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Not sure I like to eat my chickens???

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by hershy5252, Feb 22, 2016.

  1. hershy5252

    hershy5252 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well , I've been on my chicken adventure for almost a year now . We have dual purpose birds for eggs mostly. But we did end up with to many roosters and mean roosters . So my husband says we will eat them. So he butchered them the best way he could. ( definitely need some practice.) I took one out of the freezer cooked it and I am not impressed . I am hoping that they were to old. Or maybe I just need meat birds, to put in the freezer. The meat was terribly tough. And the skin was VERY yellow . Idk maybe farm fresh chicken isn't for me. Any advice ? Oh one chicken I baked whole in a bag , and the other I cut into pieces and baked in a pan with spices. The first one was better in the bag. But both just seemed weird . I really want to be able to use the chickens that don't work out for us to keep but need some advice. Thanks Lisa
     
  2. CochinLover1

    CochinLover1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You need to let it stay in the freezer for a couple of days (maybe a week). If you eat it the day of or after, it will be too tough. The age of the birds has something to do with it too. The younger, the more tender. I always have tender chicken when I cook them low and slow.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Your dual purpose birds are just different than the meat birds from the store, there's no getting around that.

    You can get white skinned dual purpose birds. Orpingtons, Sussex, Marans, Faverolles come to mind right off. The're all decently meaty birds. Your Rocks, Reds, Wyandottes, those are yellow skinned.

    The texture is never going to be the same as the Cornish cross. Those birds are 8 weeks old, never move around much in their houses, and every one I see at the store is pre-brined with a bunch of juice and salt to further tenderize the meat.

    tips for cooking an dual purpose bird....

    rest the carcass for 2+ days before cooking.
    brine the carcass. This is basically soaking in salt water. Just google for instructions.
    low and slow is the way to go. Moist cooking is best, I think that's why you were happier with the bird in the bag. Crock potting, pressure cooking, or braising are good ways to cook these birds. Dry baking, not so much as they need moisture. I have baked some by laying some really fatty bacon on the bird and they came out good [​IMG].

    You'll just have to decide if dual purpose birds are for you. Some folks embrace them and enjoy the difference in texture, and find the meat itself has much more flavor. Some want to stay with the Cornish cross type. No wrong answer there, just whatever works for you.
     
    2 people like this.
  4. hershy5252

    hershy5252 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh my gosh, I'm relieved with your response.. I thought something was wrong with my chickens . Lol ( newbie!) It is very helpful .. I will continue to try if we have to with your advice . Might need to get some Cornish chickens too. Thank you
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    How old were your birds? I do find sexually mature (and active) roosters can have a different taste, especially if you have more sensitive taste buds. I try to get mine a little younger, and keep them in a grow out pen so they don't get to mate (and harass the pullets).
     
  6. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    I cannot stand the taste of older- and sexually active roosters. No matter how they are cooked. That may be the issue... so don;t totally give up if you try the various prep methods for the older roosters but....

    Old hens on the other hand are Delicious! They have a lot more ;'chicken flavor' in a very good way.

    Toughness does not matter to me, all they need to taste good and I am happy... grill old hens and shred them up real good to get around the toughness.. excellent tacos or burritos.
     
  7. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Roosters make great pot roast. Put them in a crock pot with wine. It's amazing. They end up tasting like beef.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    If the meat is tough it just means you didn’t cook it right for the age. The older they are the slower and moister they need to be cooked. Coq au Vin is the standard French way to make a gourmet meal out of an old rooster but there are other ways. My current popular way is to cut the old rooster into serving pieces, rinse them but do not shake the water off, coat them in basil and oregano, then bake in a tightly sealed baking dish at 250 degrees for about 4 hours. Aging and brining can make a difference in texture and flavor too. Flavor them as you will.

    Flavor is something else. Age and sex both have a lot to do with that. The chicken you get at the store is pretty bland to me, it just doesn’t have much flavor. It’s the same thing with veal versus older beef. Flavor develops as they get older. After puberty, males have a stronger flavor than females. It gets stronger as they get older. Personal taste certainly comes into play here. If you are used to the bland chicken from the store you may not like the flavor of these chickens. Nothing wrong with that, flavor preference is very individual.

    Old roosters make the best broth. I take the back, neck, wings, gizzard, heart, and feet, put them in a crock pot and add a bay leaf, peppercorns, basil, oregano, maybe chives, parsley or thyme, a carrot and some celery, cover that with water and cook on low overnight, say 14 hours. That broth is just out of this world plus you can pick the meat out of that and use it for tacos, casseroles, stews, sometimes I just eat it on a sandwich for lunch. I use all my chicken carcasses to make broth, roosters, hens, cockerels, and pullets. You can cook the entire chicken this way but a lot of the meat will fall off the bone. It may be hard lifting the various serving pieces out without them falling apart.

    Yes, I know where those feet have been walking. By scalding them I can peel them and twist the toenails off. That gets them clean enough for me. There is an art to scalding them though. If you over-scald, which everyone will the first time, the skin gets really weak and just tears. It’s a pain to skin them. I bring water to a boil, drop the feet in, then 15 seconds later dump that in the sink to stop them from further cooking. As with everything, you get better with practice.

    Don’t be too hard on your husband. There is a definite learning curve when it comes to butchering chickens. Older roosters are the hardest too. They have a lot of connective tissue that younger birds and the females just don’t have. That becomes noticeable around 5 months and very noticeable soon after.

    A lot of times I don’t have tremendous success the first time I do something. You’ll either get better or decide it’s not for you.
     
  9. randr ranch

    randr ranch Out Of The Brooder

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    Tomorrow, I'm butchering old roosters. I've only done very young ones before. It usually takes me days to a week before I can bring myself to eat the chickens we've butchered. Luckily it has the benefit of a more tender bird. This time, I am wary about them being extra tough or gamy. I was planning to simmer till the meat was falling off and then make plain bone broth. After seeing Ridgerunner's post I'll be adding in all those yummy additional ingredients. I also plan on trying junebuggena's crockpot with wine. Do you cook it until it falls off the bone or is it ready to eat before then? Thanks for the ideas!


    Ridgerunner I try to waste as little as possible, but I'm not sure if I could ever convince my kids to eat chicken feet. Maybe I could sneak them into the stock.
     
  10. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    For rooster in the crockpot with wine, cook on low for at least 8 hours. The longer the better.
     

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