Rooster = Soup?

AllChookUp

Will Shut Up for Chocolate
11 Years
May 7, 2008
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I have a rooster that I will be taking care of soon. I believe he's far too old to be a 'fryer' (I'm guessing around 3-4 years old), so I'm assuming he falls into the "stewing" category, where his meat is best suited for soup, stew, etc.

Am I on-track with my thinking?

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silkiechicken

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Yep, stew is the only way to go for something 3-4 years old. It will be tasty though! Meat will fall right off the bones... in long thin intact muscle fibers!
 

AllChookUp

Will Shut Up for Chocolate
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May 7, 2008
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Thanks folks - I would have gone the soup/stew route, but it's good to know I am thinking correctly.

For a Monday, even!
 

AllChookUp

Will Shut Up for Chocolate
11 Years
May 7, 2008
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Buff - Not that I would, but why not? Just 'cuz it's not the fanicest of meals?

Basically, I'm looking at the 'old rooster stew' as a utility meal sometime this fall - Nothing fancy, ust a good old-fashioned hearty stew.


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Buff Hooligans

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Jun 11, 2007
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Quote:This just sounds like the meals my Minnesota raised mom used to torture us with. And she learned them from her Estonian boil-the-meat-until-it-turns-to-rubber parents.


AllChook, maybe if you made Coq au vin... and I wouldn't invite any of my bosses for a meal either. Well, maybe for a knuckle sandwich...
 

dancingbear

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Aug 2, 2008
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Quote:This just sounds like the meals my Minnesota raised mom used to torture us with. And she learned them from her Estonian boil-the-meat-until-it-turns-to-rubber parents.

Too bad your mom didn't know to continue to boil it way past the rubber stage. It eventually gets tender, and falls off the bones, and is very tasty. Especially if you brine it first, that takes care of part of the stringiness, and with the extra step of marinating the pieces in buttermilk overnight or longer, you can turn out some pretty darn delicious no-longer-tough old bird.

Chook, I would cut it up before brining/marinating, so that the brine or marinade can more easily reach the meat, not just the outer layer.

When I cook older birds I use the crock pot, let it cook til it comes easily off the bones. Then I chop the meat in bite size or slightly smaller bits, and use in all kinds of dishes. Enchiladas being a favorite, along with chicken tacos, burritos, tamales, BBQ sandwich meat, and of course, chicken and dumplings. So much more than just soup!

Enchilada Casserole
(This is NOT a precision recipe, you have plenty of room for adjustment to your own tastes, it'll be fine! I've done a jillion variations on this, they've all been good. A very forgiving recipe.)

One crock-potted, older roo, fully cooked until tender, bones removed, chopped or diced

the broth from the above roo, fat skimmed off or partially skimmed off, if there's much fat

1LB white Mexican cheese, if available. use cheddar. Otherwise, cheddar, I like extra sharp, use what you like, or Monterey Jack, or Pepper Jack if you prefer.

package of corn tortillas

5 or 6 TBS chili powder
4 TBS ground cumin
1 TBS oregano, Mexican oregano pref, but Italian's ok
corn starch
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
butter, to grease pan
large oven pan (I use a rectangular Pyrex 4Qt., it's about 11.75" X 14.50" or something like that. About 3.5" deep, something close to that)

optional ingredients, use any combination, all, or none
Chopped fresh jalapeños
black olives
fresh green onions

Any or all of the above can be mixed in with the meat, or layered with the others, or used as a topping on the final layer before melting the last cheese layer.

Heat the chopped chicken in a skillet, with a little broth so it doesn't stick or dry out, salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat, set aside.
Butter the baking dish well.
Grate the cheese, set aside.
put 4 cups of the chicken broth in a sauce pan, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer. Add chili powder and cumin. let simmer slowly, about 10 minutes.

Chili sauce
Mix 1 TBS. cornstarch with about 3 TBS cold water, stir well until completely mixed in. Slowly stir into the spiced broth, until slightly thickened. What you want is about the thickness of the chili sauce you get over enchiladas and other dishes, in a restaurant.

Mix about a half cup of the sauce in with the chopped chicken. If it seems dry, add a bit more until well moistened, but not swimming in it.

Dip tortillas, one at a time, in the chili sauce. Arrange in a single layer over the bottom of the baking dish. add a layer of chicken, (about half an inch thick, it doesn't have to be a solid layer, gaps are ok) and a layer of grated cheese. Add another layer of dipped tortillas, more chicken, more cheese. When you either run out of room or run out of chicken, top with another layer of dipped tortillas.

Bake at 400 F for 30 minutes, or until heated through. Remove from oven, sprinkle with a layer of cheese, return to oven until cheese bubbles, about 5 or 10 minutes. Remove from oven, rest 5 minutes. I cut it in squares with a spatula to serve, makes a great meal with a salad, especially with a little guacamole or even just sliced/chopped avocados.
 
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