rest.

    There are still many little feathers on the duck, but I won't be eating the skin anyway. I preferred more feathers and less salmonella :D

    Here is the (almost final) final product (I need to remove the tail, I realized I left too much lol Again, was struggling to not cut through the bones..). Will be put in the slow cooker tomorrow and served with blueberry sauce (made from my own blueberries!!).
    MMmm. I hope I did it right and that it will taste good!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    One thing I find works good on those last little feathers, is burning them. One of those old fashioned gas burners for stripping paint would work good, just swipe the flame across the skin quickly to sear away any feather remnants. I use a creme brûlée torch, but it is a bit too hot and can burn the skin if you move too slowly. For the joints, I find that first cutting from the inside (the side it bends towards), and then folding the joint outwards works nicely. I have more experience processing wild birds, and have only done one of our roosters, but I used a sort of noose that tightens around itself to hang him from his legs when processing him. I cut his neck with a pair of hedge shears, but I don't recommend it. I was lucky and got the jugular on both sides and broke the neck, but didn't get the head off cleanly, so I suggest learning to find the jugular and using a really sharp knife (like a scalpel) for your next time, or an axe.

    Your bird looks like he'll make a nice meal though.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014
  3. Sabz

    Sabz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Youhou, thanks! I was hoping it wasn't too badly done.

    Yes, learning to find the jugular.. this is important. I somehow thought that just sliding the knife on the throat would find it. I hadn't realized I actually had to palp and feel the jugular before cutting. Now I know!

    I will try your recommendation for the joints next time, thanks. I will also try to find some kind of torch, gas burner, etc. to remove the last tiny feathers (although I only have two other ducks, the rest are chickens). Next time I'd like to do the breasts on the stovetop, with the skin on.. so in that case the feathers will bother me more than with this bird, where the skin won't be in my plate.

    Thanks for the feedback!

    EDIT: By the way, I suppose I can eat the neck?! Not a lot of websites talk about eating the neck, but I saved it and would like to try. I just want to taste the meat with nothing on it (and in the slow cooker I'll have some veggies and seasoning). Was wondering if I could just roast it in a pan, then let it simmer a little while to make it more tender?
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014
  4. JessicaThistle

    JessicaThistle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a silly question but I ask because I will be processing a bunch of CX in two weeks.... why would removing more feathers cause more contamination? and why are you worried about salmonella if you are going to cook the bird properly?

    I am not asking to upset you or anything. I am actually curious to know if there is something that I don't know when it comes to processing. Thank you!
     
  5. Sabz

    Sabz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No no, good question! Go ahead and ask.

    I have no idea why I thought that! Lol. I assumed: the more I remove feathers, the more the birds stays on my counter top and it's summer here - so maybe 28 decrees celcius.

    Maybe it is because the duck is normally cooked as breast, in a pan. And when we cook it that way, the middle of the meat remains red/pink, so I guess if it would have salmonella and I would cook it that way, I could get sick?

    Everytime I have eaten duck, the middle looked like this:

    http://cookinginsens.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/img_9903b.jpg

    Miam.. that makes me hungry.. lol But you have a very good question, if someone could join the conversation and give us info about processing versus bacterias and such, it would be great.

    Tonight I am having supper with the family of my step-mother. They have a butcher in the family and he will teach me how to butcher a duck or a chicken into all the different cuts – breast, tighs, etc. This will be fun! My freezer can’t contain 20 whole chickens :)
     
  6. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    Regular testing of your flock isn't a bad idea. And salmonella dies at 70 deg C. If your flock has salmonella, it will be in the meat already, that's not something you need to worry about, but there are other bacteria that you need to worry about (especially if the contents of the bowel get in contact with the meat - avoid that at all cost.)
     
  7. Sabz

    Sabz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yesterday was my second processing ever! I did a chicken this time. Glad I started with the duck, it made the chicken seem SO easy!!!

    The plucking was a joke. I did the whole chicken in 38 minutes, which is better than the hour it took me with the duck. I am learning! This time it was a little cooler outside, and since I processed it faster, I am a not that worried about contamination during processing time. I ate the back of the chicken yesterday PM! I wanted to test what happened if we cooked it before the rigor mortis passed. Indeed, it wasn't tender at all, but the taste was incredible!!!!! Wow.

    The duck tasted good also. My friend came to feast with me, I served it with orange sauce. It was good, but I thought it would be tastier, more meatie/wild caught meat taste. Maybe since it was so young, the taste wasn't as pronounced as the duck I am used to eating.

    Here is the result with the duck:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    Now that's a tasty looking duck.
     
  9. rc4u

    rc4u Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you really dont have to worry about contamination when pucking if you dont take 3 hours.... as mentioned try not to cut the intestines and contaminate....i always after plucking put under ice and do next bird plucking and then next ect..then first bird is cool and then removing intestines are easier...and when smal cavity to get to intestines i cut the leg thigh off and then slit the center to break the back off and they come right with it...but if you want whole bird thats not an option...jeff
     
  10. topdycke

    topdycke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That looks awesome! I had my first ever processing attempt for dinner last night with small herbed potatoes. He was yummy! I cleaned and then brined (salt will also kill any bacteria) and put him in the refrigerator for a day before freezing two Sundays ago. We are able to get organic grass fed chicken at the local market and it compares to that.
     

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