Q when you butcher, why do you wait to process the chickens?

There A Chick

In the Brooder
11 Years
Jun 7, 2008
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Creedmoor, NC
Tomorrow morning at 10 am, I am going to be shown how to butcher a chicken by a person who's "in-the-know". We're actually going to butcher her 3 spent hens. My friend is going to do the first one to demonstrate, then I'm going to do the 2nd one, then there will be another newbie coming, and he is to do the 3rd.

Here's my perplexing question: Friend says that I have to wait 24 hours before processing the chicken. Why is that???? We're going to wash the birds, chill them down or whatever, but then I'm instructed to put them in my frig overnight and wait the 24 hours.

We're going to be skinning the chickens rather than removing the feathers, friend likes this method I guess and being that I'm going to pressure cook them, then can them, I'm fine with that. It's just the 24 hour thing I don't understand because if I don't have to wait that long, if I could pressure cook and can them sooner, then I could actually go ride my pony on Sunday instead, and that would be my preference.
 

silkiechicken

Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
13 Years
Jan 25, 2007
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I sure don't wait that long for the insides to get yucky. I gut out and do it all right away and then chill in the fridge all cleaned for about 24 hrs before I cook. But since these are spent hens, doesn't really matter since they'll be tough anyways.
 

There A Chick

In the Brooder
11 Years
Jun 7, 2008
63
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Creedmoor, NC
Sorry, we do gut them, I forgot to say that. But do you know if it is really necessary to wait 24 hours??
 
Last edited:

CoonX

Chirping
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Sep 3, 2008
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It is to let the rigor mortis to pass.
If you process and freeze the animal while RM is set, the meat will be tough.

Will
 

Tuffoldhen

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Jan 30, 2007
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Quote:Yup, I always set mine in the fridge in a salt brine for 24 hours before I wrap and freeze the birds. It makes them more tender.
 

MissPrissy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 7, 2007
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Quote:Correct. You really need to let them sit in the fridge so the meat begins to relax. Don't expect succulent chickens. Spent hens will be tough and good only for stewing.
 

There A Chick

In the Brooder
11 Years
Jun 7, 2008
63
0
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Creedmoor, NC
ok, great info. everyone.

I am going to pressure cook them, then can them. Would ya'll recommend that I brine them for the 24 hours? If so, details please?
 

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