New to processing, hope this isn't dumb/repetetive!


9 Years
Dec 9, 2010
Central CT
I carefully reviewed the sticky links at the top, and feel that I had great information on the killing/eviscerating/food safety parts of the job, but I have a few more questions and can't find answers up there.

I know the chicken needs to "rest" a bit after slaughter to tenderize, but how should it be packaged during that time? She's brining in the fruit drawer at the moment, but I'm not comfortable doing that for more than 24 hours. Can I use standard ziplock bags for the parts? It seems kind of germy to me. We don't, and won't, have vacuum bags available.

You could package and freeze your bird after th3 24 hour brining if you want. Just remember to let it rest another day in the frig after thawing it to cook. Otherwise package it for freezing ans let it set your resting time. Then throw straight into the freezer. My family has always froze right after cleaning and then rest in frig for a day or so after thawing.

I don't know why you would feel that ziplock bags seem germy, just make sure to use the Freezer Bags. They are thicker plastic and hold up better in the freezer. Sqeeze out as much air as you can. I find that the standard ones get ripped by other things you throw into the freezer and let in air which results in freezer burn.
Thank you both!

I'm a nurse, so I think everything that doesn't come in a blue and white package that says "STERILE" on the outside is germy.
Occupational hazard! I know the chicken itself isn't sterile. But I didn't want to do all this work and then find out that only some kinds of plastic are allowed for long-term chicken storage. WyoDreamer and mstricer, I appreciate that you took the time to help us out. Have a great day!
Hi, we are new to this too. I let ours rest on ice in a cooler 24 hours then froze.

I only had 1 gal bags ( now have found 2 gal bags) and so some of ours were too big and we really eat roast birds often, so I wanted to freeze them whole. So, I double wrapped them in freezer paper after putting them in non zippable food bag with twist ties. I like the freezer paper idea, as it allows me to put a completely clean piece of paper in freezer. Seems no matter what I try I always feel like I get the outside of the pastic bag contaminated (medical person too, so I know what you mean).

Hope is helps, it seemed to do ours well, the few left are only 2 months into freezer though, so far so good.
We always wrapped our venison in freezer paper when I was growing up, and it stayed good for over a year. We did a double wrap. The only problem I would have using freezer paper on a chicken is the shape of the bird makes it hard to wrap tightly without air gaps. Maybe I am just all thumbs - I know my christmas presents aren't always pretty!

We invested in a vacumm sealer - and it is wonderful! I use it for everything - including emergency supply packets for hunting (a candy bar, some light anywhere matches and paper for tinder to start a fire). I once vacumm sealed a t-shirt, shorts, underwear and socks for a canoe trip - just to make sure I had something dry to change into in case we tipped over.
Remember that the only dumb questions are the ones you fail to ask!

When I butcher the birds first go into a cooler of ice water. I put a plastic garbage can liner inside the cooler, and the ice, water & chickens inside that bag. That way they're not coming into contact with the cooler.

Later in the evening I'll take each bird, drain out the water, and place it in a plastic grocery sack. The ones from Target are my favorite, they're nice & thick. I put it head-first into a corner then twist the ends together around the bird's behind and wrap the handles around the ends of the drumsticks. Then I set them in a casserole dish to catch any leakage, and place that in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

I don't have a lot of room for storage in my freezer, so after the resting period I'll usually cut the chicken into pieces and store the leg quarters and breasts in zip-lock freezer bags or wrapped in freezer paper. The wings & backs are simmered until the meat melts off it, then I take out the bones & freeze the cooked meat in similar storage.

The birds I usually have for processing are standard-sized mixed-breed cockerels around 20-24 weeks old, sometimes older. They always turn out tender & tasty, I've never brined any of them.
Hmmm, I always put the paper in my "emergency supply packets" for a different reason . . .

my son had a blankie when he was young and I first got my vacuum sealer. I was having fun with it and he wanted me to show him what it did. so i vacuum sealed his blankie!

BIG MISTAKE. he came unglued, then a couple days later he swiped my favorite fishing hat and vacuum sealed it in revenge. I still have it sealed in the closet nearly twelve years later.

This is very helpful! We used the crock pot and had a nice chicken stew. I don't think I want to raise meat chickens but straight-run dual-purpose chicks are starting to look good for next spring.....

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