My son got some white leghorns from a chicken farmer.. He said they were a little over a year old.. He slaughtered his first one for my sister. She said the meat was tough and it tasted terrible, so they threw it away. What could cause this ?
Quote:Meat chickens are dispatched at 8 weeks of age. Sometimes they can make it to 12 weeks. The chickens you see in the grocery store are 4 or 5 weeks old at best. The leghorn your brother butchered was a year old, had plenty of time to run and build muscle, making him not only old but tough. He would have been good for only a long slow stewing in a crockpot.
When dispatching a chicken it is best to let them sit 24 - 48 hours in the fridge for the meat to rest and begin to breakdown. A salt water brine will also help tender them up while in the fridge.
No other way to cook an old bird that I know of but to stew it, long and slow. Sometimes the meat will be stringy but still edible.
Quote:Homegrown meat has a different texture than grocery store meat. It is usually not aged as long as grocery store meat either. As far as flavor, well, they are what they eat. Also most people purge their chickens for a day or two before dispatching. No feed. Only water. It helps to clean them out and purify the carcass.
I raised 27 cornish rock crosses last fall. They are the best tasting chicken we have ever eaten. I won't buy grocery store chicken when I can raise my own.
Thanks eveyone for the great answers. My son fasted the bird for 6 hours. My sister said she cooked it the following morning. Well the hens stopped laying for a little bit when we got that real cold spell, but they are starting to lay again.
I also had no idea that you could process a chicken that young. Once again, thanks for the informatin.
In addition, what will make a whole meal taste bad, is if you accidentally break the gall blader, which is this little green sac on the liver. Get it on the meat and it will all taste bitter. My guess though is the age of the bird made it good for soup and that was about it.