Old layers' usefullness

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by tracylhl, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. tracylhl

    tracylhl Songster

    May 20, 2009
    Myakka City, Florida
    I have some retired layers that I'm going to be butchering. How do you utilize yours? Soups, etc? Grind the meat? Crockpot? What works and what doesn't?
  2. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Songster

    Dec 6, 2009
    I plan to can them to use in a variety of ways.
  3. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Crowing

    Nov 10, 2010
    It seems most people on here will stew an older bird. We always had chicken-n-dumplings when we had one or two on hand. Yum - my mom made the best dumplings - light as clouds.

    There is also a thread on here about canning chicken meat. It seems the process of canning will tenderize the meat also. I have never tried it, but intend to when I have chickens that need to be processed.
  4. gallorojo

    gallorojo Songster

    Oct 15, 2009
    Stew the whole birds-slow simmer or crockpot for hours. When meat falls off bone, cool, pick meat off bones, freeze meat in 1 pound bags. Great for soups, tacos, enchiladas, stir fries, etc. All leftovers put back in the pot, and cook hours more. Strain, and pressure can or freeze broth. The fat from old hens can also be rendered and is great for frying things like potatoes.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    First, think broth. I save the necks, wings, back, feet, gizzard, and heart to make broth. If you scald the feet in pretty hot water the toe nails will twist off and you can peel the skin off. Instant clean feet.

    I put all these parts plus peppercorns, carrots, celery, onion, a bay leaf, and some herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, maybe garlic, what ever I have handy and feel like using in a crock pot along with lots of water. Cook on low for maybe 10 to 12 hours. Strain the chunks out and remove the fat. I'll get maybe 5 pints of broth out of an old hen.

    Then pick through the leavings and pick out the chunks of meat. Delicious cooked meat that works well in chicken salad, tacos, or casseroles. If you cook it for 12 hours it will probably have fallen off the bone. That actually makes it a bit harder to separate. I usually try for about ten hours on low.

    All this comes from the stuff most people throw away. You can cook the legs, thighs, wishbone, and breasts like others have mentioned or cook them like this for maybe 7 to 8 hours.

    I see that Gallorojo and I are kinda thinking alike.
  6. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Songster

    Apr 29, 2007
    Canning for sure and a good soup stock. Like stated if you're making stock... save it all. The livers however will make your stock bitter.

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