looking for cooking instructions for first dual-purpose bird

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by patandchickens, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    This weekend I will be processing a supernumerary Chantecler cockerel, and I have never cooked anything other than supermarket chickens before.

    I *have* to get this right, b/c it looks like it will be the only non-CornishX that we eat this year, and if my husband (who really sees no reason at all not to go on eating supermarket chicken) does not like it, I will have one *heck* of a time persuading him to ever eat a chicken of our own ever again. Like ever again, seriously, trust me. And he will sell that concept to our kids too. So it just CANNOT turn out inedibly tough or messed up in any other way. So,

    1) after I process the bird, how long should I let it rest in the fridge before cooking?

    and

    2) does anyone have specific recipe type suggestions for the best way to deal with a 15 wk old chantecler cockerel. I do not have a crockpot or pressure cooker. I have not 'fed him up' so there will not be a giant amount of meat on him, but it had darn well better be edible meat, by my husband's standards [​IMG]

    Thanks very much in advance,

    Pat
     
  2. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    At 15 weeks, it shouldn't be too tough, but here's what I'd do to ensure a tender bird: Once it's butchered, cut it into pieces. Before you cook it, brine the bird. Soak in salt/sugar water (1TBS salt, 1TBS sugar per quart of water) overnight. You can also marinate the bird in buttermilk or yogurt, in the fridge, for at least 4 hours. The lactic acid will help tenderize the meat.

    Then, I'd put use an oven bag,(or just put non-stick foil over the pan, or use a roaster pan with a lid) in a shallow roasting/baking pan, arrange the pieces, add about 2 cups of water, bake at about 325 for 2-3 hours, until tender. Then, if it's not browned to your liking, cut open the bag (or emove the fooil or the lid) and let it brown a bit. I like to use salt and pepper, and either a little poultry seasoning, or savory, or rosemary to season the bird before cooking. The broth can be poured off, the fat skimmed, and a lovely, rich gravy made from it. I make the gravy like this: Mix about 2 TBS cornstarch with about 1/4-1/2 cup of cold water, set aside. Bring broth to a simmer in a sauce pan. Stir up the cornstarch and water, slowly add to the broth, stirring the broth the whole time, until it's thickened to your liking. Remove from heat. Taste to see if it needs salt or pepper. I like to serve with mashed potatoes, a green veggie, and either biscuits or cornbread.

    If you want to raise your own chicken, and your DH is super fussy, you may have to stick with standard breed meat breeds, such as Cornish X, Cornish Roasters. etc. I hear the Color Rangers are nice, too, somewhat healthier than the other two, less prone to leg problems or congestive heart failure.

    I'm looking for an alternative, myself, but it sounds like you need something your spouse can accept. The Cornish X's, when you raise them yourself, at least you'll know what they ate, how they were treated, and very importantly, how will they were handled during processing. You'll still have healthier, safer, better tasting meat than if you buy supermarket birds.

    For future reference:
    If you have any Goodwill, St Vincent DePaul, or other thrift store (Peddler's Mall? Other flea markets?) you can usually find cheap crock pots all day long. If you go for one, look for a good size one with a removable crock. Much easier to clean.

    If you don't want to have chicken and dumplings, you can boil or crock pot a cut-up bird until tender, then arrange the pieces in a baking pan, and add BBQ sauce or some other sauce or gravy, and brown in the oven. It'll be delicious.


    Good luck, I hope your dinner turns out nice!
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2008
  3. fullhouse

    fullhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We split them in half, soaked in either buttermilk (YUMMY) or brine for a good 3 days, then slow grilled. I never slow cooked them (14-15 week roos).
     
  4. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

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    We cut ours up (mostly to save freezer space) Then age the meat in the fridge for 3 or 4 days before bagging and freezing.
    Do you have a dutch oven or something close? We do our leg 1/4s (you could cut the bird in 1/2 and do the same thing) in a dutch oven with fresh mushrooms, shallots, garlic, add a can of cream soup that you like, enough water to mix the soup, salt, pepper, paprika. cook at 375 untill the meat falls off the bone, about and hour & 1/2 ish. serve over wild rice with homemade bisquits. Your husband will never look at the chickens again with his stomach growling.

    Steve in NC
     
  5. blue90292

    blue90292 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    Quote:OMG, that sounds so good!
     
  6. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Soak the bird in buttermilk. This will tenderize the meat the best.
     

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