Genuinely liking NH or Orps on the table

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by ellandeeranch, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. ellandeeranch

    ellandeeranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've tried just a few breeds so far, but the winners to date have been New Hampshire Reds or Orpingtons for me. The size of the breast is big enough to make it worth the while, but not so big that it overwhelms the leg/thigh.

    4 months seems to be about the best age to process for each of plucking, for minimal fat, and for the sanity of not having them crow too much!

    I made the mistake of scalding at 130 for one bird this weekend and it took forever to do a bad job of it. I bumped that temp up to 150 for the next one, and the feathers nearly fell out on their own.

    Quartered the chickens AFTER the two day rest, then ate some and froze some. Yummy!
     
  2. DallasCriftins

    DallasCriftins Chillin' With My Peeps

    So do you mean 150F?
    thats 65C not as hot as I would have expected I thought this was done at just below boiling or is that far to hot?
     
  3. ellandeeranch

    ellandeeranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, that's the temp for the 60 seconds or so of scalding to loosen the feathers for ease of plucking.
     
  4. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    Colmesneil,TX
    I have to agree with you on the Orps. Never ate a NH though. I've dined on more than a couple of my culls of different breeds, and the Orps are most definitely my favorite for the table.

    And yes, 150F or 65C is right. You don't want to cook the bird like you would at a higher temp. You want the water just hot enough that the feathers will come out easily.
     
  5. ellandeeranch

    ellandeeranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    galanie, give the NH's a try. You won't be disappointed!
     
  6. gg706

    gg706 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    do you hand pluck your birds? I am planning on putting 7 White Rock cockrels I am getting in an order this spring into the freezer. This will be my first time processing. This time around I don't want to spend alot of money until I know I can butcher and eat the meat without gagging on the memories of the butcering process. If I continue butchering I will probably invest in a whiz bang type setup either bought or build it myself. But for this first time guess I want to try just plucking by hand.
    Where did you get your NH
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  7. ellandeeranch

    ellandeeranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I hand pluck. I'm still new to this myself. If you get the scald temp right, the plucking goes fast. I'm done in well under 5 minutes. I understand the mechanical pluckers are wonderful, but I don't want to make that financial leap until I need to.

    They also spit feathers all over the place, it looks like on YouTube. Hand plucking, I can put the feathers right there with the bucket containing the entrails.

    If I get to where I'm processing a bunch at a time, I'll most likely go to a mechanical device of some sort.

    RIchard in Neenach

     
  8. DallasCriftins

    DallasCriftins Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ok thanks I have not done this yet but maybe this year we will practice on some of our ex bat hens once they croak

    Would it be the same temp for Ducks?
    Or doesn't this method work for Ducks
    I have a fat Appleyard that is looking increasingly tasty....... no....... don't mention that to the kids :)
     

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