Question about bland naked neck

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by punk-a-doodle, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I just tried my first heritage chicken, a 3.6 lb. naked neck (well, it was actually labeled 'turken', so I'm guessing it could have had anything thrown into the mix...it was likely one of the hybrid hatchery turkens). Over the last year, I purchased a Conish X, red ranger, and now the NN from the same family to get an idea of what I want to raise. I cooked all three birds using the same method for the sake of comparison. The Cornish X had a better texture than a store bought bird, but tasted the same as a store bird (bland). The red ranger has been our favorite by far so far with a firmer texture and delicious and rich flavor. I've never ravenously craved for seconds of roast chicken until that bird!

    Tonight, we roasted the turken. I was surprised to find that the turken was just as bland tasting as I find the Cornish Xs to be. It was buttery tender, a bit more put together than a Cornish X, but nothing like the firm bird I was expecting. The dark meat wasn't any darker than the red ranger. The turken did have the long, trim build of a heritage bird, but shorter legs than I was expecting. Everything I read had me looking forward to a firm bird with even more flavor than the red ranger. Pretty dang disappointed!

    So, do you think it was just butchered young? Were commercial meat bird lines likely thrown in? Any ideas on why I essentially ended up with a thin Cornish X?
     
  2. lynn1961

    lynn1961 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is an interesting compairison, we will be butchering buff orpingtons and welsummers to comapre to the cornish cross, to see if the taste is better. The cornish that we raised were free ranged, they were not real bland, but they sure were ugly, feed consuming, pooping machines. The wellies and buffs are penned up to decrease their running room, hope that we get decent meat from them.
     
  3. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    As they get older, the flavor will become more pronounced and the texture will get more firm, ending up at tough and chewy when the bird is fully mature.

    If you want more texture and more flavor, I suggest you butcher later. That even works for the Cornish Cross.

    My Cornish Cross have excellent flavor and texture. Nothing like supermarket chicken. But mine have lots of room, plenty of exercise and sunshine, and a more varied diet than the store birds had. I don't think it matters what breed. If you (generic you, not anyone specific) raise them in little cages so they can't move and feed them nothing but commercial feed, you are going to end up with something very close to grocery store chicken.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
  4. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks guys. These were all pasture raised. I hear LF NNs are supposed to be more in the eight pound range when fully mature, so I'm guessing they were just butchered early? The red ranger was only a pound heavier, but man the flavor was good! Will have to try to find someone else to buy from after our move so we can keep comparing until it is time to raise our own. I'm also thinking that when it comes to heritage and DP breeds, that buying from a breeder rather than from someone with hatchery stock may actually make a big difference in the final product. Been amazed following the heritage bird threads at how different the two can be.
     

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