Rooster Roasting

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by hipchef99, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. hipchef99

    hipchef99 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 17, 2013
    Hi all, new guy in town, needs a bit of help with getting it right. I'm a Chef, haven't had any reason to cook Roosters in our business. I have Buff Orpington Chickens, we hatched out about 50 chicks about 16 weeks ago. I sold off about 25 hens and Roosters, now have the amount of Hens I want for the winter months. I kept about 10 Roosters to try different ways of cooking young Roosters. I have a few 16 week 4 lb free range Roosters that I processed yesterday. I plan on letting them rest for a few days in the refer, then I am going to make a Coq au Vin out of them. I know this method of cooking will be fine to make a nice tender chicken dish. My ????? is, how would a 16 week old young Rooster be to bake or Rotisserie on the BBQ grill. Are young Roosters tender at this age, would Brining help in this method................thx ......................Bill
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  2. hipchef99

    hipchef99 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 17, 2013
    It looks like no one eats Roosters around this chicken coop...................Well I do..........this is the Coq au Vin I made today out of one of the 3.5 lb birds above............
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    served it with a Cajun Roasted Potato.........
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  3. SJ

    SJ Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Welcome the Backyard Community Hipchef99. I too am a Chef as well as a fellow chicken raiser. And let me just say I do eat my chickens. Yours' likely tasted great and you are eating them as I type. I raise Buff Orpingtons (BO) for meat and eggs.

    As a chef I make a study of my food and you may well have noted that the boy you cooked today is built very different from the broad breasted commercial birds used in the biz. He has a narrower build but alot bigger legs and thigh. This big "leg quarter" is where the BO "makes it" so to say as a meat fowl. At around 16 weeks old BOs roos are gettin frisky so a cull is in order and soon. The issue many people run into is that their BO boys are not quite what they are used to seeing. And like you they aren't sure about butchering or how to get the best meat animal from their raising effort.
    The best advice I can give anyone is feel up your birds. Before and after butchering. Handle 'em!! You soon know what a good drumstick, thigh, and breast feels like on a live bird. As to the question of Is a 16 week old BO rooster good eatin?...You tell me Hipchef. Because its about as prime as a BO can be. Cook it however you feel. But by the looks of it I would of let them grow another 2 weeks. 16 weeks is on the early end of when BO are typically at prime condition for slaughter. A 18 week bird is closer to typical. Some extra whole kernel corn and a little hard boiled egg will plump them that last little bit in the last 10 days.
    I heard brining...I love brining and smoking a few birds whole each year. If you worry about toughness of your meat there are a couple easy things to do to help.
    1. Bleed the animal out: A precision cut to the jugular will allow the heart to pump most of the blood right out of the animal.
    2.Rest the carcass: A day or two is fine with most young(16-22 weeks) roos.
    3.Low heat: Cook it low and slow. Your a chef you know.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013
  4. hipchef99

    hipchef99 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 17, 2013
    Hey Chef, thx for all the info. I have a field of corn, the boys are eating well. We took down two on Thursday and four yesterday. I use to do a lot of demo cooking in our catering business. I still have my wok jet burners, they come in handy to get water boiling fast. My Son is also a Chef, so we can process the Roosters fast. I let this one rest for three days, the Coq au vin was fine. I was just wondering how the Roosters did in dry heat, I figured I would ask here, maybe save myself some time and a bad meal. I have about 10 Roosters in the range of 16,14 and 13 weeks old. I figured I would start with these being in the 3.5 to 4lb range. I have some Rooster Tamales being made this week, they should go over well..............take care............thx again.......Bill
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    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  5. hipchef99

    hipchef99 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 17, 2013
    I use a Traffic cone to process the chickens. one person holds the feet, another holds the head and cuts the jugular. The chicken then slides down into the cone and bleeds out, no mess and the chicken isn't able to move. It kills me to see they sell killing cones for $25 to $30, when your a catering Chef, you learn to improvise. We are going to Rotisserie two 4 lb Roosters tomorrow, I'll brine them over night. I'll let you know how they work out, .......................take care.................Bill.
     
  6. hipchef99

    hipchef99 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 17, 2013
    This is our corn field, The second field is coming into it's own, time to try the corn. The Chickens had about 12 cobs this morning they all had smiles on their beeks.

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    The Chicken livers are from the four Roos we processed Saturday.......I thought a Chicken liver breakfast with our Fresh Hens eggs and fresh corn on the cob would be great.

    I soaked the Chicken livers in milk while I went out to pick the corn. I then dredged in Seasoned flour s&p. Fried them in olive oil, the rest you can see..............I didn't make the rye toast, maybe next year........

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  7. hipchef99

    hipchef99 Out Of The Brooder

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    We tried one of the 16 week old 4 lb roosters on the rotisserie tonight. The breast meat was melt in your mouth tender, leg meat was tender, thigh meat not as tender but good flavor. I would do this again in a heart beat. We processed the roosters on Sat morning, so they rested for 3 days. No brine, just some seasonings inside and out.............No more selling Roosters, they are to tasty to leave the pasture................Bill
     
  8. SJ

    SJ Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Welcome to backyards chickens.

    Now that you are in the know, will you be raising more birds? If so there are alot of great threads here to help.

    What were the 16 week olds live weights?
     
  9. hipchef99

    hipchef99 Out Of The Brooder

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    I guess my question to you is, why doesn't any one here know ????? We hatched out over 50 Buff Orpington chicks, of course we had a lot of roosters in the mix. I sell the 12 week old roosters for $8 the Pullets for $15. I paid for all the feed and feeders by selling 26 chickens. Now that I know the young roosters are tender eating by cooking with dry heat, it opens up a whole new world of a way to cook the bird. When you cook with dry heat you get the full flavor of the meat, it just needs to be seasoned . The Coq au Vin I made, may give you a tender meat, but, the flavor is in the sauce. The two methods of cooking are like comparing Pot Roast and Roast beef, when the rooster gets older, I will use the stewing method, when the rooster is between 16 and 20 weeks, it's hitting the dry heat method..................I'm not sure what the live weigh was, I weighed them after they were cleaned. The largest one at 16 weeks was 4 lb dressed out, most are between 3 to 3.5 lbs. Next on the menu will be Rooster Tamales.........................this would be a perfect meat to use for older roosters, but, I'm using a 3 lb one to try it out.........lets face it, I can get a old rooster any time I want. I have a field of corn, they are eating well, we will see what the boys weigh at 18 to 20 weeks.........................Bill
     
  10. naillikwj82

    naillikwj82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    jeff sends:

    This PM is to avoid creating conflicts which sometime get out of hand. Plenty of people do indeed know that cockerals (roosters) are delicious with various methods of cooking. Home grown chicken (non-CX) is prepared in methods from your Grandmother's old cook book. Age of bird determines the available methods:
    up to 12 weeks is broiler, up to 16 weeks is a fryer, up to 22 weeks you have roasters. As ageing continues and the high use muscles get darker, leaner, and tougher, the required moisture increases, and the amount of heat decreases, while the cooking time also increases.

    There are also numerous reasons why many people do not like roosters, noise ordinance restrictions, in-fighting if there are hens present, human aggressive birds, and finally that the carcass does not look like the commercial chicken at the store.

    Since you are enjoying your cockerals now, and think they are pretty good, imagine that you can improve the texture, taste, marbled fat content and increase the number of preparation methods. I would always eat our cockerals, but for the last two years they are all now caponized when they reach one pound. Delicious! At 26 weeks still tender, at 45 weeks still tender though if your purchasing all your feed they tend to get expensive. I process at 22 weeks. At any point during the year we have 40 capons of various stages for our use, I process 10 at a time. Where most people are looking to get rid of cockerals, I get rid of pullets! If their not going to get big and fat they can't get fed here. There are several threads on BYC for caponizing if your interested.

    As to using a traffic cone, an alternative is to make your own restriction cone. Instructional link below,
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/389035/how-to-build-a-killing-cone towards the end of the link I noted the use of sheet vinyl.

    Good luck with your cooking.

    jeff
     

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