Question concerning preparaton of fresh chicken

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by fresheggs4u, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. fresheggs4u

    fresheggs4u Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 6, 2007
    Today my neighbors and I slaughtered 7 young roosters. (Mutts hatched in Sept). We decapitated them and let them hang for about an hour or so. We then proceeded to skin them rather than plucking. After they we clean,we place them in cold water which apple cider vinegar was added. (We viewed a Youtube video of the Custard Family Farms, on how to slaughter and proccess them.) After we finished I brought two birds home and rinsed them and butchered them into quarters. I then soaked them in cold salt water for about two hours. Them in butter milk for another two hours. I then dredged them in flour/salt/parika and pepper mix. Fryed them in a cast iron skillet until done. Here the question - what did I do wrong to cause the meat to be tough. If was awful. Suggestions please? Am I expected tender meat and it's just not going to happen? We have about 8 more to slaughter and I really would hate to waste the meat.

  2. jeanniejayne

    jeanniejayne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 30, 2008
    I think many folks let the fresh-slaughtered chicks age for a couple days before freezing or eating.

    Sure does sound like everything else you did was spot-on! But others do eat that night. Maybe not frying but stewing?
  3. fresheggs4u

    fresheggs4u Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 6, 2007
    do you suggest, storing in ziplock bags in the frig for a couple of days?
  4. wisdom_seeker

    wisdom_seeker Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 27, 2008
    I would try to cook them in a crock pot on the lowest setting for about 12-16 hours. If they hatched in September then I would say that they are too old to cook any other way. The cornish X typically never make it past 8 weeks old at processing.

    This year I will be caponizing some roosters to see if that will make a difference in the meat quality of older, standard breed birds.

    You also want to let the bird age a full day in the fridge before cutting up or cooking.
  5. walls0stone

    walls0stone Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 26, 2008
    well you said Mutts, so I don't know just what kind of crosses they are. however I do know this from my life of farm'n and hunting.

    Wild birds that run about are harder than fat, lazy birds. any cow, hog or bird will be harder if you let them run about and work out. Finishing an animal makes them tender. for the last few days of a chickens life, don't let him go with out the best food and water and don't let the critter run about as he wishes. Wild turky is was diff than farm stock becouse the wild turk' is hard as nails from running and fly'n.

    if you want a meaty tender animal, you need to keep them confied and spoild so they get fat and soft. Also, Don't let them get all wound up before you kill them. That goes for anything. The blood get's flowing and fight or flight takes over in the body...pumping adrennalen (sp?) into the meat. So don't let them know what's come'n.

    cook them low and slow, and try some Coke next time to.
  6. Miltonchix

    Miltonchix Taking a Break

    Jul 14, 2007
    Milton, Florida
    I let all my meat "age" in the cooler for at least 3 days. The meat "relaxes" and is melt-in-your-mouth tender.
    Vacume pack before freezing if you can.
  7. Kim_NC

    Kim_NC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2009
    Mt Airy, NC
    Two issues...

    1) Time for the muscle tissue/rigor to relax:
    We brine them (we use a salt brine only, no vinegar). Then refrigerate them for 24-36 hours to allow the rigor to relax before cooking. Ziplock bag is fine.

    2) Slow cook them. Crockpot, make Coq Au Vin, casseroles, soup or broth, etc.
    They're not broiler/roaster chickens (Cornish X) that you're accustomed to buying in the grocery stores. Those birds grow to 5+ lbs in 6-8 weeks, and therefore are more tender and succulent for frying, BBQing or broiling.

    Edited for typo
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2009
  8. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2007
    I see a few things that aren't typically wrong but just things that I would have done differently.

    First off you want to kill and let them hang 2-3 minutes.... not an hour. Rigor sets in extremely fast on birds that are left to chill to air temperature rather than 35 degree water temperature. It is extremely important to get them in an ice bath within about 20 minutes of killing, the sooner the better. You want to get the body temperature to 40 degrees before 1 hour for best results.

    Make sure the water is clean, I personally wouldn't add a brine as these chickens have enough flavor in them and salt and vinegar will only dilute the flavor. Water will dilute the flavor as well, soak them for about 1-2 hours at max.... them put them in the fridge for 3 days before eating or freezing.

    Lastly, don't fry them. They are too old to taste good if fryed. Try baking on a low heat, crock pot, chicken dumplings, or even make an awesome chicken noodle stock.
  9. skeeter

    skeeter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2007
    Parma Idaho
    i disagree about those birds being too old to fry,ive eaten 100s,they wont be like those nasty store bought tasteless things,but they certianly wont be too tough,weve killed a many of them in the morning and ate them for supper but maybe we were just hungry and didnt know any better but they sure were good
  10. JaceTx

    JaceTx Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 6, 2009
    I did the same thing today. I killed 2 roosters and put them in one of those "set it and forget it" things for 35-45 minutes. The meat was tough and stringy. Which I kind of was expecting.

    I think the problem/answer is very simple. Barnyard chickens are NOT the same thing as Cornish hens. Any time you buy a chicken in the store it is a jumbo Cornish hen that is only 8 or so weeks old.

    As others have said the best way to cook another older bird is crock pot on low or another slow cooking method. You didn't do anything wrong, that is just how it tastes.

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