Rough, untender chicken meat

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Sabz, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. Sabz

    Sabz Songster

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    I didn't have much luck with the first chicken I processed. It seems too rough, not tender at all.

    Here are the details.
    The chicken was 6 weeks (so I doubt the age is the culprit).
    I first ate the back of the chicken about 2 hours after I processed it. It wasn't tender, but I wanted to test the before/after rigor mortis..
    Then I have a leg 24 hours after the processing.

    I even cooked it inside aluminium fold so I thought this cooking method would preserve juices and make a tender meat..

    Is it possible that rigor mortis didn't pass yet? What else - except excess cooking - would cause it to be rough?
     
  2. SixChickFlock

    SixChickFlock Chirping

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    I know only about cooking, and then, my knowledge is limited.

    I like smoked thighs... Like those packs from Sam's Club. My method is to cook them on a grill, with a huge pan of water under the thighs, and a tiny charcoal/wood fire off to the side. With enough chicken packed in there... And the right size small fire, I can keep them on the grill/smoker for 2 to 3 hours. Always tender... Always juicy... Never overcooked.

    A gal friend prefers grilled breasts. Likes white meat. She will grill them directly over the coals. Always tough... Always dry.

    Low and slow works for me. I have never processed poultry.
    Perhaps the flesh needs a longer rest than you allowed for? I'm interested in the thoughts of others!
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

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    It is possible that rigor hadn't passed yet. It's generally recommended to leave them sit for 2-3 days. We raised Freedom Rangers this year. About a month ago, I got hungry for fresh chicken so we butchered one of them. A few hours later we grilled it and it was tough and chewy. (It was also in rigor - I could tell because the legs didn't move easily when I cut it up) Two weeks ago we processed a dozen of them, left them in the refrigerator for 3 days, then ate one. It was nice and tender.
     
  4. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida

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    We processed 3 roosters at 19 weeks old....some said we waited too long and they would be tough and dry. After processing we put them in the spare fridge for 3 days, then bagged them up and froze them. We've already eaten two of the three and they were delicious. Yes, the texture was different. But to be sure when you are comparing the texture of backyard chickens to store bought there will definitely be a difference - isn't that why we want to grow our own food to begin with? What people see as "tenderness" in store bought chicken could be deemed "mushy". it's almost too soft and tender.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
  5. Sabz

    Sabz Songster

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    Good point Blooie, maybe I don't really know what the texture should be like :) They are my first backyard chickens, I don't know anyone else (besides you guys on BYC!!) that does this, so I cannot compare.

    Ok, well I will wait more! I wasn't sure 3 days was OK for un-cooked meat in the fridge.

    Tonight I am eating the chicken breast and it will be 48 hours post processing.
    I might leave one of those for tomorrow if I am alone for supper, this way I will have done the 2 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours and 72 hours tests ;)

    Does rigor mortis change per bird? I mean.. if this one is tender after 48 hours for say, does it mean I can freeze my other 15 birds after 48 hours or it depends? By touching it, can I tell? Like yesterday, the breast seemed very stiff.. not sure if it is rigor mortis, the way I cut it, the temperature of my fridge.. etc.

    This is so fun because I am learning a lot about birds, their anatomy and now butchering and meat stuff!! I love raising chickens :) I had never even thought that the meat I ate had past the rigor mortis stage... Is it the same with fish? I've eaten fish freshly killed and don't recall it being stiff.
     
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

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    Very well put. Homegrown chicken has both flavor and texture - things you don't get in your store-bought meat. There really is no comparison. If a person has eaten the stuff from the store all their life, a homegrown chicken can take some getting used to.

    Even though we've been butchering our own chickens for years, this "resting in the fridge" thing is relatively new to us, too. I have read that if you grab the drumstick and can easily move it or wiggle it, it's ready to freeze or eat.

    Do you buy beef? That usually hangs for about 2 weeks to age the meat and make it tender.

    I think fish are different from land animals.....
     
  7. LaurelC

    LaurelC Songster

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  8. Sabz

    Sabz Songster

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    Youhou!!!!

    I cooked one of the chicken breast yesterday and it was PER-FECT. Tender, moist, juicy, tasty..
    I don't know if it is the rigor mortis that past that made it tender, or the fact that it sat in tandoori marinade overnight, but it was a success.

    Thanks all for the information and tips :)

    Here is my supper from yesterday night. Tandoori chicken and a Espelette pepper from my garden.. I had no idea those could be that spicy haha. It is a good thing that I ate the pepper AFTER the chicken ;)


    [​IMG]


    See, juicy and moist!!!!! I was so proud after that. I can really construct a chicken coop, adopt little tiny babies, get them to grow enough, butcher then and cook them!! wow.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida

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    Well done! I can almost hear the excitement coming right through your keyboard! And that dinner looks delicious! You have every right to feel pride in a job well done, start to finish.
     
  10. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

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    Good for you! Looks wonderful! [​IMG]
     

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