How would you cook an old cockeral? (over 18 weeks old?)

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by estpr13, Nov 22, 2008.

  1. estpr13

    estpr13 Songster

    May 18, 2008
    Lexington, Ky
    How would you cook an old cockeral? (over 18 weeks old?) I have some I need to cull and have been hesitant because I don't know how to cook a potnetially tough bird? Do you slow simmer it? Pressure cook it?, Dutch pot cook it? Brine it then roast it?

    I'm good up to the cooking part. Then I start drawing a blank.
  2. SandraMort

    SandraMort Songster

    Jul 7, 2008
    I took my potentially old roo (not sure how old) and simmered it until firm but tender, then chopped it up and coooked it into a stew with veggies and a gravy made from stock from another roo. It was FABULOUS!!!!!!!
  3. PeeperKeeper

    PeeperKeeper Songster

    Definitely...Pressure Cook!
  4. Pumpkinpup

    Pumpkinpup Poultry Princess 10 Years

    Jul 16, 2008
    North-West Georgia
    If you have the time and have a cast iorn dutch oven,First lightly brown the quartered bird in a skillet with a bit of evoo. Make a bouquet garnie (sp?) of rosemary, thyme, a bay leaf & parsley and place quartered bird inside with herb bundle, some salt and pepper, butter, and a chopped up sweet onion and 2 cubes of chiken bullion. Add enough water to just barely cover everything and place the lid on. Simmer it on the lowest possible setting for most of the day. Add a few cut up carrots and potatoes, re-cover and simmer til everything is fork tender. It's fabulous!!! I don't cook anything in regular cookware unless it's pancakes or eggs.
  5. PeeperKeeper

    PeeperKeeper Songster

    Pumpkinpup, you are one serious cook! [​IMG]
  6. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    I put all my older cockerals in the crock pot to simmer all day, then add noodles or dumplings. I've also used oven roasting bags and bake them in the oven, for a few hours, turn them breastside down to keep them more moist.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2008
  7. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    That's not old! If you are raising purebred roosters for meat, 18 weeks is right about the best time to process them. Since the bird is sexually mature, it will have a more robust flavor.

    Give yourself a chance with it. You may start craving older birds as your palate gets more epxerience. Of course, repeating myself here, this is the best use for an older bird:

    ... but, 18 weeks is not old. Generally a 10-12 month old rooster is used for coq au vin.
  8. estpr13

    estpr13 Songster

    May 18, 2008
    Lexington, Ky
    Thanks all.

    I need a big thick bottom pot. These boys are getting big. I didn't think the cooking part through when I purchased these Jersey Giants.

    I need to cull 3 JGs which are over 24 weeks old and 2 NH's that are about 14 weeks old but still small.

    I only found a 4 quart Dutch oven last night which is way too small, and I was hesitant to spend $50 bucks on a pressure cooker. I may need to get an elongated crock pot.

    Greyfields; In the vintage chicken recipe it appears that one cuts the chicken into pieces browing it in bacon fat first. Is that how you do yours? And thinks for the link.

    Tuffoldhen and Peeperkeeper; do you also cut up the roo into pieces prior to cooking?

    I take it from Sandra Mort and Pumpkinpup that the browned bird is then covered in water and slowly simmered for a long time.

    I need a big pot... or cut them into pieces. Thanks again all.
  9. luckitri

    luckitri In the Brooder

    Mar 13, 2008
    When I was a kid, 50 years ago or so, I was taught that for health I should eat the chicken bones - at least suck the marrow out of them. I was never able to get much out. In recent years, with concern about antibiotics and potential disease organisms in unhealthy chicken I thought it most likely best not to try. Even the butcher told me that he would not even feed chicken livers to his cat. I have a family recipe that calls for chicken livers but I have not made it in years because the texture of the livers told me that the chickens must have been ill. They did not hold together on their own. They would disintegrate in your hand.

    However curiousity got the best of me and I had an organic store-bought chicken in the freezer. I wanted to make some broth and then to feed myself during the week when it is just me I mix it with things like noodles or rice and vegetables.

    I put this organic chicken in the crockpot for two days! The bones are so soft that I can eat the whole bone! I figure in the old days the fireplace/stove heated the house as well so that is probably how they got to eating the bones. Just kept that pot stewing over the fire 24/7.

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