My first homegrown chicken dinner

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by lsv313, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. lsv313

    lsv313 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 23, 2010
    Everett, WA
    Tonight we had our first taste of our homegrown chickens, and they were... a little rubbery [​IMG]. Very delicious flavor, very juicy, but kinda rubbery to bite through. I'm wondering if we did something wrong? They were 8.5 week old cornish x, free ranged in our backyard. They were butchered on Saturday morning, so have had 3 days to cure in the fridge. Any ideas?
     
  2. SteveH

    SteveH Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2009
    West/Central IL
    Not really sure what you're used to eating , but free ranged birds will most likely have a little more " chew " to the meat than commercial birds raised in tight confinement or even tracters [ even though they were the slow moving , close ranging CX ] . You didn't mention how you cooked it , you may have to adjust your cooking methods if you don't find a slightly more firm bird as desirable as the softer commercial growns . There's a post in this section somewhere about slow , pan frying chicken ; its what I grew up on and made the older birds we had available so tender before these 7 week wonders were developed and deep fried . I had actually forgotten my mother cooking in those old , cast iron , black skillets .......... and sometimes covering the skillet or moving them to a covered container in the oven afterward for a less crisp coating and to be smothered in white gravy made from the drippings [​IMG] . I think I just talked myself into trying to relive a childhood supper [​IMG] . Those plentiful beef cuts from butchering called round steak were cooked and served the same way ; though sometimes tenderized with a meat hammer and quick fried more like the chicken fried steak of today is .
     
  3. tammyd57

    tammyd57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Sounds like your mom cooks like I do. Nothing like a big cast iron skillet for frying chicken, and you can fry them soooo slow that way, even old roos make tender, juicy meat. Covering the skillet, and having the flame as low as you can get it are the important parts. It takes some time, but so worth it!
    [​IMG]
     
  4. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    I agree if this is your first time eating homegrown, they will seem firmer. Free ranging may be the part of the reason. Another may be that chicken you buy in store has typically been soaked in a salt water brine, which breaks down the meat, making it mushy in comparision to your birds. Don't worry, it took us some time to get used to it, but in time you will find that store bought chicken is mushy and tasteless. I refuse to eat any other chicken than my own now.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2010
  5. Charles07

    Charles07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2010
    Sheridan, Indiana
    Quote:Sounds like your mom cooks like I do. Nothing like a big cast iron skillet for frying chicken, and you can fry them soooo slow that way, even old roos make tender, juicy meat. Covering the skillet, and having the flame as low as you can get it are the important parts. It takes some time, but so worth it!
    [​IMG]

    How long does it cook at the lower temperature?
     
  6. Ahab

    Ahab Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2010
    Maine
    Quote:Sounds like your mom cooks like I do. Nothing like a big cast iron skillet for frying chicken, and you can fry them soooo slow that way, even old roos make tender, juicy meat. Covering the skillet, and having the flame as low as you can get it are the important parts. It takes some time, but so worth it!
    [​IMG]

    How long does it cook at the lower temperature?

    For me, figuring a 3 or 4-pound fryer, and not crowding the pan--you need at least 1/2-inch space between pieces--it takes about 50 minutes: 20 minutes covered (during which, turn once), 20 minutes uncovered (during which, turn once), and then 10 minutes resting on a rack (resting longer is better, as the meat continues to cook very slowly and continues tenderizing).

    The oil should be around 1/2-inch, and maintained as close to 325F as you can make it. Hotter, the crust browns before the skin renders its fat and the meat has time to tenderize. Cooler, and the crust absorbs oil and gets all manky and horrible.
     
  7. jemmasgrandma

    jemmasgrandma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    Quote:That is just how my mom made fried chicken & round steak!! yum...[​IMG]
     
  8. sheetmetalpete

    sheetmetalpete Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 23, 2010
    Central Minnesota
    Quote:Exactly. I raised a batch of free range White Rock roosters a few years ago. They were lean birds that had tough legs & thighs compared to supermarket birds. After the first time I roasted one I just changed how I cooked them. When grilling them, don't use direct heat - use indirect instead. Braises and soups are also good methods.

    I had no issues with the free range CX's I raised this year. Mine didn't stray too far from the feeders.
     

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