Just completed first butcher - have a few questions.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by kathleengp, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. kathleengp

    kathleengp Songster

    Sep 6, 2009
    This was a brown leghorn roo, about a year old.

    First, when I took the head off, there was only about a 1/2 cup of blood that bled out....is that normal? Seemed like there should have been more. He was upside down within seconds after he stopped thrashing. I tried to butcher upside down but had not secured him enough - will correct that next time.

    Second, I did not know, but he had an injury. Upon plucking I found an open spot in the skin on his thigh - about an inch long and wide open. It is tough and somewhat blackened around it. Should I cut this part off before cooking or just eat around it once he's cooked.

    Third, I am planning on cooking in wine in a slow cooker. I know he needs a long cooking time. Can I do that tonight for dinner or does he need to sit in the fridge first. If so, how long and why is that?

    Other than not saving the gizzard and liver, it went well. I got the heart saved, but was intimidated to cut out the gizzard and liver -- afraid I'd open the intestines. Still, not bad for my very first attempt. Must have scalded perfectly because the skin stayed very nice and the feathers came off in big patches. Feeling like quite the woman this morning - lol!!


  2. alln7220

    alln7220 In the Brooder

    May 3, 2010
    nice job. i would cut off the bad meat, but as far as cooking it now. it doesnt get any fresher.[​IMG]
  3. tgrlily

    tgrlily Songster

    Mar 11, 2009
    East Syracuse
    Quote:I hope I'm woman enough to do my own birds too! [​IMG] Great Job!!

    We didn't let a 5 month old Orp cockerel rest in the fridge before cooking. I cooked low & slow for a really long time & didn't like the texture. Then I found out about aging a few days. I'm a big fan of brine, so I'll likely go that route with heritage birds.
  4. kathleengp

    kathleengp Songster

    Sep 6, 2009
    OK brine - so soak in salt water basically? Or wine and water?

  5. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Songster

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    I wouldn't cook it the day of butcher. Ageing it a few days will help and this is a 1 year old rooster that I would keep in the fridge for 3 days. As far as brine goes, basically a salt solution but do a google search and you will find many brine recipies with herbs and citrus. Figure out what you like.
  6. tgrlily

    tgrlily Songster

    Mar 11, 2009
    East Syracuse
    Quote:I like to add apple cider, wine, cirtus juice. All depends on the flavor you want to add. If you're going to cook him using wine, then I'd be inclined to add a bit to the brine with some herbs.

    Oh -- Hello from East Syracuse! [​IMG]
  7. gevannos

    gevannos In the Brooder

    Nov 20, 2010
    Regarding aging, I was planing on freezing them the same day I got them butchered, is that ok or should I wait? Refrigeration for a few days might be a problem for me.

  8. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    I always freeze mine immediately and "rest" one at a time for about 3 days, after defrosting.
  9. seabreeze

    seabreeze Songster

    Aug 21, 2010
    Scio, OR
    OK, I also am curious how to keep my chicken after butchering from that *rigor mortis* appearance with the legs straight out instead of nicely folded like store bought chickens? Also, why are store bought chickens so *fresh feeling*, i.e., firm, legs/wings are pliable/moveable etc., Do they inject some sort of solution to keep the bird feeling as if its fresh killed (in the public's mind's eye?). How do you get those legs to fold back?

    also, as to aging....leave them in the fridge for 2-3 days? Someone else said upon thaw (if frozen right after), allow them aging in the fridge as well?


  10. lemongrass

    lemongrass In the Brooder

    Mar 16, 2011
    Maryland, US
    I've never butchered my own birds yet but reading around, I've found the following:

    After processing, you can cut a slit in the back of the bird near the tail area and tuck the legs into it, in order to give it a neat appearance. Or, tie the legs back.

    I could only find it done with a turkey. The turkey was done underneath instead of on the back/top area, but idea is roughly the same: (*EDIT:* my pictures on hand are older and the description I had made it appear that the chicken was done on top, rather under the tail. I am incorrect --- the chicken is actually done the same way as the turkey in this picture.)



    As for the other questions, I think it is a matter of preference. You can let it "Age" in the fridge first, for instance if you want to use it that week. Or, if you want it to last longer, freeze immediately and, a few days before you want to cook it, let it thaw and keep in fridge for a few days. Then follow slow cooking recipe as directed.

    Rigor mortis will naturally go away with aging.

    I don't know much about brining though..
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011

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