Processed older hens and one roo, very dry need some advice...PLEASE!!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by honeydoll, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. honeydoll

    honeydoll Chillin' With My Peeps

    693
    3
    131
    Jul 14, 2009
    Stark County, NE Ohio
    I processed some of my older hens and roo a couple weeks ago. I soaked them in salt water for two days. Kept water very cold in cooler. THis is what I was told to do. I cooked one up, very slow method, with lots of chicken broth, and made chicken and dumplings. Anyway, my chicken tasted ok and wasn't tough at all but it was still pretty dry. Not sure how to prevent this. I think I may not have added enough salt in the soak. Could this do it? Any help would be appreciated. Not sure how to avoid the dry factor with older birds. This is my first time I processed older than 14 wks. They were all 1 year almost to the date. How much salt should be in my soak, how long should they soak? THanks in advance.
     
  2. Tdub4chiks

    Tdub4chiks Chillin' With My Peeps

    556
    1
    121
    Jul 8, 2010
    Constantia, NY
    I've always heard that salt dries things out. People use it to dry poison ivy on their skin. But, that's just what I've heard.
     
  3. itsachicken

    itsachicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    123
    0
    89
    Jun 17, 2010
    St. Louis
    When I brine chickens I use 1 cup non iodized salt and 1 cup of sugar in a gallon of water. I've never cooked an older chicken this way, but since I started using the brine, I've never had a chicken dry out in the smoker.
     
  4. cubalaya

    cubalaya Overrun With Chickens

    2,722
    123
    266
    Nov 19, 2008
    central virginia
    after soaking, freeze for a day or two.
     
  5. honeydoll

    honeydoll Chillin' With My Peeps

    693
    3
    131
    Jul 14, 2009
    Stark County, NE Ohio
    It was frozen for two days before use. I think I didn't have enough salt in the water. That is probably it. To answer the post about salt drying things out, it is funny how it works but I have read that if there is ample salt int he meat it will retain moisture better. Like people do. Too much salt and we retain water. So soaking in salt water actually helps meat not to get dry. Anyway, I am leaning toward not enough salt. I am assuming if it's one cup salt, 1 c. sugar in 1 gallon is that for 1 chicken. I would double and so on for each additional bird?
     
  6. itsachicken

    itsachicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    123
    0
    89
    Jun 17, 2010
    St. Louis
    yes, that's just the ratio. make as much you need to completely cover your bird/s.
     
  7. honeydoll

    honeydoll Chillin' With My Peeps

    693
    3
    131
    Jul 14, 2009
    Stark County, NE Ohio
    Quote:Thanks alot. I really appreciate your help. Have you ever added any other spices, just curious.
     
  8. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,836
    28
    191
    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    Yes, I think you're right, not enough salt. If the brine is strong enough to actually get salt into the meat tissues, it does help keep it moist. Salt attracts moisture.

    Also, since I started cooking older birds on low in the crock-pot, instead of on high, there has been less of a tendency to dry out.
     
  9. itsachicken

    itsachicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    123
    0
    89
    Jun 17, 2010
    St. Louis
    Glad to be able to help! I hope it works for you. We were so happy with the simple salt-sugar-water brine that we didn't experiment further. A lot of people are more adventurous than we are, I've read about people using cider vinegar or fruit juices or even coca-cola in their brines. My uncle, the chemistry teacher, explained it to me once, while it made sense at the time, I can't explain it now without completely botching the job. Let us know how things turn out.
     
  10. honeydoll

    honeydoll Chillin' With My Peeps

    693
    3
    131
    Jul 14, 2009
    Stark County, NE Ohio
    Ok, got a good simple brine. Now what I'd like to know is should I brine them again after I thaw them? I know I can experiment, but if someone has the knowledge and can tell me if this will work that'd be nice. I already froze them and they will all be dry I'd assume or is it just to late to save this batch. It was only a few no great loss since I have learned better for next time. They are definitely edible, the taste was actually very good. But the dryness through it off a little.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by