Help with cooking old birds

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by henney penny, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. henney penny

    henney penny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am having someone process my 3 years old birds today,now I know they will be tough,has anyone cooked one on low all day in a crock pot?And if so was it tender?I also have looked up brinning and have a receipe.I also read that they need to age in fridge for 4 days and that will make a huge difference in how they taste and the toughness. When you brine do you brine then freeze or do you thaw then brine and cook?
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011
  2. henney penny

    henney penny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anyone???
     
  3. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    I have not done any birds of that age yet...........but I have done them at 2 yrs and 1.5 yrs.



    I don't really "brine" - I just add salt to the water that the birds relax in (it is very dry here, so the days in the fridge are spent in water). I don't measure the salt, but just enough that the water is salty - just to help pull any extra blood from the meat.


    I always let the birds rest - even up to a week - in the fridge before freezing. (eta - or before cooking)


    Crockpot, low with all your goodies - that bird will be so good. Not "tender" like a bird with no muscle fiber, but tender with muscle fiber (like a steak). Our last "old" bird was an orpington rooster - he made three meals for me and DH plus two meals for me. We made taco chicken out of him [​IMG] in the crockpot.


    This article might interest you:

    www.albc-usa.org/documents/cookingwheritagechicken.pdf
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011
  4. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

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    Somewhere, once upon a time, I had posted a chicken and dumplings recipe. I can't remember if it's in here in recipes or on my BYC Page.

    Anyway, when I find it, I'll link it.

    I did a few roosters this year that were 2-3 years old, but I found that you don't want to BOIL the bird, simmer it. I've crockpotted before and it's good, but I find my crockpot runs high and will boil things. The meat turns out more tender than roasting, but it's still a bit stringy and toothsome.

    In your shoes, I would personally do as follows:

    Let the bird either rest in the fridge in a sealed bag, or complete covered in your brine. If brining, change the brine out daily. I would probably "rest" in the fridge for 2-3 days, then brine for a full day. My personal preference - mostly because I'm lazy and don't like to change the brine out so many times.

    Next, I would find the biggest stockpot I have - which I picked one up at the supermarket for $15 - it's something like 6 or 8 quarts? Put the whole chicken in, skin and all. Put in a couple whole carrots broken into two or three pieces, a whole onion or two with the root part cut off, quartered, and the papery skin still on, a few stalks of celery broken into two or three pieces, and about 2-3 tablespoons of whole peppercorns (or about 2-3 teaspoons of fresh ground pepper. Add a couple quarts of water so the chicken is covered, and about 2-3 inches deep. Put it on the stove on medium low or so, and just let it simmer away for a few hours - 4-5 is best.

    When it's "done" the meat should have pulled from the joint on the drumsticks. Pour the pot into a colander with a bowl under it to catch all of the stock. Discard the veggies and pepper, and let the chicken cool. Once it's cool, pull the meat off - it should come off easily. At this time, I like to put the stock in pitchers and put in the fridge to let the fat rise up and settle on the top so I can skim it - I keep the fat for cooking (in a jar in the fridge).

    You can also take the carcass at this point and make a second batch of stock, same way. Since the carcass stock won't have fat, I like to portion the first stock out and freeze it, and use the second stock to make soup that day. I will portion the chicken meat out if there is a lot, into 1/2lb bags, or I just make the stock (same as before), and then add the stock back to the pot, add veggies for soup, and add the chicken in. Make some dumplings up, and you have some delicious, fresh, homemade chicken and dumpling soup [​IMG]
     
  5. ive had 2 year old leghorn rooster. it was amazing. The key is freshness. once your birds are clean, take them, their heads, feet, livers, gizzards, hearts, and any unlaid eggs (if they are hens) and throw em in a pot. i simmered it for an hour then let it cook on low heat for 2 more hours. Then, i took him out, removed the head and feet and gave them to the dog, and put the rest of his body on the rotisserie. I just let the outsides of that crisp up (about 15-20 minutes) and went to town. as for the soup, after removing the rooster I added vegetables and some noodles and ate that for the next week or so every night.
     
  6. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    I've done as booker81 said and simmered them for hours on end. The problem I've had with simmering a whole bird for many hours is that I've had the whole bird fall apart in the pot and then I had to sort the meat from the bones and skin. I've found that simmering for 1.5 to 2 hours leaves the bird intact, making it easy to debone, and then the meat can be returned to the simmering pot or crockpot along with the rest of the ingredients.
     
  7. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Crockpot the old hen, tender and favor. Also stew down and make chicken noodle soup---yum. I butchered a 6 year old rooster and pressure cooked him down, deboned the meat and made 57 burritos out of him. (froze the extras to microwave for quick meals)
     
  8. henney penny

    henney penny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you everyone
     
  9. ShadyHoller

    ShadyHoller Chillin' With My Peeps

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    just to add: from your first post, it looked like you were already on the right track. Brine the bird, rest it in the fridge for a couple of days, and cook it low and slow. There are a million variations on that theme, but that's the basic approach for tough old birds. (And wild pheasant and turkey!)

    and, for something completely different: you can always bone out all the meat from the carcass and run it through the meat grinder, and then season it to your liking for fresh sausage. That's what we do with some rooster legs and wild turkey - there's nothing better than fresh chicken breakfast sausage, and it's never tough once it's been through the grinder.
     
  10. henney penny

    henney penny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Do you cover the bird in the crock pot with water or just a little in the bottom of the pot?
     

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