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That tough young bird

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by CynthiaM, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. CynthiaM

    CynthiaM In the Brooder

    May 21, 2008
    Webster's Corners, B.C.
    Well, yesterday we had our first chicken meal from our young chickens, which were not regular meat birds, just a mix of Rhode Island Red X brown. We had the birds slaughtered at a slaughterhouse. Holy smokes!!! This is one tough bird. Young, only 5 months old, an OK size, but tough. Why?

    My first time to cook any chickens that we have raised, and if this bird indicates what the other 20 in the freezer are going to be like, I am gonna have a tough time swallowing these birds.

    I wonder if I did something wrong in the processing. The birds were slaughtered, brought home, freezer wrapped and then to the freezer. Any tips would surely be appreciated. I think that beef is better if it is aged for some time before consumed, is it the same with chickens? Have a great day, Cynthia
  2. muddler6

    muddler6 Songster

    Sep 12, 2007
    Jefferson County, PA
    Most "meat birds" are processed at a much younger age. The way around this is the way you cook them. A slow cooking method would be best. Or if planning a soup, boil them.
  3. Toast n Jelly

    Toast n Jelly Songster

    Jan 29, 2007
    Quote:You also want to leave it in the frig after cleaning for about 3 days (has to go through rigor mortis)then freeze.
    Even then I've heard that you mostly have to use your slow cooker for chickens that aren't meat birds such as the cornish cross.
  4. menageriemama

    menageriemama Songster

    Feb 2, 2008
    Lake Nebagamon, WI
    Agree with rainbow eggs. Rest them long and cook them slow [​IMG]
  5. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Songster

    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    Brining may also help. Most people I seen posts from use 1 cup salt(I use pickling salt) per gallon of water. This brine will most likely not help the toughness though. I use 1 cup each of salt and brown sugar, 1 lemon and/or 1 orange per whatever amount of water it takes to completely cover the bird. I squeeze all the juice from the lemon and orange into the water and toss it in with everything else. The acid in the fruit may help to break down the meat a bit. After you take it out of the brine, rinse well before cooking. When you brine poultry, it takes less cooking time. After an overnight soak in the brine, I bake a 4-5 lb chicken about 1 hr 45 minutes at 300 degrees. They are done everytime.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2009
  6. skeeter

    skeeter Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    Parma Idaho
    hmmm,cant imagine why that would be tough no where near too old,we always soak in salt water for 6 hours or so,those should be good eaten,may its the leghorn in them,(if i read that right,brown leghorn RIR cross ?)
  7. dancingbear

    dancingbear Songster

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    5 months old is not considered young for a meat chicken. Broilers breeds are butchered at 8-11 weeks. Dual purpose breeds, that take longer to get very big, are often best cooked by slow, moist methods, such as in a crock pot. That's what I use for anything over 16 weeks old, and sometimes over 14 weeks , depending on what the carcass looks like. If it's very lean, in the crock pot it goes.

    They make terrific BBQ sandwich meat, chopped up and mixed with your favorite sauce, chicken tacos or enchiladas, burritos, tamales, dumplings, pot pie, chicken salad, any chicken and pasta dish, use your imagination. Anything you use cooked meat in. I save the broth, it's great for soups, stews, sauce bases, gravies, and for making stuffing for turkey or chicken. It freezes well in plastic cottage cheese or sour cream containers, I write the date and the contents on the lid with a black Sharpie.
  8. skeeter

    skeeter Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    Parma Idaho
    a 5 month old rir is NOT an old chicken,2 years is an old hen that needs to be made into soup not a 20 week old rooster
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2009
  9. FunnyFarmer

    FunnyFarmer Songster

    Jul 20, 2008
    Efland, NC
    Brining will help toughness. I slaughtered a roo that was about a year old 'cause he was so mean, brined him for three days, and then roasted him. He was yummy!
  10. RedStickLA

    RedStickLA Songster

    Feb 27, 2007
    South Louisiana
    You need to let them sit for about 3 days in the refrigerator to cure before putting them in the freezer. I find it makes a big difference.

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