Making the chicken pretty after he's cleaned

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by PatS, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. PatS

    PatS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2009
    Northern Califonia
    Remember those old Warner Bros. cartoons from the 50s and 60s? When the cartoon animal was killed, you'd know because he'd lay on his back with the legs sticking straight up in the air. Well that's kinda how my chicken carcasses look when I'm done cleaning them, and they just don't look very pretty in the roaster that way (plus it is hard to put on the lid!).

    In perusing the chicken dinner photos in another thread, it doesn't seem that anyone else has this problem.

    I think it stems from the fact that we use a killing cone and then hold the bird by the legs while plucking him. By the time we're done, rigor mortis has set in.

    Many folks scald and pluck their chickens, so how do you make your chickens legs go back down to a nice angle?

    Just another newbie question...
     
  2. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    A couple things- your birds will stay in rigor in the same position you put them in when they start rigor. However, rigor goes away in a matter of hours. You can place them the way you'd like them to stay immediately after dressing. Or, reposition the bird after rigor goes away, before packaging- you can even tie the legs together in an appetizing manner before storage. Or, if your birds are already in the freezer, use kitchen twine and tie the legs together before cooking. The bird will come out of the oven in the correct position, and once it's cooked, you can cut the twine and it will stay in position. Same goes for the wings as well.
     
  3. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    yes, you just need to rest it longer.
     
  4. MMPoultryFarms

    MMPoultryFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2010
    Okarche Oklahoma
    Quote:I am going to have to disagree about the rigor only taking a few hours. rigor takes 72 hours to completely clear its stages 48 hours is fair enough. as the most crucial stages are over with and the last 24 hours is clearing out the rigor. I am not sure what a kill cone has to do with anything. its how I kill my birds. If these pictures offends anyone I am truly sorry this is the meat bird section not the foo foo bird section. Just saying.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] sounds to me like your not letting rigor pass its full course. rest them for 48-72 hours then the bird will become limp and yo can position it anyhow you like, I use a table top plucker so I also hold mine by the feet and let it bounce wildly over the rubber fingers. sometimes if I am only doing a few I tie em up by the legs and hand pluck em. hope that helps some at least.
     
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Rigor takes 2-3 days in the fridge... and just half a day if you leave it out on a summer day on the kitchen counter. But that second method isn't really recommended unless you have an iron stomach or are used to prepping in that way.

    In a well reseted bird, just push the legs down and they should be soft at the joint. That's when you know you're ready to make dinner.
     
  6. MMPoultryFarms

    MMPoultryFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2010
    Okarche Oklahoma
    Quote:LOL silkie I think I want to pass on that second method you mentioned I watched a show called wife swap or something like that and the Nice urban wife got stuck with a redneck who hung his meat from a clothes line for days then ate it raw ewwwwwwwwww [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    Feb 12, 2009
    Ohio
    Quote:You probably did what my guy did, Did you leave it too look after it was cut? Did you have to chase it? Was it a CX or dual purpose? I had that happen only on the dual purpose birds never on the CX. That was because BF didn't want to do it when I asked and I wasn't home so I don't exactly know what went down but knowing him, He was disgruntle about doing it and cut it and started doing other things and then went back to it. By the way rigor mortis in chickens only last a couple hours I looked it up.
     
  8. PatS

    PatS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2009
    Northern Califonia
    Thanks, Everyone. It was a dual purpose bird, about 20 weeks old. He was in a small pen and took about 30 seconds to catch, but we did calm him down before taking him to the shed. (But I've had the same problem with birds that we did not have to catch, so I don't think the adrenaline was a problem.) I left it in the fridge for a couple of days, maybe it needed another day. I did try to reposition it when I put it in the roaster, but it was still pretty stiff. I'll try again soon. [​IMG]
     
  9. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

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    Apr 18, 2010
    Mid-MI
    I've taken to cutting a second "hole" after taking the guts out and using the strip of skin to flip the legs in. These are two roos, can't remember age, guessing almost 20 weeks? One is a SLW, on a RIR.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    I freeze mine right after butchering; so to get rid of the rigor I take one out of the freezer on Fri afternoon, I let it thaw in a bowl on the counter for that day and night, then Sat morning I put the bowl in the frig and let it sit until ready to cook for Sunday night dinner. Never have a problem with it being stiff.
     

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