Processed our first chicken yesterday!

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by JohnandJacquelineW, Dec 24, 2011.

  1. JohnandJacquelineW

    JohnandJacquelineW Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2011
    One of our roosters was caught picking on our dog the other day and just being mean... plus we'd noticed he hasn't been very nice to the hens either. Our head rooster is a lot better with them. We decided this particular rooster was too dumb for his own good (seriously? attacking a lab/shepherd mix? bad idea... luckily we've got our dog trained fairly well not to eat him). This was one of the first chickens we got this past Spring, so we expected it to be somewhat emotional, but it really wasn't that bad. He is in our refrigerator right now. I think I read on here to it sit in the fridge for a couple of days before freezing or cooking, is that right?
     
  2. themagicash

    themagicash Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 10, 2010
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    Yes, that is correct! Or you can freeze him and then include the days of rest after you take him out to thaw. We are eating one of our previously frozen chickens tonight and I took him out on Wed.
     
  3. JohnandJacquelineW

    JohnandJacquelineW Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2011
    Cool, thanks for confirming that [​IMG]

    We're pretty excited about how smoothly it went... especially considering we weren't really prepared with a proper setup to do it quickly/efficiently. We're considering getting some meat birds in the Spring and doing more at once.
     
  4. JohnandJacquelineW

    JohnandJacquelineW Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2011
    We cooked and ate him tonight. The light meat was REALLY good, but the dark meat was a bit chewy... the skin was really tough too which surprised me a bit, but maybe that's normal? Is there a way to avoid having such tough skin, or is that just caused by him being a slightly older rooster?
     
  5. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

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    Apr 18, 2010
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    The skin will be a bit tougher/thicker on the older roosters - when you think crispy chicken skin from the store, it's on a bird that's less than 8 weeks old or store. Same with the muscle/meat - with age comes flavor and a bit more tooth to the meal. You can make meat on an older bird fork tender, but it will be different texture than a young 6-8 week old bird. Some like it (I do), and some don't. [​IMG]

    I've processed roos from my 7 weeks (cornishX) to over 2 years old and many in between. I find I don't care for the skin of any of the roos over 16 weeks or so, regardless of breed (and I LOVE chicken when it's good and seasoned and crispy). I still pluck almost everything and keep the skin on when processing, because it holds a lot of the fat that I like to render down and keep when I make stock, plus it's just good flavor. The 2+ year old roo I processed once had VERY thick and tough skin, just in trying to part him out to make stock from him. He was a tough old bird, but he simmered down and was very delicious in some chicken and dumpling soup [​IMG]
     

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